What is the difference between Kudasai and Onegai?

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So much kudasai [ください] and onegaishimasu [お願いします] are used when placing an order, and can be translated literally as "Please". But do you know the difference between the 2? When to use each one? In this article we will answer this big question.

What does kudasai mean?

The word kudasai [下さい] can literally be translated as please, give it to me or do something for me. It can be used either to ask for specific things like objects or to ask someone for a favor.

Kudasai is the way imperative (命令形) of the verb Kudasaru, which is the humble way of describing someone giving something to you. As the low character [下] illustrates, you are literally passing something down to someone. The verb can mean both giving and receiving.

The Japanese language has a construction where elastic verbs like ageru, kureru, morau, sashiageru, kudasaru and itadaku associated with form you [て] gives the meaning of doing something for the benefit or benefit of someone.

Qual a diferença entre kudasai e onegai?

What does onegai mean?

Onegai [お願い] comes from the ideogram [願] which means desire, vote, request and prayer. The word can literally mean request and desire, in addition to please. O shimasu It's from verb suru it means to do.

Onegai”Also derives from the verb“deny"Which literally means" to pray for (something) "or" to wish (something) ". There is also the noun without the [お] that has the objective of being honorable and polishing the word.

Onegai it is most often used to ask for help in certain situations that involve interaction, learning and communication with another person.

According to the kanji concept, he kind of makes a plea, so that the other party doesn't feel obligated. In Japanese culture it is considered rude to ask or to impose things, for this the person needs to beg.

What is the difference between kudasai and onegai?

The phrases below can be used either the Onegai like the Kudasai:

Kitte wo kudasai.
切手をください.
Please give me stamps.
Kitte (wo) onegaishimasu.
切手(を)お願いします.
Please give me stamps.
Mizu wo kudasai.
水をください.
Water please.
Mizu (wo) onegaishimasu.
水(を)お願いします.
Water please.

The 2 situations can use any of the 2, it is clear that the use of the wo particle is not mandatory when using onegai. However, there are some situations where only “onegaishimasu” is used.

(1) When asking to do any service.

Tokyo eki made onegaishimasu. 
東京駅までお願いします。
Tokyo Station, please. (with a taxi driver)
Yoyaku wo onegai dekimasu ka.
予約をお願いできますか。
Can I make a reservation?
Kokusai denwa onegaishimasu.
国際電話お願いします。
Telephone call abroad, please.
(on the phone)

(2) When asking to speak to someone on the phone: 

Kazuko-san onegaishimasu.
和子さんお願いします。
Can I speak to Kazuko?

In the verbs in the form “te”, when asking for an action (such as: listen, speak, answer) the “Kudasai”Should be used, in these cases the onegai can not be used.

Chotto matte kudasai.
ちょっと待ってください。
Wait a moment please.
Nihongo wo Oshiete kudasai.
日本語を教えてください。
Please teach me Japanese.
Ashita kite kudasai.
明日来てください。
Please come tomorrow.

O Onegai can be used together with a verb / action if it comes at the beginning of the sentence, in these cases します (shimasu) is not used. See some examples below:

Onegai, watashi ni hanashite.
お願い、私に話して。
Please talk to me.
Onegai, shinanai of.
お願い、死なないで。
Please don't die.
Nee, wait.
ねえ、お願い。
Hey, give it to me.

From these examples we can conclude that:

お願いします (onegaishimasu) is used:

  • When we ask for things, the particle wo [を] is not necessary;
  • When drawing someone's attention; for example, a waiter / waitress;
  • Use onegaishimasu when requesting a service that you cannot perform;
  • Use onegaishimasu when asking someone over the phone;
  • In informal cases, only Onegai can be used;
  • Tell onegaishimasu it is as if you were saying, "I entrust this to you";

ください (kudasai) is used:

  1. After the particle wo [];
  2. When asking for something that involves an action, along with the verb in the form -you [て];

I hope this article has helped you understand the difference between speaking kudasai and onegai. If you liked it, share and comment! You may also want to see the 72 different ways to thank in Japanese.

Sources: japanese.about.com, japaneseverbconjugator, jisho.org