Forum Rocket Japanese Japanese Grammar Shashin o totte moratte mo ii desu ka.

Shashin o totte moratte mo ii desu ka.



In one of the early lessons, Kenny asks Sayaka if she will take a picture for him by saying “shashin o totte moratte mo ii desu ka.” I understand shashin o totte means “taking a picture”, that the mo following the te might act as “even”, and that ii desu ka means “is it okay.” So shashin o totte mo ii desu ka would mean

Picture taking even is okay?

As I read in Tae Kim's grammar guide, te forms can be used to string together different actions, but the final verb isn't conjugated into the te form. And, as I can see, morau means to receive. How does moratte work in this sentence? Is shashin, because of o, and the fact that moratte is in it's te form, also the direct object of moratte (can the te form make it so that a word can be the direct object of multiple verbs)? So would it literally translate to 

Picture taking and receiving even is okay?

How is this understood as “Will you take a picture for me?”



While I don't have an answer for you (because frankly I don't know either, and am actually kind of curious) you're highlighting one of the minor gripes that I happen to have with the audio lessons.  There are things that are brought up in within some audio lessons that aren't explained and only when I've come across it later on in one of the grammar lessons that is finally makes sense.

An example of this is in Lesson 1.4 Sayaka suggests going to eat sushi and says たべ に いきましょう.  By this point I understand that たべ is the stem for たべる and that but they don't really explain stringing verbs together at this point. It wasn't until Grammar lesson 3.7 that they explain it.  

I'm certain that Emma should be able to give you an actual answer to your question, whereas all I can suggest is to keep at it, and good luck. がんばって



Rocket Japanese does seem to introduce more specific grammar points early on, like your example about using the stems of verbs as the direct objects of verbs of motion. I might recommend using Tae Kim's Grammar Guide or some other source alongside Rocket Japanese so that you aren't feeling quite as lost until you've read the explanation for it 2 modules later.



こんにちは (Konnichiwa) Jyuune and JohnH197,


Thank you for your question!


There are two different grammar points being used in this sentence: 〜てもいい (~te mo ī) “may” and 〜てもらう (~te morau) “to do (for me)." Let's break them up and take a closer look at how they work.  


First, let's look at 〜てもいい (~te mo ī). 

This is a structure used with the 〜て form of a verb to give permission. It means “may” or “can.” For example:

食べてもいいです。 (Tabete mo ī desu.) “(You) may eat.”

写真を撮ってもいいです。 (Shashin o totte mo ī desu.) “(You) may take a photo.”

By adding か (ka) after 写真を撮ってもいいです (shashin o totte mo ī desu), we can ask for permission:

写真を撮ってもいいですか? (Shashin o totte mo ī desu ka?) “May (I) take a photo?"

You can read more about how to use this grammar point in this lesson:


Next, let's look at 〜てもらう (~te morau). 

By itself, the verb もらう (morau) or もらいます (moraimasu) means “to receive.”

When we use it with the 〜て (~te) form of a verb, we can ask for a favor. 〜てもらう (~Te morau) literally means “to receive the doing of (something)."

For example:

書いてもらう (kaite morau) “to write it (for me)"

写真を撮ってもらう (shashin o totte morau) “to take a picture (for me)”

I have been informed by the Japanese team that an in-depth explanation of this grammar point will be covered in the new level 3 course when it is released. 


Now let's try putting 〜てもいい (~te mo ī) and 〜てもらう (~te morau) together:

写真を撮ってもらってもいいですか? (Shashin o totte moratte mo ī desu ka?) “Will (you) take a picture for me?”

What this sentence is literally saying is “May (I) receive the doing of taking a photo.” In other words, “Will you take a picture for me?"


The reason there are two 〜て (~te) forms in this sentence is because the first one is part of the structure 〜てもらう (~te morau), and the second one is part of the structure 〜てもいい (~te mo ī).


I hope this helped!
Please let me know if you have any other questions. 


勉強を頑張ってください! (Benkyō o ganbatte kudasai!)

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