It's considered proper (though often ignored) to write ください in 待ってください and 下さい in 赤いのを下さい, i.e. Kanji as a main verb and kana as an auxilliary. But a thought came into my mind: in お待ちください, is it an auxilliary and thus ください, or is it rather a main verb wanting the Kanji?

(Of course, using the kana would be correct in any context. I was just wondering if お待ち下さい was correct.)


1 Answer 1


I think ください in お待ちください is an auxiliary verb, and thus should be written in kana according to the "proper rule". Few people strictly obey this, as you know.

待っ and 待ち are both 連用形 (te-form) of 待つ, and 待っ is 促音便 of 待ち. I've never seen such an argument that one should use kana in 待ってください but kanji in お待ち下さい, or kana in 来てください but kanji in お越し下さい.

  • I don't think that the 連用形 (morphologically) shows up in both forms is necessarily proof of anything. The question is if お持ち is (syntactically) nominal (and the object of 下さい) or not. I think a relevant test here would be whether 「お待ちを下さい」 is valid or not. Jul 29, 2015 at 20:29
  • I think the general principle is that kanji are used to convey the meaning of the word being written. But when words like ください are used as 補助動詞, they've been grammaticalized and are "semantically bleached"―that is to say, they no longer have their lexical meaning. Since they don't have the meaning the kanji indicates, the rule to write them in kana makes sense.
    – user1478
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:54

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