Also, imagine you're asking someone to do something. You finish asking him. And then you just say the word "please" as a separate sentence. The word you would use in Japanese is "お願いします" or less polite "お願い".
You can't say just "下さい" since it's linked to a verb, for example: 聞いてください (please listen), それをください (please give me that), ちょっとまってください (please wait a little bit/wait a minute). It is an imperative form of the verb 下さる which means "to give", the less polite form is くれる, the imperative of which is "くれ", so in casual conversation ください is often replaced with くれ.
You can also read here in which situations each of these is used.
I read that kudasai is used when talking to someone you are superior to or asking for something that you are entitled to like a teacher asking for homework. Onegaishimasu is used when asking for a favour or when requesting something from a stranger. Onegaishimasu is used a lot when requesting a service e.g. when requesting a taxi
In detail? Well, you asked for it f(^_^;
I'll get the quick answers out of the way first. Yes, します has a literal meaning, although it is polite as well. And yes, this phrase is often shortened to 「お願い（おねがい）」in casual speech.
About explaining this word, I can think of two possible ways to break it down, but I'm not sure which is more correct. Both come from modifying the verb 願う（ねがう）which means "to wish", or "to request"
1) The first option comes from modifying 願う to its noun stem, 願い, making it "a wish" or "a request". Many verbs follow this pattern, such as 休み meaning "holiday" or "rest". Here, お is added as an politeness prefix, also known as 丁寧語 teineigo. In this case, します can be interpreted very literally, as the polite present tense of する, meaning "to do".
Putting all of that together, the phrase as a whole translates along the lines of "I am making a request".
2) The alternative explanation is from a specific form of polite speech, 敬語 keigo, in Japanese which lowers the speaker's status, also called humble language or 謙譲語 kenjougo.
When referring to actions done by the speaker, there is a pattern for modifying verbs to show humility, which takes the form お + verb ます-stem + します. So, since the ます form of 願う is 願います, the ます-stem is 願い and it fits in between お and します to make our phrase.
In this case, the rough meaning is ever so slightly different from case 1. It translates roughly as "I am humbly requesting".
But, like I said, I'm not sure which of these interpretations is more correct and I'm definitely curious if anyone has a definitive answer.
I should also mention that the phrase お願いします retains very little of these literal meanings, and is used more to convey that general feeling.
You're right. This "ga" here has another pronunciation. It is an alophone for g. The same phenomenom happens in Spanish. We pronounce different "go" in "gota" (drop) and in "lago" (lake). This softer G occurs just between vowels. It is not about the quality of the recording.
Only you know the answer to that question.
...But more seriously: https://www.lingualift.com/blog/yoroshiku-onegaishimasu-meaning/
"The simplest, quickest and easiest way to understand yoroshiku onegaishimasu, and the less formal dozo yoroshiku is that it means both please and thank you. It's used to make a request and also to thank the person, either before or after they do it for you. Yoroshiku is the casual version that’s used among friends."
While it doesn't change the literal meaning whether you put it before or after the person has agreed to the request, the implication of you saying "onegaishimasu" after they agree to do it is that you're thanking them for going to the trouble of doing it.
Great article! I just have one issue with it, and it's the "either before or after they do it for you" part. Well, that and the inclusion/explanation of よろしくどうぞ, but that's a bit nit-picky f(^_^;
I think you understand it well enough, @V2Blast, but it's a little misleading when written like that. What you wrote was much better: "after they agree to do it".
Ooh, how do I explain this succinctly... おねがいします is perhaps the second most useful Japanese phrase, after すみません.
It's a stand-alone verb on its own, so it doesn't tag onto other verbs like "please" does in English (that's what ください does). As I've explained in earlier posts, the phrase comes from the verb meaning "to beg, to request", and most of the time you can think of it as something like "I beg of you" instead of "please".
Examples of when you could use this phrase:
- Someone offers to do something for you, and you (humbly) accept their offer: you buy new pants and the sales assistant offers to hem them for free -> おねがいします
- You want to (humbly) ask for someone's permission to do something: you explain to your boss that you need to take the afternoon off to look after your sick chihuahua -> おねがいします
- You want to (humbly) ask someone to do something for you: you want your guitarist friend to teach you how to play a song that will definitely get you all the ladies -> おねがいします
- Someone offers to give something to you, and you (humbly) accept their offer: your teacher knows you suck at studying and didn't take notes all semester and offers you an annotated copy of her lectures -> おねがいします
- You want to (humbly) ask for something: as the convenience store clerk is refilling the drinks fridge, you point at the Pocari Sweat and raise one finger -> おねがいします
They are completely different phrases.
おねがします roughly means "please", "I beg of you", etc.; please read some of the other comments on this page for a more thorough breakdown.
On the other hand, ございます is actually just a verb, and a somewhat archaic one at that. It literally means "to be, to exist", similar to あります, except more polite. It's mostly found in the polite forms of greetings, e.g. おはようございます ("good morning"), or stuffy business language.