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If you gift someone a box of chocolates, for example, and aren't necessarily expecting him or her to eat it immediately or all at once, but instead whenever it's convenient, is it appropriate to say

"召し上がって下さい"

to communicate "I hope you like it", or "Please enjoy"

Also, is this the correct level of formality if you address this person as [last name]さん?

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  • さん is so broad it's hard to determine the required level of formality, though you couldn't go very wrong with 召し上がってください.
    – aguijonazo
    May 15 at 1:25
  • If your intent is to say "i hope you like/enjoy it", I would personally choose to say: 美味しく召し上がって下さい May 15 at 5:11
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    If your focus is on "not now, can do it later", then there's nothing wrong with saying 後で, like 後で召し上がってください or if with friend I'd just say 後で食べてね
    – dvx2718
    May 15 at 6:37

1 Answer 1

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召し上がって下さい

is a typical expression used in communications of this kind (often "よかったら召し上がってください" Please enjoy if you would like), but it does not necessarily convey the later part. Depending on the bodily expressions used together, it could be used for giving a hint to eat now, rather than later.

If you want to be a little more explicit,

また召し上がってください

or

後で召し上がってください

can be used. If you are expecting the person to bring your gift back to their home or workplace and share it with other members,

皆さんで召し上がってください

would be fine.


As for the formality, "召し上がって下さい" is a safe choice if you address this person as [last name]さん. 「さん」 has a wide range of closeness, and if you are personally close to this [last name]-さん, there are relationships where "食べてください" is appropriate. However, I would say "召し上がって下さい" does not sound too polite and is also suitable in such situations.

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