Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - なさい - 2 questions

なさい - 2 questions

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!

なさい - 2 questions

Postby tanuki » Sun 07.09.2006 3:36 pm

Hello, people!

I have two questions regarding the なさい request form:

1) Just how (im)polite is this form? Can it be used to your superior/elders? And, is it taken more like a request or like a command? (well, those were 3 questions, but related :) )

2) Is there a negative equivalent to this form or is it just a 〜ないで ?

Thanks a lot in advance for your replies! Bye!
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。
User avatar
tanuki
 
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sun 09.25.2005 9:00 pm
Location: South America

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby aKuMu » Sun 07.09.2006 5:54 pm

i would say its more a command than a request eg. 食べなさい -> 食べてください eat! -> please eat. so i think it woulnd be that good to use it with superiors.

i dont know if its right, but i thing the negativ could be さないで ? please correct me ;)
Last edited by aKuMu on Sun 07.09.2006 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
aKuMu
 
Posts: 636
Joined: Sun 12.04.2005 8:19 pm
Native language: German

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby richvh » Sun 07.09.2006 5:59 pm

Considering that なさい is a command form, the negative should be なさるな。
Richard VanHouten
ゆきの物語
richvh
 
Posts: 6451
Joined: Thu 09.29.2005 10:35 pm

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby tanuki » Sun 07.09.2006 6:12 pm

僕の下手な日本語を直してください。
User avatar
tanuki
 
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sun 09.25.2005 9:00 pm
Location: South America

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby keatonatron » Sun 07.09.2006 7:17 pm

It's a command. For your superiors, just say 〜てください.

I don't see how you could make it negative. For telling someone to not do something, use ないでください.

なさい comes from keigo (polite speech). Using it as a command isn't really keigo anymore, but if you were to conjugate it as a negative it would start sounding like keigo again, which simply wouldn't make any sense. In this case, think of it as a special phrase instead of a normal verb.

Kind of like てください. くださる means "give to me" in polite speech. (To get literal, to make a "do this for me" request you are actually saying "do this and give it (the action) to me") To make a negative command, you say "Please don't do this and give it (the inaction) to me." Just turning the verb into a negative and saying "Please do this and don't give it to me" doesn't make any sense.

It's the same with なさい. It's a special phrase that has developed over time so you can't apply normal grammar rules to it.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: 「なさい」の否定形 

Postby coco » Mon 07.10.2006 7:28 pm

Do you get what keat-san says?
keat-san gave you very useful answer.

We hardly use なさるな(e.g.食べなさるな) 。we rather say 食べないでください。*なさるな in conversation turns into なさ[color=red]んな. (euphony) [/color]
But some seniors still use like 食べなさ(る)な。そんなことしなさな。
I guess the dialects has more various.

Although おやすみなさい is looks like command form, meaning is closer おやすみください. If you don't want someone to not sleep, you can say 寝ないでください。

related thread.
confused by kudasai...
coco
 
Posts: 3061
Joined: Mon 05.30.2005 12:43 am
Location: 東京都
Native language: 日本語(Japanese)

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby Oyaji » Mon 07.10.2006 9:19 pm

This is another example of a usage that is considered somewhat archaic in standard Japanese, but is still fairly common in regional dialects. In Kyushu it is not at all unusual to hear 「なさんな」 when someone is telling someone not to do something. Older people use it the most, but I've heard young people use it quite often as well.

As a side note, in Kyushu, and perhaps elsewhere, 「なさい」is often shortened to 「ない」. "Go to school." becomes 「学校に行きない」. For group 1 verbs we can tell it isn't the negative because of the conjugation: 「行きない」 instead of 「行かない」. For other verbs the difference is more difficult to distinguish. One of the first times I heard this was when an old lady handed me something to eat, saying 「これを食べない」. I wondered why she would give me something, only to tell me not to eat it. :D
User avatar
Oyaji
 
Posts: 1334
Joined: Sun 04.30.2006 9:57 pm

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby AJBryant » Mon 07.10.2006 10:48 pm

I should point out that "impolite" isn't the critical word. "Informal" is. Of course, that could raise issues of politeness, but it depends on situation, usage, and who is talking to whom.


Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby tanuki » Mon 07.10.2006 11:15 pm

I see... So, let's see if I got this straight. In standard Japanese:

When talking to a superior/elder/unknown person...:

このケーキをお食べください。/ このケーキを食べてください。
このケーキを食べないでください。

When talking to a friend, etc.:

このケーキを食べて。/ このケーキを食べなさい。
このケーキを食べないで。

When strongly commanding someone:

このケーキを食べろ!
このケーキを食べるな!

Is that the right figure?

And, now that we're at it... I've noticed that in these set expressions, an お is put before the verb:

おやすみなさい
おかえりなさい

However, the conjugation I've learned has no お. Is this another archaic thing or can you also put an お before the verb in normal conjugation? Like お食べなさい or something.
Last edited by tanuki on Mon 07.10.2006 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。
User avatar
tanuki
 
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sun 09.25.2005 9:00 pm
Location: South America

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby paul_b » Tue 07.11.2006 3:23 am

tanuki wrote:
I see... So, let's see if I got this straight. In standard Japanese:

When talking to a superior/elder/unknown person...:

このケーキをお食べください。/ このケーキを食べてください。
このケーキを食べないでください。

You should be using 尊敬語 so maybe
このケーキを召し上がってください。

When talking to a friend, etc.:
このケーキを食べて。/ このケーキを食べなさい。

The second sounds like it could be a horribly made cake and you're making him eat it :-P

Is this another archaic thing or can you also put an お before the verb in normal conjugation? Like お食べなさい or something.

I think 食べる is a poor choice of example verb because it has 尊敬語 and 謙譲語 alternatives. So one of those would usually be used instead of adding お.
Last edited by paul_b on Tue 07.11.2006 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
paul_b
 
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby keatonatron » Tue 07.11.2006 4:22 am

tanuki wrote:
However, the conjugation I've learned has no お. Is this another archaic thing or can you also put an お before the verb in normal conjugation? Like お食べなさい or something.


Paul's answer is good... if you know what you're talking about. You look like you know what you're talking about, but I think you might not have the whole picture when it comes to when to use お 〜 ください.

The form you're seeing there is Keigo. The correct conjugation for this type of keigo is to take the masu-stem of the word, (歩きます=歩き, 待ちます=待ち) and add お before words that have a Japanese reading (お待ち) or ご before words that have a chinese reading (ご招請). After that, you can add ください to say "please do....", or になる to mean the other person is doing the action, or する to mean you are doing the action.

Some verbs like eat, drink, go, read, to be, etc. have special forms and don't use this conjugation.

ご主人がお帰りになったら、またご連絡します。
I will call again after your husband has come home.

主人 - the person being honored
(私) - the person being lowered
帰る - what the honored person does -> お帰り (Japanese reading) になる
連絡する - what the person being lowered will do -> ご連絡 (Chinese reading) する.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby paul_b » Tue 07.11.2006 4:33 am

keatonatron wrote:
Paul's answer is good...

Actually not that good - I made the mistake of over-loading two 敬語 forms into the same sentence. It should have been just 召し上がってください - which I've gone back and edited it into.

I've also added another couple of keigo tests to the wiki page of quizes I've been editing.
Last edited by paul_b on Tue 07.11.2006 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
paul_b
 
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby keatonatron » Tue 07.11.2006 7:51 am

We had keigo practice in class yesterday and today :D

I stumbled on "先生におかれましては" :(
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby paul_b » Tue 07.11.2006 7:54 am

keatonatron wrote:
I stumbled on "先生におかれましては" :(

Have you tried the Business Japanese test? It's not that hard to get the right answers (because there is an obvious pattern to many of them) but the explanations as to why an answer is correct / wrong are interesting.
User avatar
paul_b
 
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am

RE: なさい - 2 questions

Postby tanuki » Thu 07.13.2006 12:06 am

Please tell me if I got this straight:

I thought you just had to add an お to the famous "stem" and add ください in order to make a polite request. I had no idea that involved keigo, but now I've learned that it does.
Then, this is wrong:

このケーキをお食べください。

And this is right:

このケーキを召し上がってください。

, because 食べる has a special honorific conjugation. The same goes for other verbs with special conjugations. Verbs that don't have special conjugations can follow the general rules of adding お to the "stem" and then adding ください (I'm just talking about requests).

------

Now, about using なさい... I think you didn't explain this, or maybe I can't find it, but what I'm thinking is...the rules are similar, but just using the "stem" of the verb instead of the "-te form". So:

このケーキを召し上がりなさい。(it seems weird to use honorifics and なさい together, but is it grammatically correct?)

And, to explain these expressions I mentioned:

おかえりなさい

From the verb 帰る. It doesn't have its own special honorific (as far as I know), so it would be お帰りになる or お帰りなさる. From this, we have that the honorific-なさい form would be お帰りなさい. Ta-da! ...I think:(

Now, what confused me here was that the regular なさい form is just 帰りなさい, which looks just like an "お-less お帰りなさい".

おやすみなさい

This seems to come from the verb 寝る (go figure!), whose special honorific conjugation is お休みになる or お休みなさる. From this, we have お休みなさい.

The regular なさい form would be 寝なさい, I think, so no confusion here.

I really, really hope this isn't nonsense. If it is, please forgive me, OK? ;)
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。
User avatar
tanuki
 
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sun 09.25.2005 9:00 pm
Location: South America

Next

Return to Grammar Questions and Problems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests