I know that you can use ご~いただく toward "clients" (which is something I've never really understood; maybe better as a question of its own) such as ご来店いただき、まことにありがとうございます ("Thank you (customer) for coming to our store").

Following this logic, I know you can express "can" with ご~いただけます. However, the normal keigo pattern ご~になる would then (also) morph into ご~になれます. I've heard both in practical situations, but I'm very confused as to the nuances of when to use which.

For example, I'm currently translating a software help file, which is directed toward the end user. If I want to say, "you can see X", I'm not sure if I should say ご覧いただけます or ご覧になれます.


  • 1
    At least for the first part of your question, perhaps this question may be relevant?
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 6:08

2 Answers 2


These phrases are about politely telling someone they "can do" or are "allowed to do" an action. I like to think of it as the action "is available to you".

Many people misunderstand this basic point (@istrasci: I know you get this). I am only mentioning it because even native speakers frequently use incorrect keigo forms (oh, and so do I, but I looked this one up).

According to the 正しい日本語会 (The Association for Correct Japanese ... I kid you not), the correct core usage of ご〜いただける is derived from 〜していただける.

So based on this, ご覧頂けます is technically incorrect, because you can't even notionally construct ご覧していただけます。Therefore ご覧になれます is the correct form.

Language is constantly changing. Once incorrect, deviant usages become acceptable and even commonly used, as is the case with ご覧頂けます. Heck, in my Japanese study lifetime 三階 has gone from being commonly pronounced as 「さんがい」 to 「さんかい」 by many people under 40. So with something as misunderstood as keigo, it's no surprise!

To help future readers of this answer work their way through this one, look at the following illustrative derivations:

「ダウンロードいただけます」derives from「ダウンロードしていただけます」

「ご利用いただけます」derives from「利用していただけます」

Ref: http://www.tackns.net/word/itadake_masu.html

  • 4
    Why is the author of this webpage so confident that only his usage is correct? Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 19:21

Although @crunchyt provides a helpful answer about the ご~いただけます form, it didn't answer my original question about comparing the two forms. I knew I had this somewhere and I finally found it. If you have a copy of 続弾!問題な日本語 dictionary, it contains an article for exactly this question. I'll summarize it for you:

ご~になれます is grammatically correct. ご~いただけます is grammatically incorrect to use toward "clients" since it is really 謙譲語, but it is WIDELY USED if you want to say

  1. The "client" is able to do the action
  2. The client is doing something useful/beneficial for you by doing the action
  3. You want to show respect for the client
  4. You want to put the focus of the statement on the client, and/or
  5. You don't want the client to feel obliged or compelled to do the action.

I can't find the actual 続弾!問題な日本語 entry online anywhere, but here are several links talking about this.

  • This got downvoted? Haha, I'm not even mad about it, so much as I am stupefied by the failure in logic of whoever did it. The summary I provide is from a dictionary article on this exact topic. How is that, in any way, considered "not useful" (the text on the downvote button)?
    – istrasci
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 19:16

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