Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 3/18

~てもらう

To get someone to do, To have someone do

Structure

Verb[て]+ もらう

Politeness Levels

Details

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    Polite

  • 使用域

    敬語

Rare Kanji

貰う

About てもらう

Being slightly more direct than てくれる, てもらう removes the meaning of 'to bestow' (to the speaker), and focuses on the meaning of 'to receive' (from the giver). With てもらう, will mark the person that 'did something' for the subject, while (or ) will highlight the receiver themselves.
In English, this grammar structure is regularly translated as 'to have (someone) do (A) for you', or 'to get (someone) to do (A) for you'. Literally, it means 'to receive the action of (A)'.
  • 日本語(にほんご)(はな)せないから友達(ともだち)()(かた)()てもらう
    Because I can't speak Japanese, I'm going to have my friend ask for directions on my behalf.
  • (わたし)(むし)(きら)なので(つま)(むし)()てもらう
    Since I hate bugs, I get my wife to catch them (for me).
てもらう is also regularly used when receiving a service from someone, as てくれる would imply that the action was a favor.
  • 昨日(きのう)(あさ)から(あたま)(いた)かったから医者(いしゃ)()てもらった
    Because my head hurt since the morning yesterday, I had a doctor look at it.
  • (あさ)から(あたま)(いた)かったから病院(びょういん)()医者(いしゃ)()てくれた
    Because I had a headache since this morning, I went to the doctor and he checked it out for me.

Examples

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  • (わたし)(はは)宿題(しゅくだい)てもらった

    I had my mom do my homework.

    • クリスマスに(いぬ)()てもらうかもしれない

      I might have (someone) buy me a dog for Christmas.

      • この仕事(しごと)手伝(てつだ)てもらう

        I will get someone to help with this work.

        • ユカ(だれ)手伝(てつだ)てもらったかもしれない

          Yuka might have gotten someone to help her.

          • 雑誌(ざっし)あった漢字(かんじ)()(かた)()からなかったので、ネイティブ()でもらう

            I did not understand the reading of a kanji in a magazine, so I will have a native read it for me.

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            てもらう – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (23 in total)

            • Yumari-1

              Yumari-1

              If I posted in these grammar threads every time I have a question I would already have over ~100 posts likely They seem desolate unfortunately, with questions left unanswered or people coming years later and expressing the same difficulties.

              Also staff seems to be tired with my bug reports as they were getting responses initially and things were getting changed if needbe, but now they’re all left alone And I don’t think I have a lot of them, only 5-6 actually over 2-3 months…

              But anyway, here I also have trouble parsing 「雨が降りそうだから、傘を持って行ってもらってね。」
              First of all, I don’t see a way to magically infer その人たちに or such without any further context. Google even sees this as “It looks like it’s going to rain, so please bring an umbrella with y...

            • nekoyama

              nekoyama

              The speaker (A) asks someone else (B) to もらう the action of 傘を持って行く (to bring/take an umbrella) from some unknown party that’s definitely not B, and very likely not A. Therefore there should be someone else who is not mentioned explicitly and who is supposed to take an umbrella with them. (Or multiple people, of course.)

            • Yumari-1

              Yumari-1

              Thanks a bunch for this explanation, it actually cleared up lots of confusion for me. The stacking of constructs to basically from

              The speaker (A) asks someone else (B) to もらう the action of 傘を持って行く

              can be kind of daunting, but it helps to dig into these kinds of sentences for later stages of learni...

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