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"Please excuse me."


July 16, 2017



Not correct to say, "sumimasen onegaishimasu?"



Sumimasen, as I heard, inherits from its origin the meaning of I can't have a peaceful mind.

Onegaishimasu means I hope that you…

So they don't go together.


Lol, you'd basically be saying I hope you don't have a peaceful mind


Why is that like even a phrase tho lmao



Because words make phrases?

That's sort of how language works.


That's good to know, and "kudasai" is something else, too? I'm confused about why "domo" comes at the start but "onegaishimasu / kudasai" are at the end.


Kudasai is the Keigo (respect form) of くれ which is related to くれる To Give


Please wait (Literally: Please give me your waiting)

Domo has its origin meaning "No matter how, words can't express…". Today we can almost use it like すごくVery/Extremely. It works like an adverb so it often comes at the beginning, as we say (I am) very grateful, (I have been) very impolite. When it is used at the end it is because the "thank you" at the end is implied.

"onegaishimasu / kudasai" are verbs, so they are at the end.


What's the difference between douzo and doumo?


Domo is impolite way for thanks. Example, if someone pass something to you, you can use domo instead of arigato; Where dozo is like please go ahead, like when you giving way to another person you said dozo.

But later I found out that Domo can also refer to "very" Dozo can refer to "please".

Domo arigato = thank you very much Dozo yoroshiku = please to meet you.


doesnt onegaishimasu mean please


This is what confuses me as well. According to the quizzes, "onegai" and "onegaishimasu" mean please, but in this sentence neither is used and in stead domo is used for please, when this normally means thanks? Or very much? And no where does it state why, it simply tells you when you are wrong... so confused!

Why is it not "onegai tsunimasen"???

Wouldn't this sentence actually mean "excuse me very much" as it does when used with arigato?

Any clarification would be greatly appreciated :)


There are several posts further down this page that answer this question,

This is more an issue with English having a very versatile use of "please" whereas Japanese uses different forms for different contexts. It is also a case of the literal translations of each phrase not perfectly lining up with the conversational equivalents in the other language.

どうも is an amplifier, ”very (sorry)", "much (thanks)", "quite (regret)"

"Excuse me" in English is a request for forgiveness/dismissal but it isn't in Japanese.
すみません is the negative of the verb 済む "to feel at ease, to be finished". It is more literally saying "I do not feel at ease, it is not finished" for having inconvenienced someone. It wouldn't make sense to add a request word like "please" in this context, but it does make sense to amplify that feeling of unease, which is why we use どうも instead. It amplifies "excuse me" in the same way that "please" does in English, but we do not say "Very excuse me" in English, that sounds unnatural.


But I've seen (in this app), yoroshiku onegaishinasu meaning and "nice to meet you". How would that work with "I hope that you..."? Or did I get that wrong?


There is no really good conversational equivalent to よろしく and its many forms in English. As it is most often used at the end of an introduction it often gets translated to "nice to meet you" as the closest naturalization but that isn't really what it means at all.

よろしく is the adverbial form of the adjective よろしい "good, fine, well"
お願いします broken down is お an honorific prefix, 願い 'a wish, a request' します polite form of the verb する "to do" so most literally means "To do a polite wish/request" which we naturally translate to "please"
よろしくお願いします is then most literally "kindly, please"
It can be thought of "Please treat me kindly/favorably" or "Please take care of me" to wish your relationship with that person going forward is good. This phrase is also often used when asking for favors from someone.

はじめまして is the more literal "nice to meet you" meaning "for the first time" that you would use at the beginning of your introduction.


Thank you so much. I feel like duolingo is great for memorizing hiragana and katakana, but when we get to actual sentences it's just ok. Turns out we have several phrases that translate similarly to english, but depend a lot on context and situation, which we don't learn here. The "root" of the words and phrases is also very important and quite interesting.

Doumo arigato gouzaimasu ^^


I wrote: すみません、ごめなさい why was that incorrect? Please? Thank you so much for your time in advance


すみません is a polite apology "Excuse me" or "I'm sorry" (for having inconvenienced you) you would usually use with strangers/superiors.
ごめんなさい is a bit of a more personal/heartfelt apology "I'm sorry" (for having wronged you) you would usually use with peers/family/friends

The sentence here isn't two separate phrases "excuse me, I am sorry" though, just a singule phrase "please excuse me"
どうもすみません is "excuse me" amplified with the use of どうも "very, quite, much"


What's the difference between どうぞ, どうも, and ください? I understand all three to roughly mean "please", but I don't know the precise meaning of them and which context to use them in.


Just a quick and incomplete note:
どうぞ: When you give permission to the listener to do something, as if you are a host. e.g. Please (go inside my home), Please (start eating), etc.
どうも: To intensify a succeeding polite phrase. See above.
ください: To ask the listener to give you something or do something for you. e.g. お茶をください, 読んでください.


Comments like these make me wish Duolingo would have a "save comment" feature


I normally take screenshots of them so i could write them down later


To save comments is a great idea


Thank you so much! This was incredibly helpgul.


What about "どうか" I found it too in translations of "please" from duolingo


that made everything so clear. wish it was pinned on the tips section instead #duolingo


Domou means thank you, douzo means please


If you click on the word youre translating before giving your answer, it tells you the meaning of the word


Clicking on word 'Please' this particular time Duolingo said the word was both どうもand どうぞ with no explanation on the differences between them.


One single app can't teach the immense complexities of a language. Duolingo is excellent for practice and the chats also help. I use Duolingo and Obenkyo for practice. Obenkyo for general explaination on grammar, structure, etc, Jisho Dictionary is my favorite dictionary with really good and comprehensive definitions. Speaky to find people to practice with. The best approach is diversify your learning platform.


Why is it wrong to say "dozo sumimasen"?


As I understand, どうぞ is used for offerish phrases, like "follow me, please" So this would be like "I invite you to excuse me" which is kind of rude. Correct me if I am wrong please


how about 失礼します doesn't this also mean excuse me?


失礼します :しつれいします: shitsureshimasu; is understood as "please excuse me" but it is a phrase used to humble yourself. this type of Japanese is 介護:かいご:kaigo. Your right is should be accepted.


Fun fact: You use this phrase when entering someone's home or when excusing yourself from the School Faculty.


When would it happen that one must use 「失礼します」 for entering the abodes of others?


Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't 「すいません」 be just as acceptable as 「すみません」? I've heard native Japanese speakers say it like that plenty of times before.


I looked it up and I read that 「すいません」 is kinda like a lazy way of saying 「すみません」. Like in English, we say " 'cuse me" all the time, but we really wouldn't write it like that. So maybe they won't accept 「すいません」 because they wouldn't write it like that.


I've literally never heard someone say "cuse me".


I think he means more "scuse me" (one syllable scuse rather then a two syllable ex-cuse me) - I hear this a lot in Australia, we love our slang and lazy speech.


What's the difference between すみません and ごめんなさい?


As much as I understand, sumimasen is more like "excuse me" and gomennasai is like "I'm sorry"


I think ごめんなさい is when you are apologising for your actions or your done something wrong. すみません is kinda like excuse me, but Japanese use it also to get attention of someone like waiter in a restaurant.


So どうも serves multiple meanings depending on the context ?


when walking into a formal room (such as someone's office or a house that doesn't belong to you and they don't know you're there)

it's best to say しつれいします (失礼します)which is like "excuse my intrusion)


With no context, how are we supposed to know this is すみません instead of ごめなさぃ ?


Well, this course translates ごめんなさい into "(I'm) sorry".


What's the difference between domo and dozo?




As far as I know, Domo is like "very much"/ (thank you when you use Domo alone) and dozo is "here you are"


Yeah, the first comment is right. I want to add, however, that どうぞ is not just, "here you are," it's also like the "please" in, "Please come in," or "Please have some." It is, in general, said when offering something.


I was under thr impression that doumo was another way of saying thanks,


I think ive just foujd my answer (Doumo) is to intensify a pharse.


what's difference between どうぞ and どうも


It's already been addressed in this comment section and in lessons, but why not... For one, they're different words with different components with different meanings. Check the romaji: "doumo" & "douzo" - see, there's a difference in the pronunciation... They're both polite terms, but you don't have to try to connect the two. They can be used in the same conversation but not for the same reason.

「どうも」(dou・mo) - "Thanks" or a sign of gratitude that may also be used to emphasize polite sentiments.

「どうぞ」(dou・zo) - Essentially "here you go" as a polite offering which can be interpreted as "please, take one" or "this is for you" or even "have at it" depending on the context.

Again, they're different, so I wouldn't recommend pairing them up in your mind while you're learning the basics. If you must, think of them as things host & guest would say to each other. If you're a host offering a seat to a guest, you're not going to say "thanks" much like they wouldn't say "here" when taking that seat.


wouldn't 「ごめん」or 「 ごめんなさい」also work?


(you may want to look at the comments above for a better explanation) From what I've understood, it wouldn't be 100% wrong. It depends on what you understand by "excuse me". I believe this course usually translates 「ごめん」as "I am sorry". That's because "please excuse me" (here as 「どうもすみません」 is something polite you say when you want to address some stranger or maybe when you are asking someone to hand you the salt that's on the other table. You know what I mean right? While "I am sorry" (translated here as 「ごめん」or「ごめんなさい」) is something you would say when you really messed up (did something wrong); let's say you deleted your friend's duolingo account on which he already had a 1000days streak, we can assume that that account was important to him so you aren't just saying "excuse me" as something polite, you are actually truly "sorry". I already said this, but I believe you are not wrong saying 「ごめん」, it's all about how that "please excuse me" is actually used you know. This course just considers that the two expressions are usually used like I explained above. And like I said, that's just what I understood from everyone discussing about it here, I'm still learning myself ;)


Ok. Im confused. So here doumo means sorry, but isn't it often before thank you as well? Or is that a different spelling? Because I thought douzo meant sorry. May be a silly question but im still pretty new


Don't worry, questions are what makes you improve.

Doumo is some sort of amplifier. It doesn't mean sorry. If u put it before sumimasen like in どうもすみません then it means like please excuse me. If u put it before arigatou like どうもありがとう it means something like "thank you so much" or "thanks a lot". Notice that doumo by itself usually also means thanks. But remember, if it's placed in front of something else it's probably the amplifier.

Now douzo (which btw has nothing to do with doumo, they just sound similar) basically means "here you go" or "here you are". Putting it before yoroshiku like どうぞよろしくmeans like "here you go, please treat me well" but is commonly used as a "nice to meet you". Also if I ask you for an apple (りんごをください) you can say douzo while giving it to me basically like "there you go".

Hope I made it kinda clear, feel free to keep scrolling through the comments, you might find better explanations. I'm pretty new as well btw :)


Definitely look at the comments above, there are two guys who explained it pretty well and went even further


So this literally means "thanks, excuse me"? Or am i missing something?


どうも is an amplifier "very (sorry) much (thanks) quite (regret)"
It is similar to the function of "please" amplifying "excuse me" in "please excuse me". すみません more literally means "I do not feel at ease" and it is used to amplify that feeling of uneasiness for having inconvenienced someone.

When it is by itself it is used as a casual 'thanks' as an abbreviation of どうもありがとう


I've heard that どうも is rarely used in Japan. Saying this is really not necessary right? It's okay to just say すみません? And it will still be polite?


I'm sure you can hear it used from time to time in Japan. Often it is used for thankfulness.
Just a side note that politeness depends on the context. すみません would be good for daily life occasions, but in specific context (such as a salesperson to a customer), すみません is not polite enough. It is outside the scope of Duolingo though.


What would you use in place of すみません in those specific contexts? I'm still sort of untangling all of this in my brain.


Yes it's totally fine, use it all the time, someone drops something you say sumimasen (excuse me but you dropt it..) someone stands in your way on your way out of the train sumimasen( your in my way can i come through?) Its a really useful wird once your in japan


Would it sound rude if someone decided to say such words as すみません or 申し訳ありません as すみます and 申し訳あります, kind of like saying "Excuse you" in English?


So apparently すみません comes from 済みません、itself from 済ます、meaning to finish, and I guess in this case it wouldn't even mean something on its own. Not sure about 申し訳あります though.


oh wait, there's another verb using the same root: 済む, the true root of すみません, while 済ます should be related to すまない/すまん


Doesnt itterashai work too? いてらしゃい


いってらっしゃい is said to a customer coming into a store/restaurant etc. by the owner of said place


oh wait that was いらっしゃいませ, sorry


but still, いってらっしゃい has nothing to do with "Excuse me please". It is the most common reply to 「いってきます」.


Can someone tell me the difference between domo and dozo?


Its supose to be"すみませんでした"


Why domo and not dozo?


どうも doumo excuse me = sumimasen. Dōmo sumimasen (dohh-moh soo-mee-mah-sehn; I'm very sorry.)


not me thinking doumo means THAnKS hELLO(


Everywhere I look どうも is "thanks" This is the only place I'm seeing it as "please". Is it because it's written with すみません...which I understood to mean excuse me but I'm also seeing I'm sorry. Just to clarify, どうもis actually please and not thanks?


どうも acts as an intensifier "(very) sorry", "(much) thanks", but in English we don't say "very excuse me", we use the word "please" instead for that. So while it doesn't actually mean "please" it serves the function that "please" does in this specific expression.

どうも by itself is a casual "thanks" as well as a casual greeting


Thank you for this.


"very excuse me" does not mean please, what? How does that make sense?


"very excuse me" isn't correct phrasing in English, which is my entire point. We do not say "very excuse me", instead we say "please excuse me" with "please" being an emphasized request for the action of excusing to be done.

すみません literally means "I do not feel at ease (for having inconvenienced you) and どうも amplifies that feeling (very, quite, much unease). In the Japanese we are emphasizing the feeling of unease, and it wouldn't make sense to add a literal request "please" to the Japanese.

The English form is a request for forgiveness, but the Japanese form is an expression of regret.
Translating isn't always a perfect 1:1, especially in languages that are so different and with fixed expressions. The sentiments conveyed and situational usage between "please excuse me" and どうもすみません are equivalent but their literal translations are not.


what's difference between douzo and doumo ?


Is ごめん、ください wrong?


Edit: Going to leave original in place below, but I just noticed I misread the question. Must have been super tired. 「ください」 means "please" though it's also used to make some phrases more polite/humble. However, I haven't heard it used with 「ごめん」... To make the this more polite, you can add -nasai at the end like so: 「ごめんなさい」

Below is the response I wrote while thinking you asked about 「ごめん、すみません」 (my bad)

Technically? Debatable. Practically? Yes, that's wrong. I mean, grammatically, there's no problem with using them in two separate thoughts. However, they're both apologetic terms with different implications. ごめん is a sorry that you tell your friend because you promised to pick them up from the gym at 6, but your phone died and no alarm reminded you, so they had to walk 15km to get home while they were already exhausted. In that situation, you're pleading for forgiveness and acknowledging that you really messed up. すみません is a polite formality when trying to get someone's attention or acknowledging that you're being a bit of a pain for bumping into someone or some other trivial inconvenience.

Disclaimer: I'm still learning, but no, I'm pretty sure you can't say that instead. 「どうもすみません」 is just a more meaningful/polite way of saying "excuse me."


One more thing, do you know why we use どうも but can't use どうず? Are we just kinda supposed to memorize which is used when or is there a rule or a specific logic behind it? (Also sorry if my english isn't the best °^°)


I think you mean どうぞ (douzo) instead of どうず (douzu). In that case, please read my response to an earlier comment made by hanane (at time of writing, it's a little above this comment thread). In fact, this has been mentioned by other commenters, too. In short, どうも (doumo) & どうぞ (douzo) are separate words that sound similar because only the last syllable is different, however they are still different. どうも is thanks or a way to convey more feeling with some words. どうぞ is used when offering someone something - like "here, please take this."

By the way, your English is perfectly fine. I assumed you were a native speaker. If there is anything you didn't understand and would like me to simplify or reword, let me know.


ありがとうございます、Theory先輩 :)


Thanks a lot ::))) that's exactly the explanation I needed :)


I think 失礼します is a better translation for "Please excuse me."


I wrote [すみませんでした] and it said it was incorrect, could someone explain why?


Does Duolingo seperate the characters to challenge us or should they be seperate with a space in a sentence??


Duolingo's word bank is automatically generated based off of where it thinks words are.
どうも and すみません are separate words but there are no spaces in Japanese so the full phrase appears as one long one どうもすみません.
(You might also see the ~ません negative verb ending separated from the stem of the verb because the stem of the verb is also used to create the positive, past, and negative past inflections; so separating the stem from the ending gives you most options to choose from)


wasn't it supposed to be どうそすみません?


My answer ごめんなさい was mistake ?


How to use domo


The hint says どうぞ AND どうも yet どうぞ was considered wrong....


This is more an issue with English have a very versatile use of "please" whereas Japanese uses different forms for different contexts. It is also a case of the literal translations of each phrase not perfectly lining up with the conversational equivalents in the other language.

どうぞ is a request or invitational "please" similar to "go ahead", "here you are/go", "be my guest", "help yourself"

どうも is an amplifier, ”very (sorry)", "much (thanks)", "quite (regret)"

"Excuse me" in English is a request for forgiveness/dismissal but it isn't in Japanese.
すみません is the negative of the verb 済む "to feel at ease, to be finished". It is more literally saying "I do not feel at ease, it is not finished" for having inconvenienced someone. It wouldn't make sense to add a request "please" in this context, but it does make sense to amplify that feeling of unease, which is why we use どうも instead. It amplifies "excuse me" in the same way that "please" does in English.


Ah, I get it now! Thank you for this clear answer! :) You have explained it very well. Thanks :-D


Is お願いします and どうもすみません are same


They are very different,
お願いします is "please", more literally "make a (polite) wish/request"

すみません is a polite "excuse me" more literally "I do not feel at ease (for having inconvenienced you)" which has been amplified to "please excuse me" with the use of どうも "very, much, quite" (but 'very excuse me' doesn't make any sense in English. We instead use 'please' as an amplifier)


Doumo means here you are and o ne gaisimasu means please. I am confuse


どうも "doumo" has several meanings but mainly it is an amplifier for other phrases. "Much (thanks)", "Very (sorry)" "Quite (regret)". By itself it is a casual "thanks" as an abbreviated form of どうもありがとう "Thank you very much". It can also be used as a casual greeting "hello"

どうぞ "douzo" is "please" often used in invitations for someone else to do something "(please) accept this, go ahead, be my guest, by all means, you're welcome to, feel free, if it pleases you, etc."

In a more informal setting if you are handing someone a gift you would say どうぞ "here you go/please take this", if you are accepting the gift you would then thank them with どうも "thanks"

お願いします is "please" when making a request
お - honorific prefix
願い・ねがい "A wish, a request"
します the polite form of the verb する "do"
So more literally "do an (honorable) request/wish"

すみません is the negative form of the verb 済む "to feel at ease, to be finished"
more literally you are saying "I do not feel at ease (for having inconvenienced you)"
This feeling of uneasiness is then amplified with the amplifying word どうも
Also explained in the comments right above this:



Why does duolingo say "thanks" is equal to doumo and douzo. Which is it????


Similar question answered above:

It's not that どうも means "please" literally, just that it is the closest natural English equivalant for this specific phrase. どうも is an amplifier, and amplifies the feeling of すみません in the same way that "please" amplifies "excuse me"


I mean please not thanks.


Whats the difference of doumo and douzo? And whats douka?


どうも is an amplifier, "Much (thanks)", "Very (sorry)", "Quite (regret)". Here it is used with すみません which is the polite negative form of 済む "to feel at ease" so it is enhancing that feeling of uneasiness, you are very regretful for inconveniencing someone.
By itself it is used as an abbreviation of どうもありがとう to mean a casual "thanks"

どうぞ is "please" and is used in invitational situations like "go ahead, be my guest, you are welcome to, feel free to, here you go," etc.

For instance, when giving a gift to someone or offering your seat to someone, you would say どうぞ "Please" to invite them to take it, and they would respond with どうも "Thanks" in return.

どうか can be used as an amplifier specifically in making requests. While どうぞ can be used in an offering/invitational way, どうか cannot.
どうか許してください "Please forgive me" (amplifier)(do forgiveness)(please)

This use of どうか is less common though and not something you really need to know for most everyday conversation; you're more likely to hear どうか in other contexts, such as in the form of かどうか meaning "whether or not..."/"If..."
or どうかな "I wonder..."
明日までに行くかどうか教えて "Let me know by tomorrow whether you are going or not"


Doesn't どうぞ instead of どうも workout?


No. These two terms are different. See directly above for a bunch of comments explaining the difference. I know it's tempting to lump them together and assume they can be used interchangeably (mostly because of how they sound), but details matter.

ぞ != も They rhyme, but that's about it.


Douzo is also used for please


ye but he didnt give me the circle at the end


The little circle is just a Japanese period/full stop. Duo doesn't grade punctuation, so it isn't provided in the word bank.


When I wrote doumo for please, they siad it's wrong, and the correct answer was onegaishimasu. Now it says doumo means please. How am I supposed to know the difference?


This has been answered a few times on this page,

It's not that どうも means "please" literally, just that it is the closest natural English equivalent for this specific phrase. どうも is an amplifier, and amplifies the feeling of すみません in the same way that "please" amplifies "excuse me"

This is more an issue with English having a very versatile use of "please" whereas Japanese uses different forms for different contexts. It is also a case of the literal translations of each phrase not perfectly lining up with the conversational equivalents in the other language.

どうぞ is a request or invitational "please" similar to "go ahead", "here you are/go", "be my guest", "help yourself"

どうも is an amplifier, ”very (sorry)", "much (thanks)", "quite (regret)"

"Excuse me" in English is a request for forgiveness/dismissal but it isn't in Japanese.
すみません is the negative of the verb 済む "to feel at ease, to be finished". It is more literally saying "I do not feel at ease, it is not finished" for having inconvenienced someone. It wouldn't make sense to add a request "please" in this context, but it does make sense to amplify that feeling of unease, which is why we use どうも instead. It amplifies "excuse me" in the same way that "please" does in English.


I'm japanese. I don't use doumo sumimasen!


But どうぞ means please then why use どうも which is use as thank you


Ii wrote the phrase correctly, but Duolingo decided that it's wrong....


Without sharing your exact answer, either a screenshot or copy-paste, your fellow learners here will not be able to offer you any advice as to why it was marked incorrect. You most likely had a typo that you missed.


どうも and どうぞ can be used on すみません?


When saying please excuse me why is it domo sumimasen instead of dozo simimasen when dozo means please and domo means thanks


Wouldn't どうぞ add more politeness to "excuse me"? So why is it どうも? Didn't it add more emphasis to thank you??ʕ´• ᴥ•̥`ʔ


I was told that gomenasai is please. What does it mean then? Thanq you!


Gomen'nasai (ごめんなさい) means "I'm sorry" everytime I see it, I haven't seen any situation where it meant "please". But I'm still a beginner myself, so I can't be entirely sure.

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