What is the difference between Kudasai and Onegai?


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.

What is the difference between kudasai and 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.
Please give me stamps.
Kitte (wo) onegaishimasu.
Please give me stamps.
Mizu wo kudasai.
Water please.
Mizu (wo) onegaishimasu.
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. 
Tokyo Station, please. (with a taxi driver)
Yoyaku wo onegai dekimasu ka.
Can I make a reservation?
Kokusai denwa onegaishimasu.
Telephone call abroad, please.
(on the phone)

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

Kazuko-san onegaishimasu.
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.
Wait a moment please.
Nihongo wo Oshiete kudasai.
Please teach me Japanese.
Ashita kite kudasai.
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.
Please talk to me.
Onegai, shinanai of.
Please don't die.
Nee, wait.
Hey, give it to me.

From these examples we can conclude that:

お願いします (onegaishimasu) é usado:

  • 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) é usado:

  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