The difference between (連用形)なさい and (美化語)なさい is rather clear; the first would only be used for social inferiors, and the second can be used for social superiors (it's also part of set expressions ごめんなさい・お休みなさい・お帰りなさい).

What I'd like to know is the implications of the second, and how it compares to (美化語)下さい. Is it more forceful? Also, in what situations would you use the full ~ませ forms?

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    Are you sure you mean 美化語? 美化語 are lexicialized polite nouns like お名前、ご両親、お茶. I think your question can be more accurately stated by asking the difference between (連用形)+なさい and (お/ご)+(連用形)+なさい, if I understand correctly. Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 20:39
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    I think the asker's referencing the imperative mood, and usage of polite language. Correct me if I'm wrong
    – sqrtbottle
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 22:15
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    You can't use (美化語)なさい to social superiors either. Set phrases like ごめんなさい・お休みなさい・お帰りなさい are considered different from お…なさい in general. And yes, they sound more force ful and old-fashioned than お…ください.
    – user4092
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


お(連用形)なさい sounds more forceful and old-fashioned than お(連用形)ください and you can't use お(連用形)なさい in general to social superiors while you can do the latter. As for ~ませ, an employee in a shop is likely to use it to the customer.

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