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Grammar detail: being more polite than ください

being more polite than ください
248 words
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The typical form
〜てください
used to ask someone to do something is 'casually polite'. ください is roughly equivalent to the English 'please', so by including it, any sentence is not unpolite. However, it is not especially polite - ください is closer to a demand than an optional request. An English sentence with an equivalent 'tone' may or may not include 'please'.
The word ください can be made more polite in several ways. One option is to replace てください with
てくださいませんか
. This is a direct substitute, which would be too polite for family, colleagues etc, but would be appropriate when addressing eg a teacher or someone senior.
Another alternative would be to use the construction
ていただけませんか
. This may not be a direct substitute depending on the sentence, as the (implied) subject of the sentence is the speaker (where for ください the implied subject is the listener).
Yet another alternative, politest of the options here, would be to use the construction
〜ようお
もう
げます
(literally,
I humbly entreat you to ~
).
However, in addition to changing the form of 'please', to make the sentence consistent, it would also be necessary to improve the politeness level of what is being asked for. For example, the following are all variations of 'please don't use it':
  • つか
    使
    わないで下さい
    (casually polite)
  • つか
    使
    いにならないでください
    (the honorific verb phrase makes this polite in informal situations)
  • しよう
    使用
    にならないでください
    (use of the term 使用する is more formal than 使う)
  • しよう
    使用
    にならないようお
    ねが
    もう
    げます
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Kanji used in this grammar

ガン   ねが to request, to petition   
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シン   もう to say   
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ジョウ   ショウ   うえ above   うわ- above   あげる to raise   あがる to rise   かみ first half, upper part   のぼ to climb   のぼせる to bring up, to raise   のぼ to bring up   
使
シ   つか to use   
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カ   ゲ   した below, under   しも bottom part   もと under (influence)   さげる to lower, to reduce   さがる to be lowered   くだ to descend   くだ to judge   くださる to give   おろす to drop off (passenger)   おりる to get off (train)   
ヨウ   もちいる to use   
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