Learn how to use あげる & もらう to express giving and receiving in Japanese 

Hello guys, are you ready for some epic study? Welcome to another online Japanese lesson from BondLingo. Today we are going to be talking about two very useful Japanese verbs, ageru and morau. This will allow you to express giving and receiving things in Japanese. These verbs are fundamental for a basic understanding of Japanese and can be implemented pretty much straight away in your vocabulary

We are going to split today’s lesson into the following sections:

  1. What do あげる and もらう mean? 
  2. How can i form sentences with あげる and もらう
  3. Example sentences using ageru and morau 
  4. An effective study method for learning and remembering the use of ageru and morau, 
  5. A summary of today’s lesson.

So without further hesitation let’s jump into today’s lesson and start learning all about ageru and morau.

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What do あげる and もらう mean? 

A basic understanding

Well what do these verbs mean? Let’s start with ageru. Ageru is a plain form verb which means “to give” in Japanese. This can be used as a standalone verb very much like たべる のむ etc. 

Morau is a japanese plain form verb which means “to receive” in Japanese. 

With both of these verbs you can indicate who you want to give or receive something from/to and also indicate what the item is that you are receiving or giving. We will now learn how to set this type of sentence up in the next section.  

Please note that these verbs are often combined with other verbs in the て form to indicate giving and receive actions. This is something that we will be covering in later lessons so just be aware that you may see that structure quite often too. 

How can i form sentences with あげる and もらう

Getting a grip on the grammar 

Lets first look at the different conjugations of these verbs 

morauもらうTo receive – informal present
moraimasuもらいますTo receive formal present
morattaもらったReceived informal past
moraimashitaもらいましたReceived informal past
ageruあげるTo Give – Present Informal
agemasuあげますTo Give – Present formal
agemashitaあげましたGave – past formal 
agetaあげたGave – past informal

Now that you have a better understanding on the conjugation, let’s look at some basic sentence patterns with ageru and morau. 

いぬ は ねこ に たまご を あげた
The dog gave the cat an egg. 

Let’s break down this sentence and see what grammar is at play here. So first we have 

INU WA いぬ は
This is indicating that the topic of the sentence is the dog. 

Next we have ねこに NEKO NI

The particle NI is indicating in what direction the item is being given. You use NI to indicate which way the item is travelling that is being given or received.

Finall we have たまご を あげた TAMAGO WO AGETA

The WO particle here is indicating the item which has been given. In this case it is an egg. 

So thats how the grammar works with あげる let’s now look at もらう

With morau the order is a little different. 

The dog received an egg from the cat 

So here we have all the same particles but the meaning has changed, 

When using Morau the NI particle indicates the person who is giving the item. 

The topic is the INU “dog” so they are the ones receiving the item. 

That last structure can be a little harder to get used to but it will click eventually. Lets now have a look at some example sentences.

Example sentences using ageru and morau 

Let’s get some context 

Watashi wa otousan ni purezento wo moratta
I received a present from my father 

Here we have a classic received “moratta” example. This is a nice friendly formula to practice and get more familiar with. One thing to note is that when you understand the context of the sentence or you are talking about yourself you will most likely drop the topic and topic marker like in the next two examples.

Kanojo ni omiyage wo agemasu 
I gave a souvenir to my girlfriend 

Here we’ve dropped the topic as it is more obvious that it is you who gave the souvenir. 

Sensei ni hon wo moratta

Remember that with NI and Morau the NI indicated the person whom the topic of the sentences received the item from. You can also use から in this situation too. 

Now we are going to look at an effective study technique for you to use to help you really master today’s lesson.

An effective study method for learning and remembering the use of ageru and morau.

It’s time to get your study on.

This may be the most important part of the lesson. It’s no good knowing everything about the subject but never actually applying it. A recipe for disaster. 

Now what you are going to want to do is read today’s example sentences and memorize them off by heart. So much so that you can look at the english sentence and translate it to Japanese in seconds. This way the pattern will get lodged in your brain more concretely. 

Next you are going to write as many example sentences as you can for the next 5 days. Make sure you pay close attention to the different uses of NI in the morau and ageru sentences. 

Follow this until you can use the verbs effortlessly in conversation and written language. 

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Summary of today’s lesson.

Ok guys we hope you have enjoyed today’s online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo. We suggest re reading the article one more time just to ensure you really understand the grammar and follow the study method explicitly! If you have any more questions or suggestions for upcoming content that you would like to see be sure to get in touch! We hope you have a great day and until next time またね

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo

Learn Japanese Online with BondLingo


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