Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 10: 8/12


To give (away), To present, To provide

For both あげる and くれる, に marks the recipient


Giver(*)(1) + Recipient(*) + Object(*)あげる

Recipient(*) + Giver(*)(1) + Object(*)あげる

Giver(*)(1) + Object(*) + Recipient(*)あげる

(*) Giver, Recipent and Object are Nouns


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About あげる

あげる is a verb with many uses in Japanese. It's original meaning is 'to raise', but is also used as a polite speech way of saying 'to give'. In this way it can be thought of as similar to 'to offer up' in English. As polite speech has the same basic subject and object rules as standard speech, the giver will be marked with or , while the recipient will be marked with . As usual, the 'object' that is being given will be marked with .

From these three examples, we can see that the order of 'giver', 'recipient', and 'object' does not matter, so long as the correct particles are used.


あげる should not be used when giving something to someone of a higher status, or when lowering oneself to elevate another. This is done through honorific language, or humble speech, and will use different verbs.

Fun Fact

Although あげる is considered polite speech, it is the most natural way of saying 'to give'. やる is the 'casual' equivalent of あげる, but due to やる sounding a little bit rough, あげる became the standard.

  • このペン(まえ)やる
    I will give you this pen. (This pen is all yours)
  • このペン(まえ)あげる
    I will give you this pen.




    I will give you that umbrella. (away)


    I gave my little brother a drink. (away)


    I will give you a key to a treasure chest. (away)


    Since I will give you some paper, take some notes. (away)


    Let's give him a smartphone! (away)

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あげる – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

  • Pushindawood


    @matt_in_mito Awesome explanation and link! I have added this video to the Readings sections of あげる, くれる, もらう. Cheers!

  • Joluju


    Thanks for the link, it is a useful video, it makes things more clearer.
    Now I understand what confused me. In “[あげる describes something being given to someone outside your inner circle]” the term “inner circle” is not defined. I didn’t know I could be my own inner circle, I thought the inner circle was me + family + friends, that’s why.
    A short sentence cannot convey enough information, a video or a drawing is a big help.

  • matt_in_mito


    Glad it helped. As I say, I got so confused with this when I first started and this video just made it so simple for me. This guy does other videos too, which are also really clear and east to understand, but this one probably helped me the most.

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