Question with に and から

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Afro di Ziac
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Question with に and から

Post by Afro di Ziac » Mon 10.18.2010 9:16 pm

Okay, I'm reading this Japanese learning book which, unfortunately, is written in romaji...but that's besides the point.

The sentence is written like so... 「私は兄に古コンピュウターをもらいました。」
However, doesn't that translate to "I received an old computer to my brother."?
Should it not be written as 「私兄からコンピュウターをもらいました。」?

There is also this: 私は友達に赤いカバンをもらいました。 Is this also the same?

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Re: Question with に and から

Post by chikara » Mon 10.18.2010 10:00 pm

Either に or から is acceptable with もらう.

In the context of receiving (もらう) the に particle doesn't represent a direction of an action, it indicates "an agent or source" to quote A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar.

So it is not "I received an old computer to my brother" but, in an unnatural sounding translation, "I received an old computer for which my brother was the source". :)

From Tae Kim's Grammar Guide;
One thing to point out is that since you receive from someone, 「から」 is also appropriate in addition to the 「に」 target particle.
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there

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