"お水をください。"

Translation:Water, please.

June 6, 2017

110 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AdityaBK01
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"お" takes place before a noun is a polite way for asking something

June 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/blusocket

I wish the app would take that into account in its accepted/offered translations! There are ways to communicate politeness in English too, and translating casual and polite speech the same way seems like it could be confusing for beginners...

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/da_funky_munky
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if you click on the flag icon when you finish an exercise, it should let you say this. This is what I've done

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RenatoArauj8
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Sure. This course is brand new and wasnt nothing easy to exists. So lets report a lot, making it ever better ;)

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelKremer1

Seems like it would be useful to have a lesson on formality, where you have to distinguish between formal and informal. I wonder if this is done for other languages, because Japanese definitely isn't the only language with formal and informal ways of speaking.

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ro5uu
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It seems to be a general standard in teaching Japanese as a foreign language to teach only polite speech of the sort expected to be used with strangers, since more informal speech is not something a new learner is likely to have need of.

July 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkOne6

Not just Japanese.. Every English learner is taught 'how do you do?', yet zero English speakers ever use it (beyong the queen on England anyway!)

August 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tuerkenheimer

on wikipedia it is said that being polite in such a way is much more common for females, so maybe the "お" makes you appear too female if you are a man?

(german wikipedia article: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschlechtsunterschiede_im_gesprochenen_Japanisch

there is also an english article but it is not as extensive: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences_in_spoken_Japanese

i know wikipedia is not the most reliable source, but at least there are some differences in the language of women and men)

March 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

There are definitely gender differences in Japanese relating to the use of お, but for certain words, for example お水, おちゃ, おふろ, the addition of お is not seen as feminine. I'm afraid I can't give you a reason why though, and I suspect native speakers will have a hard time explaining it too.

March 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Crazy_plant_lady

Can お be used before any noun or are there rules saying it can only be used before specific nouns? I've seen it being used mainly while talking about food or money, for example, before words like ちゃ, さけ and かね。Is the お prefix used only in formal settings? Can it be omitted in informal settings?

December 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pizzaa5555

Is it necessary? Would it be rude without it?

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Copied from one of my earlier comments: as far as I'm aware, not using お水 when referring to "drinking water" is not necessarily impolite, but sounds somewhat uncouth.

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Zack1432
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thank you so much for this comment!!! it helped me a lot!

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/crisFerrei262966

Thanks for explain :D

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielOCal
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"can i get water" seems like a poor translation to me. Too American and too casual. "Can I have some water please" would be better.

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaijuran
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I'm American and it seems downright rude to me.

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielOCal
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Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that Americans would not find this sentence overly casual or even rude. I was really referring to the verb 'get'. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that when a waiter asks for a drinks order, an American would be more likely to say "Can I get water," while an Australian or Brit might be more likely to say "Can I have water."

"Can I get water" could also mean "水を取ることはできますか" - in other words "Can I fetch water." (someone else is getting the firewood so we can make a campfire and ....)

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CrackedLCD

I think the polite form in American English, at least in the deep south, would be, "May I have some water, please?" "May I" instead of "Can I". I haven't advanced far enough in Japanese yet to know if there's an equivalent yet for "May I", but that is certainly the more polite version in my mind versus anything beginning with "Can I".

October 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mithlas1

I spent some time in Phoenix and London. In the restaurants in Phoenix, the locals asked "May I have water" but I usually heard "Get us some water" at London. I suspect there's a lot more to the individual than to the dialect in politeness.

Just as in Japanese, my native professors both said they usually heard "Mizu o hoshii" (not omizu) when at a food court and the server asked what they wanted to drink. Context also has a lot to do with it, and right now Duolingo is pretty bad about indicating context.

December 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/BrandonRig1250

Im from alabama. But japanese teaches absolute manners beyond the southern traditions. So this especially with お before 水 would be a polite way to speak to an unfimiliar person kind enough to get you water.

January 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EricCol
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This would also be the most polite form in the UK. "Please may I have some water?" (I suppose "may I have" addresses personal circumstances in a very conditional way - with no implication of action, ie. someone having to go and "get" the stuff.)

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BrandonRig1250

That was my first translation

January 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/da_funky_munky
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this is a "rough" translation, but is perfectly polite in Japanese. It's just the way they've translated it. The "O" and "kudasi" show that it is a form of keigo speech, but the magic is, you can go politer (but not in this sentence) with verb endings like "Masu" and "Desu". However, I am not 100 percent sure in forms of keigo, only how it is polite in context. There is a japanese youtuber called "ThatJapaneseManYuta" and he does free online video lessons which do explain more. If you click this link here it will bring you to the site you can sign up at: http://www.yutaaoki.com/lp/jp2/japanese-with-yuta.html?=first-video&utm_campaign=japanese-with-yuta

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/da_funky_munky
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But I've flagged this as well for not demonstrating keigo speech, I 1000 percent agree with you

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Akira577352

What is your thought on "water,please."

March 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DannyJoelS

"O" is used in front of some nouns as the honorific way of using the word. Like "genki" meaning you are fine, "Ogenki" inplies more politeness.

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

Right now it's "o mizu w(o) kudasai"... Is "mizu w(o) kudasai", "mizu kudasai" and "o mizu kudasai" all correct (even if they may not have the politeness level)

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Yes, all those variations are correct and meaning exactly the same thing, but as you pointed out have different levels of politeness/formality.

Side note: as far as I'm aware, not using お水 when referring to "drinking water" is not necessarily impolite, but sounds somewhat uncouth.

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DominicMor664573

I'm confused on what を represents in this sentence.. Can someone please help?

June 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielOCal
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I'll give a lengthy answer, to help future readers. を (pronounced 'o' when used as a particle) indicates the direct object of the verb. In languages such as German and Russian and Latin, this is known as the accusative case. There is also in English the indirect object (dative case in German etc). In Japanese this is often indicated by 'ni' に.

Consider the sentence: I give the water to the dog. The verb is "give", the subject is "I", the direct object is 'the water' (the water is what is being given) and the indirect object is 'the dog'.

In Japanese and roomaji: 私は犬に水を与えます Watashi wa inu ni mizu o ataemasu.

I've included "watashi wa" for clarity - it is often/usually omitted in Japanese and is inferred by context. "wa" indicates the subject of the verb.

"inu ni" is "to the dog". "ni" is used as "to" for direction of travel and also for indirect objects.

"mizu o" is "the water" with the "o" indicating that the water is receiving the action of the verb (the object), not the the doer of the action (the subject).

PS: There is another particle "e" which is only used for direction of travel. eg "Yokohama e ikimasu" I am going to Yokohama, but you can't say "Inu e mizu o ataemasu" - "e" does not work here.

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmanuelChigbata
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Arigatou. Your explanation helped me a lot.

August 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/natalia.vaz.14

That was an incredible explanation, thank you! :D but what about the particle "ga"? What's the difference between "wo" and "ga"? I'm confused

September 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/extremelylocal

here's a useful article on that, if you still need it: https://8020japanese.com/wa-vs-ga/

October 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelObe129160

The article is helpful, thank you

June 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CasperConlang

It indicates a sentence part. It usually comes right after the target of a verb. Kudasai is often translated as please, but its true meaning is please give me, give being the verb in question. The wo particle, pronounced o, tells us that water is the thing to be given.

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielJSorensen

So its more of a polite command? Rather than "May I have a glass of water?", its more of "Please give water to me(implied by no subject)."

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/da_funky_munky
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ok.... This one is a bit tough... "Wo" can mean also, as well, as it is taught in some lessons, but we can treat this like a topic particle, but I am unsure on how exactly you use them, if you click this link, you can sign up for free Japanese lessons, and topic particles - i think - are explained. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help: http://www.yutaaoki.com/lp/jp2/japanese-with-yuta.html?=first-video&utm_campaign=japanese-with-yuta

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cratesofhi

I hate that is says "Can I get" and not "May I have" - at least get the English grammar right.

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

Can I get is grammatically wrong?

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Emer_Learns

"Can I get?" is used informally to mean "may I have?", but properly means "am I able to fetch/procure/take?"

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mithlas1

I would say it's not grammatically wrong, but it does not reflect the politeness used in the Japanese of "omizu" and therefore is a poor translation.

December 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Patronio
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Is it just asking for water?

June 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/varigby
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Yes, as I understand it. Duo accepts, " Can I have some water please?" as a translation.

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Potinase
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水 (4 strokes)

Water, flood, fluid, Wednesday

••Reading••

▪Kun: みず(Mizu)、みず- (Mizu-)

▪On: スイ(Sui)

•••Words Starting with 水•••

▪ 水曜日《すいようび/Suiyoubi》: Wednesday

▪水道《すいどう/Suidou》: Water service

▪水泳《すいえい/Suiei》:Swimming

▪ 水平線 《すいへいせん/ suiheisen》:Horizon

▪ 水割り《みずわり/Mizuwari》: Alcohol

•••Words Ending with 水•••

▪ 香水《こうすい/ Kousui》:Perfume

▪ 淡水《 たんすい/Tansui》:Fresh Water

▪ 噴水《ふんすい/Funsui》:Fountain

▪ 洪水《こうずい/Kouzui》:Flood

▪ 海水《かいすい/Kaisui》:Ocean Water

▪雨水《あまみず/Amamizu》:Rain Water

March 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Small correction: 水割り is actually "an alcoholic drink (popularly whiskey), diluted with water", as in a mixed drink using water. Another popular mixer is ソーダ割り which means mixing in soda water instead.

March 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sam771516

I'm a bit confused.... Can i get some water? is a question, but this sentence in Japanese doesn't end as questions do. Can anyone explain this to me?

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

The Japanese sentence is technically a request, and not a question, as you correctly noticed.

I'm not sure why Duo decided to teach it like this, but polite requests in English are also often framed as questions, hence why "to request" is synonymous with "to ask for".

Personally, I do avoid saying direct requests like "please give me that" when I'm trying to be polite in English, because it's essentially a command, albeit a polite one.

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JanisaChatte
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why is the accepted translation for water sometimes お水 and sometimes just 水?

November 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Because both お水 and 水 mean the same thing, "water". The former is simply more polite.

Perhaps because of this politeness difference though, 水 is generally used to refer to "drinking water" and 水 for water in other places like beaches, river, bathtubs, etc.

December 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Toffkat

So I think I'm ok with お prefixing nouns like 水 just to make the request more polite, but is there a reason why お doesn't appear in any of the "this/that, please." sentences to make those polite too?

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

That's a really interesting question. I definitely don't have a concrete answer for you, but you should be aware that お is only used on certain nouns anyway.

For example, you wouldn't use it on loan words, like おパソコン X ("computer"), and there are many words (usually compound kanji words) which use ご instead.

お and ご are actually just different readings of the same kanji, 御, though, so I'm not sure how "this/that" fits into it.

February 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BazTheLinuxGuy

Is there a rule for using the particle "o" (wo) instead of "wa"? I'm confused on this.

September 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tonvi7
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I understand that this app for japanese is not suitable for begainners. I've been learning japanese in other sites like memorize and also youtube for japanesepod.com. It literaly change mind about this japanese culture. So i kept teaching myself for any ways. Books are very helpful. Bought some in Barnes & Noble. Now i know what they mean. If you guys don't understand, i recommend to understand the grammers and particles first and also hiragana and katakana characters. Then come back to finish what you start it. Just my opinion.

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Hajime571508

What does を do isnt this the linking verb for a verb? Which in this case is ください?

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

を is the linking particle used for connecting an object to a verb.

Actually, ください is an conjugated form of the verb 下さる(くださる)which means "to give". The conjugated form ください means "please give (me)". ("Me" is implied by the directionality of 下さる, due to it being kenjougo or humble language)

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnPMChappell
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御水を下さい。

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kornellier
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Is "sui" another valid reading for that kanji? I believe to have seen it elsewhere...

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Yes, it is also read as sui. You've probably seen it in 水曜日(すいようび)meaning "Wednesday"

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Madean6

Why does this request end in period not question mark?

August 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ro5uu
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It's a request but not a question. It's like saying 'water please' to a waiter

August 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CrackedLCD

One thing I've learned practicing these lessons on duolingo is that sometimes the simple answer is the best because it's the most direct translation. We spend so much time trying to construct a complex English sentence from a few Japanese words when in reality, "Water, please" is both accurate AND succinct and the rest of the formalities are just implied. Since the Japanese section is (as of this comment) still in some form of beta, it's been much more useful to boil (ha) everything down to the most basic interpretations and go from there.

October 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/wayfuuu_hart

When do we use "wo" instead of "wa"?

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/arielkangaroo
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を marks the direct object of the verb (what the verb is acting on).

In the above sentence, お水をください, を marks 水 (water) as the direct object, i.e. the water is what you want to be given to you.

は is a topic marker. For example, これは水です (this is water/there is no verb acting on anything here).

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Halcyoncub
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polite way: "お水をください。" to a waiter that he/she forgot to bring a glass of water, then "お水ください。(with a bit louder voice, but not showing any irritation :) then, a man who is dying in the desert without water screams... "水,,, 水をくれ!!!

February 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hypatia112740

So "お水をください。 " means: "Can I get some water?" and it has お at the beginning. But why does "さかなをください。 " not have お at the beginning, just like the phrase for water? Please.

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Hypatia112740

Could I say as well:

お野菜をください? おパンをください? お魚をください?

And it would be more polite?

April 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

You could probably say お野菜をください and お魚をください, but おパン sounds unnatural.

Also, adding お to words like 野菜 and 魚 would make it more polite but it tends to sound feminine for some reason. For certain words, for example お水, おちゃ, おふろ, the addition of お is not seen as feminine, but I'm afraid I can't give you a reason why, and I suspect native speakers will have a hard time explaining it too.

May 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bookworm193

How could you type the third character?

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

You mean を? Even though it's pronounced "o", you type it as "wo".

September 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin539971

Could I say "水 おねがいします"? Which one would be more polite or natural?

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Yes, you can. I would say that both are equally natural and equally polite (the lack of お and object particle is compensated by the switch to the more deferential おねがいします), though I'm not a native speaker.

September 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JarvisJohn4
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お水をください。

Literal translation: Water Please

お-Polite marker

水-Water

を-Object particle

ください-Please

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mkultrakid

mizu = water o-mizu = honorable water

November 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tasha472643

Could you say this at a restaurant? Or would that sound rather demanding? Could you say, "Omizu ni shimasu'" or "Omizu o onegaishimasu"?

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Michelle345078

Can i also say, mizu onegaishimasu? Is it also "water please?"

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Swisidniak
Mod
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That should be acceptable. おねがいします can often be used interchangeably with ください when asking for things but is a bit more formal/polite.
this article has a nice breakdown of their subtle differences.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Melons16333

Can I get a similar representation of what ください would mean?

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rose973345

I answered nothing but got it right.

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rose973345

Anyone else answered nothing and still got it right?

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/y5pKvcDh

doesn't ”お” mean you're talking about the person so this should translate to "YOUR water please"

February 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EnGlad0liv
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Why isn’t ”I want water" accepted?? I thought ください meant that you want something?

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Swisidniak
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ください is roughly "please give me"; it is a request, asking someone else to give you water. "I want water" isn't really a request, it's simply a statement. Because you want something you might ask for someone to give it to you, but the action of requesting an item or favor is not the same as saying you want it.
"I want water" would be closer to お水が欲しいです using "hoshii" for 'water is wanted/desired'

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryuzakev

Why を?why not は?

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gelkha
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So を is used when you want something?

August 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew-Lin
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Actually を is an object marker, indicates the object in the sentence. ください is a polite form of "give," it's an imperative verb. So 水をください= Give water. (Imperative, polite). Basically you omit "to me" because the context is usually clear. You can learn the full phrase "N. + ください" = Please give me N. :)

October 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JarvisJohn4
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を is the Object particle it comes after an object

for example この飲み物を飲みす。 I drink this drink

この this (comes before a noun)

飲み物 drink

を object particle

飲みます drink (verb)

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pizzaa5555

Why wouldn't "お水はください。" be correct? Wouldn't the は indicate we are talking about water and asking if we can have some of it?

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Pelagia488126

Where is the verb in the sentence? "get" and "some"? All I can see is "Water please"

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

ください is a conjugated form of the verb 下さる(くださる)which means "to give". The conjugated form ください means "please give (me)". ("Me" is implied by the directionality of 下さる, due to it being kenjougo or humble language)

March 5, 2018
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