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How to ask for help in Japanese? Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in Culture, Grammar

So, when was the last time you had to ask for help?

Photo from Wanaku on flickr.com

I hate asking myself, but you know what? sometimes you might have a situation where you have no choice. It’s just life and it happens unfortunately. In English, must know word for “asking for help”, and yes sometimes for “asking for help” is of course “Please”, but in Japanese, we have similar word, “Onegai (おねがい、お願い)”

This is a must know word even if you are not “asking” someone. Just like in English, it is good to know when you want to “ask” someone to do something for you.

Below is a quick lessons on different variations of  “Onegai (おねがい、お願い) in different situations. In Japanese, it totally depends on who you are talking to. If you are talking in Keigo style (けいご、敬語) to your manager, boss or customer, notice how it changes.

 

 

Talking to friends and family~

Onegai (おねがい お願い,  please)

Can you please bring me the document by tomorrow?

Ashita made ni onegai dakara sono shorui o watashi no tokoro ni todokete kure nai?

あした までに おねがい だから その しょるいを わたしの ところ に とどけて くれない?

明日 までに お願い だから その 書類を 私の 所に 届けて くれない?

 

 

Tanomu (たのむから 頼むから, asking, to ask)

Can you please bring me the document by tomorrow?

Tanomu kara ashita made ni  sono shorui o watashi no tokoro ni todokete kure nai?

たのむから あした までに その しょるいを わたしの ところ に とどけて くれない?

頼むから 明日 までに その 書類を 私の 所に 届けて くれない?

 

 

Business situations 

〜 Naide shoka (〜ないでしょうか,〜Coud you please)

Could you please bring me the document by tomorrow?

Ashita made ni  sono shorui o watashi no tokoro ni todokete itadake nai de shoka?

あした までに その しょるいを わたしの ところに とどけて いただけないで しょうか。

明日 までに その 書類を 私の ところに 届けて いただけないでしょうか。

 

 

Kano desho ka (〜かのうでしょうか, 可能でしょうか, will it be possible?)

Will it be possible to bring me the document by tomorrow?

Ashita made ni  sono shorui o watashi no tokoro ni todokete itadaku koto wa kano de shoka?

あした までに その しょるいを わたしの ところに とどけて いただくことは かのう

でしょうか。

明日 までに その 書類を 私の ところに 届けて いただくことは 可能でしょうか。

 

 

Do shitemo onegaishitai no desuga (〜どうしても おねがいしたいの ですが, どうしても お願いしたいの ですが、I would like to ask you if possible at all.)

I would like to ask you if it’s possible at all to bring me the document by tomorrow.

Ashita made ni  sono shorui o watashi no tokoro ni todokete itadaku yoni do shitemo onegai shitai no desuga.

あした までに その しょるいを わたしの ところに とどけて いただくように、どうしても お願い したいのですが。

明日 までに その 書類を 私の ところに 届けて いただくように どうしても お願いしたいの ですが。

 

There are different variations of asking for the same thing,  depending on who you are talking to. Please let me know if you have any questions on this lesson. Have a great weekend!

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About the Author:keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.


Comments:

  1. saruda:

    can i ask a question. how can i ask for help for my japanese last name saruda?

    • keiko:

      @saruda Hi Saruda,

      Thank you for posting your question here. I am not exactly sure what you mean by “asking for help for your Japanese last name, Saruda”? Could you please clarify? I would be happy to answer your question!

      Thanks,
      Keiko