24. How To Ask If Someone Is There

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Posting in Japanese? Leave a translation. It's good practice and helps others.

avatar JapanesePod101.com


Have you ever made a phone call in Japanese? Sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it :shock: At least now you know how to ask for the person you want to talk to ;)

avatar JapanesePod101.com

gary さん、
Konnichiwa. :smile:
Thank you for your post.
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

avatar gary

i love that the crows can be heard outside the studio in this video :) transports me directly to my memories of past visits to tokyo ;)

avatar JapanesePod101.com

Jaro san,
Konnichiwa. :smile:
Onegaishimasu and kudasai mean “please” however, they sometimes take different sentence structures.
Something o onegaishimasu and something o kudasai have the same meaning which is “please give me something.”
However, when you want to make sentences including verbs, for example, “please tell me” and “please speak English”, you have to use verb te-form and “kudasai.”
Oshiete kudasai
Eigo o hanashite kudasai.
If you use “onegaishimasu” here, it doesn’t make any sense.
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

avatar Jaro

what is the difference between onegaishimasu and kudasai?

avatar JapanesePod101.com

チュチュsan, :smile:
Firstly, the correct spelling konnichiwa is こんにちは because the ‘wa’ is a particle.
Same as this the ‘wa’ you mentioned in the first question is also ‘は.’
Regarding your second question, です is called copula verb and the equivalent meaning in English is ‘is’, ‘are’ and ‘am’ aslo follows adjectives and nouns.
However, あります is a verb so doesn’t need です.

Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

avatar チュチュ


I have a question. During the sketch part of the video, she sounds like saying “ひろこさん います
か” omitting the わ in the middle. Is it a common thing to omit it, or am I just not hearing it? :sweat_smile:

Another question I have is this: I realized that we haven’t been using です at the end of the sentences anymore. Is it because あります and います are already verbs that mean “to exist”? :innocent:


avatar JapanesePod101.com

Kevin san,

Both “kudasai “and “onegaishimasu” are used when making a request for items. “Kudasai” follows the object and the particle “o”.
“Onegaishimasu” can be replaced with “kudasai” when you want an object. It sounds a little more polite than using ‘kudasai’.

However, there are some situations when only “onegaishimasu” is used.
First, when you are making a request for service. For example, when you ask a taxi driver to drive to Shinjuku station, you should say “shinjuku eki made onegaishimadsu”. In this case “Shinjuku eki made kudasai” doesn’t make any sense.

Second, when you are asking for someone on the phone. For example, you would like to talk to Tomoko on the phone. However, her father answers. In this case you have to say “Tomoko san wo onegaishimadsu”. Otherwise it sounds like a proposal of marriage, “do you allow me to marry Tomoko?”.

For making requests that involve action, the verb “te form” must be added to “kudasai”. “Onegaishimasu” cannot be used in this case. For example, “matte kudasai” which means “please wait” is a correct sentence. However, “matte onegaishimasdu” is never used.

I hope this makes sense to you and you will be able to use “onegaishimasu” and “kudasai” correctly from now on.
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

avatar Kevin

Loving your lessons!
What is the difference between “kudasai” and “onegaishimasu.” I notice you sometimes end with kudasai or onegaishimasu in different sentences.
Thanks!!! :smile:

avatar JapanesePod101.com

konnichiwa :smile:
Glad to know you’re enjoying our lessons!

The reason of dropping some vowels is simply because it’s easier to pronounce in that way :grin:
It’s like we “link” words in English (i.g. “is it” being pronounced like “izit” instead of “is” “it”).

Natsuko (奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

avatar Ryan

Hey! Loving the lessons, they are really helpful!
I was just wondering, is there any real reason for people to omit or pronounce the ‘u’ in desu and masu?
For instance “Yuuhi-desu” and “Yuuhi-des”
Both are written the same way, but sometimes said differently.
I have heard it said both ways, but have found no real connection as to why either is said.
Thank you for reading!