Category Archives: Grammar

Giving and Receiving 2 (くださいます/さしあげます)N4



To continue from i stopped yesterday.

Today we will go 1 step further to explain くださいます and さしあげます。

Let’s take a look at the following table.

In my table above, Level 2 refers to 目上の人(i.e superiors, seniors, teachers, etc).
Level 1 refers to people who are in the same social status (i.e friends, acquaintances, etc).

Let’s take a look at the following example from yesterday’s post.
わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を あげました。(I gave flowers to my friend).


In the event if you wish to say “I gave flowers to your teacher”, it would be better to say
わたしは   せんせいに 花(はな)を さしあげました。

This would be in Level 2 politeness. Basically, you change 「あげます」 to 「さしあげます」to indicate the status of the receiver.


Similarly, let’s recap on くれます。


(My friend gave me a book)

If you wish to say your sensei or someone of a higher status gave you or your family member something,
it would be better to use くださいます。

An example would be below:

先生 わたし本(ほん)を くださいました。(My teacher gave me a book)

Some other example sentences:



わたしは 課長(かちょう)に りんごを さしあげました。(I gave apples to my section chief)

わたしは 社長(しゃちょう)に おみやげを さしあげました。 (I gave souvenirs to my company director)



せんせいは いもうとに 着物(きもの)を くださいました。 (Sensei gave my younger sister a set of kimono)

かちょうは わたしに おみやげを くださいました。 (My section chief gave me some souvenirs)


Red: Giver of action
Blue: Receiver of action
Green: Object

Tomorrow/this weekend i will work on Giving and Receiving Part 3 (いただきます) and
Giving and Receiving Part 4 (て+くれます・くださいます/ て+もらいます・いただきます/て+あげます・さしあげます)


Hope you all understand a little better about くださいます and さしあげます。

Have a great Friday ahead.





Giving and Receiving with あげます/もらいます/くれます (N5)



Today i would like to explain about あげます/もらいます/くれます。
わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を あげました。

I gave my friend flowers.

GiverReceiver of ActionObject を あげます。

In this case, 「わたし」 is the giver, 「ともだち」is the receiver, 「はな」being the object given.

わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を もらいました。

I received flowers from my friend .

Receiver of Action GiverObject を あげます。

In this case, 「ともだち」 is the giver, 「わたし」is the receiver, 「はな」being the object given.


Wait, what about くれます then? This diagram will make it clear.

Its the direct opposite of 「もらいます」.

Take note that when you use 「くれます」, the receiver of action must be you or your family member.

GiverReceiver of Action (You/your family member)Object を くれます。

Take note you cannot say:

「ともだちは わたしに はな を あげました。」

but you can say

「ともだちは 木村さんに はな を あげました。」

Some more example sentences:
あげます / Structure: GiverReceiver of ActionObject を あげます。

1) 先生は 木村さんに 本(ほん)を あげました。 (Sensei gave Kimura-san a book)

2) は 田中さんに チョコレートを あげました。 (I gave Tanaka-san chocolates)

もらいます / Receiver of Action GiverObject を もらいます。

3) は 先生に キットカット を もらいました。 (I received Kitkat from sensei)

4) 木村さんは 先生に 本(ほん)を もらいました。(Kimura-san received a book from sensei)

くれます / GiverReceiver of Action (You/your family member)Object を くれます。

5) ともだちは に おかしを くれました。(My friend gave my younger sister sweets)

6) ともだちは  わたしに  じしょを くれました。 (My friend gave me a dictionary)

Try to write some example sentences and post below. I will mark them for you.

My next grammar article will be on くださいます/さしあげます。



Your Japanese is good!


こんばんは。It`s been very long since i wrote a grammar article. I was browsing through one of the online websites for Japanese teachers and it has something like this.


It seems that there was a research done on the public`s response to negative sentences nowadays. People tend to like sentences that is of avoidance.

I think you can change the sentence to something like


I want to give credit to this sensei for writing such an article. Thank you, Kaki-sensei.



Identifying Verb Group

Hi all,

One of the things about learning 国語 (Kokugo, the Japanese language which is learned by native Japanese) is that they have different ways of identifying their group 1, 2 and 3 verbs.

If you are unsure if a verb is group 1 or 2, remove the る、ない、た、etc from the verb and add a ない、if it ends with a [あ]-sound, then its a group 1, else its a group 2.

e.g はなさない (hana-SA-nai) : group 1
たべない (ta-BE-nai): group 2
みない (MI-nai): group 2…

Have a good weekend ahead.


Difference between「得意」と「上手」


得意 and 上手 both can be used when we talk about someone else. However, it would NOT be appropriate to use 上手 when we talk about ourselves.

This difference of usage comes from the the meanings of the two words. Both are used talking about skills, capabilities, etc. 得意 denotes the “confidence” or the “competence” of the skills that the “oneself” has, while 上手 denotes the “characteristic” of the result of the action made by the oneself, or more saying about the “evaluation”, “assessment” of the things, the result of the “action” made by the oneself. Thus, we can conclude like this. 得意 denotes the “self awareness of his/her capability ( to do or make something ), whereas 上手 denotes the “evaluation” or the “assessment” of the things or result of the actions made by the aforementioned oneself’s capability. The peculiarity of the difference is whether either word is able to denote the “evaluation” or the “assessment”. Let us compare the below 2 speeches so that we can comprehend the difference more clearly.

( ○ This picture is drawn very nicely )

×この絵は得意に描けていますね。 ( ✕ )

The above picture is a “product” by the oneself. Thus it is appropriate to use the word 上手 in order to “assess” the properties of the product or the “skill” to produce the picture. But we can not use the word 得意 here since the word 得意 denotes the pure capability of the oneself. The antonym of the word 上手, “下手” can be used to assess something such as a speech “この絵は下手だ” ( This picture is not good. ), but the antonym of the word 得意, “苦手” can not used be here for the assessment of the picture. A speech like “この絵は苦手だ” ( I am bad at drawing this picture ) will not make sense here. The antonym, “苦手” can be used to express one’s likes and dislikes of things from the meaning of the word 苦手 ( one’s non-capability ). Therefore the word 得意, and its antonym 苦手 denote the “consciousness of one’s capability” rather than the “evaluation”, “assessment”.

Concluding from the above examples, we would like to say the reason why 上手 is not appropriate to be used when we talk about ourselves is basing on the fact that the “evaluation”, “assessment” should be done by the others not by ourselves. It is unnatural and could indicate one’s “arrogance”. 得意, denoting purely the “capability of oneself”, thus it will cause no problem to use it when we talk about ourselves. However, when we are so sure and aware of the “humbleness” of ourselves, we can use 上手 even when we talk ourselves. You can say something like「私は絵が下手です。 ( I am not good at drawing pictures. )」。

上手です」と「得意です」の意味の違いは? 他人のことを言うときには「得意」、「上手」ともに用いることが可能ですが、自分の技量について述べるときは「得意」は使えても「上手」は使いづらい印象があります。 この違いはやはり両者の意味的な違いに起因しているようです。どちらも技量を述べるのに用いられますが、「得意」は主体自身が己の技量に対して抱いている自信を表したり、また技量の度合いの高い様子をあらわしているのに対し、「上手」は主体の技量自体というよりは主体の行為から生じるありさま、たとえば何かを生み出す行為なら生み出された物の様、行為自体であればその行為の様子を評価していると思われます。つまり、「得意」は何かを生み出す能力(の自覚)を表し、「上手」はその能力によって生み出されたものへの評価を表しているということです。両者の違いでは特に「評価」を表し得るか否かという点が重要です。この違いは次のような例を見ると明らかになります。

この絵は上手に描けていますね。 ×この絵は得意に描けていますね。



N5 Grammar: Park or Stop Your Car! Difference between 「あそこに車を止めてください」 vs 「あそこで車を止めてください」



It`s been a while since i wrote a grammar article.

Today, i would like to share the difference between
「あそこに車を止めてください」 vs 「あそこで車を止めてください」

To help aid the understanding, let`s do a bit of revision on the particle 「で」 and 「に」

Eat lunch at the dining hall.

The 「」 here refers to the place where the action of eating lunch is done.

Over there, lies a car.

The 「」here refers to the location of where the car exists.

Going back to the sentence 「あそこ車を止めてください」,
it means “please stop the car over there“ (focus is more on location).

「あそこ車を止めてください」means “please stop the car over there“
(focus is more on doing the action of stopping over there)

For example, a car park owner might say something like this to a person who is trying to park a car…

“Parking is prohibited here. Please stop/park the car over there (focus on location)

In Lesson 14 of Minna no Nihongo, Karina-san said to the taxi driver,

Please stop in front of the flower shop (focus on place where action is done: Flower shop)

Please let me know if you still have difficulties understanding this.

Have a good day ahead.