あげる / くれる (ageru / kureru) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]

Author GokuGoku for article 'あげる / くれる (ageru / kureru) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]'

GokuGoku

3 min reading time

あげる / くれる (ageru / kureru) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]

あげる and くれる are two Japanese verbs that both mean give, and are both used in different contexts.

あげる (ageru) means to give from the speaker's point of view. あげる is used when you give or do something for someone else.

(わたし)
(とも)(だち)
プレゼント
あげる。

I give a gift to a friend.

くれる (kureru) means to give from the point of view of the receiver. くれる is used when someone else gives or does something for you.

(とも)(だち)
(わたし)
プレゼント
くれる。

A friend gives a gift to me.

As you can see in the two example sentences, we used the following particles:

  • indicates the subject of the action (who gives something)
  • indicates the object (what is given)
  • indicates who receives

We also see how the difference between the two sentences is that we have reversed who gives (subject) and who receives. This difference requires you to change the verb from あげる to くれる.

Difference between あげる and くれる

As we have seen, both あげる and くれる translate the verb give. To understand the difference between the two, consider who does the action and who receives it.

In Japanese the language changes according to the relationship we have with the interlocutor.

あげる is used when me or someone in my circle of friends or family offers something to someone outside my circle of acquaintances.

The key idea for あげる is: from the inside out.

くれる instead is used the one who performs the action does something for someone in a smaller circle.

The key idea for くれる is: from the outside in.

Differences diagram between あげる and くれる
Diagram showing the difference between あげる and くれる. As you can see あげる is used 'from the inside out' of our circle of friends and family, while くれる is used 'from the outside in'.

The difference between あげる and くれる can be seen in the diagram above. We can see three circles in the image:

  • (わたし) (I): Yourself
  • (うち) (internal): The circle of friends and family
  • (そと) (external): The outer circle (strangers, superiors, etc.)

As you can see, when something is given from an innermost circle outwards the verb to use is あげる.

On the contrary, when something is given from the outermost circle to an innermost one the verb to use is くれる.

Keywords

gokugoku appgokugoku blogjapanese newsletterjapanese grammarlearn japanese grammarstudy japanese grammarresources japanese grammarageru / kureru in japanesewhat is ageru / kureru in japaneselearn ageru / kureru in japanesemeaning of ageru / kureru in japaneseexplanation of ageru / kureru in japaneseあげる / くれる in japanesewhat does it mean あげる / くれる in japaneselearn あげる / くれる in japanesemeaning of あげる / くれる in japaneseexplanation of あげる / くれる in japanese

Learn something new Every Week 🇯🇵

Every week new ideas and explanations about the Japanese Language, sent directly to your inbox 📧