Gozaimasu and Gozaru – What It Really Means

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You must have heard the word enjoy [ございます] in expressions like ohayou, omedetou and arigatou gozaimasu. So what the hell does the expression curtiimasu mean? Many claim that it means “a lot” of thank you (arigatou gozaimashita), but does it really mean that?

The word go-za-i-ma-su (御座います) is composed of the characters honorable [御] and position [御] and is usually written only with hiragana. The main meaning of the word is to be, exist or have. This word is mostly used in keigo, instead of arimasu [あります] or desu [です].

Her appearance in expressions like thank you or congratulations gives an impression of strength, but in reality she is expressing humility and politeness. Using these expressions without enjoy it is common when we are among friends or intimate people that we do not need to use formality.

Gozaimasu and curtiru - what does it really mean

Gozaru – The origin of Gozaimasu

To understand the true meaning of gozaimasu (ございます) we must first understand its origin. The word gozaimasu is nothing but a formal version of the verb gozaru [御座る] which is the verb to be (in English the famous verb to be). If you've watched anime or samurai movies, you must have heard endless phrases ending in curtiru.

In the past, curtiru was literally the polite form of aru;iru [ある;いる], only it was used for both people and inanimate objects. Currently curtiru is only used in Japanese in the forms gozaimasu, gozaimashita, gozaimashitara and the famous desu which is a contraction of degozaru (でござる).

Sometimes when we talk about the verb to be in Japanese, some have misconceptions. To try to simplify the being of the verb curtiru and derivatives better, we can compare it with the [=] sign in sentences where we are saying things like [My name = Kevin]. I don't think I need to mention that gozaimashita is the past tense of curtiru in the masu form.

Gozaimasu and curtiru - what does it really mean

Using the expression gozaimasu

You won't hear the verb gozaimasu just when they say good morning, thank you or congratulations. If you go to a restaurant, the employees there will probably use keigo and say gozaimasu instead of aru. To finish the article, we will leave some example sentences for you to understand more about this subject:

Responsive Table: Scroll the table to the side with your finger >>
We have something special for you, sir. (dish)特別料理がございますが。Tokubetsu ryōri ga gozaimasuga.
Do you have a particular style in mind?特にお望みの型はございますか。Tokuni o nozomi no kata wagozaimasuka.
This is an operator.交換台でございますKōkandai degozaimasu
Do you have any messages?何かご伝言はございますか。Nanika go dengon wagozaimasuka.
we have safesセーフティーボックスがございます。Sēfutībokkusu gagozaimasu.
How many pieces of luggage do you have?お荷物はいくつございますか。O nimotsu wa ikutsu gozaimasuka.
We also have some local wines.いくつかこの土地のワインもございます。Ikutsu ka kono tochi no wain mogozaimasu.

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