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  5. "Please clean up."

"Please clean up."


July 11, 2017



そうじして like a command?


The -te form of a verb usually indicates a command


There's no particle because souji shimasu is a verb. Very common. Noun plus shimasu equals instant verb.


For verbs like 勉強する (benkyou suru) and 選択する (sentaku suru) and 掃除する (souji suru), the を is generally omitted (though I think it is acceptable but less common to include it as well).


Just like in Korean!

공부해요 ↔ 공부 해요


I did 掃除をしてください and it worked


Funny that in an earlier lesson we had to write "Can I get __?"as a translation for "kudasai" and "please" was completely unacceptable. Now here it is.


Kudasai like a polite way of saying "do this thing." So it's acceptable to say that in the context of asking for a thing, the English equivalent would be, "Can I get-" because it's how English speakers ask for things, but in Japanese it's like literally saying "Water, do this (request for me)." When asking for an action, kudasai is like saying "Clean, do this for me." Both are in a polite verb form in Japanese, but the main way English conveys politeness is by adding "please," so that's why "please" is added to the translation to keep the same context. Translating languages requires that it sounds more natural in both languages. Otherwise, translating Japanese literally to English would also sound like Yoda. (Clean, you must!)


When do we use : 1. Verbe + て 2. Verbe + して I'm confused.


verb te and verb shite are both te form of the verb. I memorised the te forms of verbs and how to change them to Silver Bells (I still use this). Here it is in case it is helpful to anyone else. Remember - to the tune of Silver Bells: う、つ、る - って u, tsu, ru - tte ぶ、む、ぬ ー んで bu, mu, nu - nde ぐ - いで、く - いて gu - ide, ku - ite す - して  su - shite are the te and ta bases! (the above are the verb endings of verbs in plain/dictionary form)


This is helpful, but I did have a little trouble lining it up with the meter of Silver Bells.


It is sung to the verse melody if that helps. It probably doesn't help that Duo doesn't keep the formatting that I typed it out in. Here it is again all in romaji this time.

u, tsu, ru - tte bu, mu, nu -nde (nun-nde sang as one note together) gu - ide ku - ite su - shite are the te and ta bases!

Remember the list of syllables are the endings of verbs in their plain/dictionary form. Only te bases are mentioned in my wee mnemonic but the same principles apply for ta bases - just substitute 'a' for the final 'e'. Hope this clears it up.


Any chance you can do a YouTube of the song so we could hear it?


When I type this into Google Translate it comes up as "Please Elephants" lmao


That's because Google Translate is schlecht! (it's rubbish!) I think I can see why Google Translate made that mistake though - the Japanese word for elephant is ぞう so clearly it has mistakenly そうじ for ぞう, but really it shouldn't make these kinds of errors. They are very different words and Google Translate overlooked a character and offered you a ungrammatical sentence. Don't rely on Google Translate ; )


What would "soujishimasu o kudasai" mean?


That wouldn't make sense.


If I had to try to brute-force translate this at my current skill level, making it sound as wrong in English as it does in Japanese, this would be something like "Can you please be doing to the act of cleaning?"


The syntax (of insincere's sentence) is incorrect. insincere's sentence could not and does not exist. (Just clarifying for people who got upset thinking that I was talking about what they said when I wasn't)


The syntax of "Can you please be doing to the act of cleaning?" is also incorrect. That was my point - to write an English sentence that was incorrect in the same way as the Japanese one, but still meant the same thing.

掃除します - (Someone) cleans

ください - Please (give this) / Please do (this)

を - Object

Thus: please do (something) to the act of cleaning.

(Parenthetical edit: Ana, I already understood your comment that way before the parenthetical edit, and my response remains the same: not upset, just explaining myself to anyone who may have totally missed my point.)


Actually, 掃除します means I/you/we/they clean so if you were going to "translate" this sentence it would be more like - Please give I clean


It would be as weird as "One I will clean please" in English.


Dear insincere, your example sentence would not and cannot exist in Japanese. When using kudasai to make polite commands the verb proceeding it must be in the - te form - so souji shimasu becomes souji shite + kudasai - Please clean. Souji shimasu is in the present active tense and can be translated as I/you/s/he/we/they clean (because Japanese verb endings don't change to show person or who is doing the action ie. I, you, we). Also the particle wo follows direct objects in a sentence or nouns - souji shimasu is a verb and therefore cannot be a direct object. Hope this helps.


souji shimasu means to clean. It would not be paired with kudasai which is used for polite commands. souji shimasu is not in an imperative or command form and cannot be used in this way. Also wo follows the direct object of a sentence - souji shimasu is a verb and is not a direct object.


wouldn't it be 掃除をしてください ? Its missing the particle


It's not missing a particle - そうじ します is a compound verb made up of a noun そうじ (clean) and a verb します meaning to do. Compound verbs like this are really common in Japanese - here are a few examples : )

べんきょう します - study + to do = to (do) study

りょうり します - cook(ing) + to do = to (do) cook(ing)

りょこう します - travel + to do = to (do) travel

あかし します - testify/witness + to do = to (do) testify/witness


掃除 [そうじ] - cleaning


I know we've been here a lot, but "Can I get.... " is NOT the English equivalent of asking POLITELY for something in most of the English-speaking world. Only in the USA, as far as I know. It is a way of asking, but it is generally the complete opposite of polite. Except in the USA. Thank you.

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