何か頼みたい時には、”can, could, will, would, would you mind” を使います。依頼表現には、どの位ていねいかという程度に少し違いがあります。依頼する例文と、お願いされた時の答え方を見てみましょう。

 can / will(たのむ)
 could / would(おねがい)
 Would you mind(よりていねい)

依頼 例文
Can /
you get a ticket for me?
- チケットを買ってくれませんか
Could /
you help me with this suitcase?
- このスーツケース運ぶのを、手伝っていただけますか。
Would you mind opening the window for me?
- 窓を開けていただいてもよろしいですか。
Would you mind bringing us more water?
- もう少し水を持ってきていただけますか。
はい いいえ
Yes, I can/will.
Of course.
I’m sorry. I can’t. ごめんなさい。
Not at all.
No problem.
I’m afraid I can’t. 残念ですが

* 文末に “please” を追加すると、より ていねいな表現になります。 *

Would you mind ~? / Do you mind ~? は直訳すると、「~したら嫌ですか?」となります。その返答は、
→ No = 嫌ではない。差し支えない。かまわない。
→ Yes = それは嫌だ。悪いけどダメ。残念ながら無理。
誤解を避けるために “Would you mind ~?” の質問には、”Yes"ではなく、"Sure""not at all" で答えましょう(”Yes, I would mind" は嫌だと解釈されてしまうので)。”No problem.” も覚えやすいですね。

では、レストランで依頼するにはどんな言い方ができるでしょうか。旅行中はどうですか。 依頼の練習例をコメントに残してみましょう。


July 18, 2017


The English words can and will, could and would do not mean the same thing. Can is used when you are asking the ability of a person, as in "Can you sing?" 歌うことができますか。 Will is used mostly in questions of what will happen in the future "Will you sing for us?" 私たちのために歌いますか。 Could has the meaning that implies probability, "Could you sing?" 歌うことができますか (可能性がありますか)。 Would is the correct word to use for requests, " Would you sing?" 歌ってくれますか。

Would you mind, has the literal meaning of 気になりますか。 ”Would you mind if opened window?” 窓を開けてもよろしいですか。 窓を開けたら気になりますか。 So depending on the circumstances, asking a waiter "Would you mind bringing a glass of water?" could be considered rude or pushy. Since there is not a condition where a person should mind doing their job.

In casual use many English speakers use these words incorrectly, and this results in the impression that these words are interchangeable. However since this is a English language course, I thought it would be best to clarify that the usage on this table is technically wrong.

I think that trying to directly translate the levels of politeness in Japanese to American English in general usage terms is pretty much impossible. If you have an 依頼 usage、if you just use "would you please" "would you _, please" all the time then there is no doubt of mistaken meaning.

I am a 50 year old college educated native English speaker.

July 18, 2017

I see your point, but let me try to explain about this post. Yes, there's no way the Japanese translation could exactly match all the possible situations in English sentences. However, in this post about making request, "can / will / could / would" can be used in different settings for making request. If you are asking somebody to do something in a casual settings, "can you ~?" or "will you ~?" are perfectly fine ways to ask. "Can you take the trash out?" 「ゴミ出しといてくれる!」 "Will you give me the staplers when you are done? 「ホッチキス使い終わったら渡してくれる?」"Can" and "will" are not interchangeable but they both can be used for request.(形式ばらない依頼)Other usage of "can / will" and "could / would" are coming in the future posts.(お楽しみに。)

As for "Would you mind bringing a glass of water?", I would say it's really up to how you say it. In the normal situations, it is a polite way for requesting. Introducing this expression to Japanese users is important, because the answers can be confusing. This is a post to understand English in Japanese, not the other way around. I don't think trying to match all the 敬語 with English is not the objectives here. Interestingly enough, 「~してくれますか。」would imply the meaning of both ability and willingness in Japanese. 「~していただけますか。」is quite close to "could" and "would" in the level of politeness, don't you say? If you have more concerns, please comment. If there are any mistakes, we are more than willing to fix them. Thank you for your participation in forum.

July 19, 2017