Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 1/18


To do something for someone, As a favor for

Might sound patronizing and can be rude especially if used with elderly people!


Verb[て]+ あげる


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About てあげる

When joining the conjunction particle , with the る-Verbあげる (to give), it implies that someone is doing something for the benefit of someone else. Literally, this expression means 'to give/bestow the action of (A) upon (B)', but translates more naturally as 'to do (A) for (B)', or 'to do (A) as a favor for (B)'.
The receiver of the てあげる action will be marked with , while the doer will be marked with (if mentioned).
  • (ちち)(いもうと)にお菓子(かし)()てあげる
    My father buys snacks for my sister.
  • いい(おれ)やってあげる
    It's okay, I'll do it for you.
  • 明日(あした)(わたし)(おく)てあげる
    Tomorrow, (as a favor) I will send you off.
Unfortunately, てあげる can sound quite patronizing in modern Japanese, and should be avoided in situations where someone may take offence to having something done for them (for example, doing something for someone of higher status). This is primarily due to やる (a casual variation of 'to give') being phased out.
  • 部長(ぶちょう)今夜(こんや)(おれ)おごってあげる
    Boss, I'll pay for the food tonight (as a favor). (Natural Japanese, but may be considered rude by the boss)
Fun Fact
Originally, やる was used when referring to giving water to plants, or feeding animals. However, some people started using あげる for these purposes as well, believing that it sounded 'nicer'. Historically, this actually achieved the opposite result, and some people began to think that あげる was insulting, as it was being used for plants/animals.
  • (いぬ)(えさ)やる。
    To feed the dog. (To give food to the dog because they need it to live)
  • (いぬ)(えさ)あげる
    To feed the dog. (To give food to the dog because you want it to have the best life)
These days, てやる is almost never used, unless you have a very close relationship with someone and are using it jokingly.
  • (まえ)()たいもの(なに)でも(つく)てやる
    I will make anything you want to eat for you.




    I bought flowers (as a favor) for my mother.


    Shall we give assistance to (as a favor for) that lady?


    Since I'm not busy now, I will make dinner (as a favor) for you.


    Please hand over this present to your dad. (Give to)


    Eren brought beautiful flowers (as a favor) for Mikasa.

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てあげる – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (44 in total)

  • nekoyama


    The volitional form can be used to make suggestions, and who does what for whom can be left to context. For example:


  • he77kat


    So I also came here to ask, "if あげる might be considered rude by the elderly or someone of higher status, what is the most commonly-used alternative?". A different thread suggested that 差し上げる might be appropriate, but the nuance didn’t seem to match to me.

    Is prompting with 〜ましょうか the best approach then?

  • Fuga


    Hey there @he77kat !

    差し上げる would be the best word to use to someone of a higher status! This will depend on the person on the receiving end and the situation, but adding ましょうか to てあげる could sound as patronizing as just using てあげる even though it sounds polite. てあげましょうか could be taken as rude because it kind of implies that you think that the person (of higher status) lacks the ability to do something, and could sound like you are being passive aggressive about their inability. However, by using て差し上げましょうか, it makes it sound like you are putting yourself below the person you are talking to.

    I hope this clears it up!

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