In Genki II (second ed.), page 168 we are given polite forms of some verbs, among them する with なさる. They have also written that some of them have irregular conjugations in long forms, among them なさる, which becomes なさいます. However, in tangorin.com the conjugation table says なさります while Jisho.org recognizes both as forms of なさる. At the same when I type なさります or なさいます into google.com I get about 900 000 or 600 000 results respectively. Are both forms correct? Or is one of them just a common mistake?

2 Answers 2


There are five honorific (subsidiary) verbs of almost r-consonant (type I) conjugation that have very peculiar style of irregularity, ending in い in 命令形 (command form) and before ます.

plain form   regular masu-stem   masu(-only)-stem  command form
いらっしゃる  いらっしゃり-たい  いらっしゃい-ます  いらっしゃい
おっしゃる    おっしゃり-たい   おっしゃい-ます   おっしゃい
くださる      くださり-たい    ください-ます    ください
ござる        ござり-たい     ござい-ます    ござれ/ござい†
なさる        なさり-たい     なさい-ます     なさい
なる (regular)     なり-たい      なり-ます      なれ

† so rare that I can't decide which is more natural...
(Alignment adjusted for half/full-width fonts such as MS Gothic, may not work in other settings.)

These verbs are used predominantly in this irregular style, and using regular conjugation would have various extra effects depending on the verb, from just sounding a bit old-fashioned to making you into a ninja...

PS "なさります" and "なさいます" have 26,800 and 430,000 hits in Google.co.jp, respectively.

  • 1
    Thanks for reminding me that I should have used Google.co.jp instead. Bad habits.
    – Tribski
    Mar 6, 2016 at 17:36
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    Modern analyses usually have なさい and the like as the 命令形, but I've always wondered whether in fact it's simply a shortening of the ~ませ forms that displaced the actual 命令形. I know at least なされ and くだされ were used in the past, and possibly still in certain modern dialects.
    – Angelos
    Mar 6, 2016 at 17:54
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    @Nothingatall It's unclear. The dictionary says "「なさる」の本来の命令形「なされ」の音変化とも、「なさいませ」の略とも。" so it could be either an internal change or shortening. Mar 6, 2016 at 18:04

They are both OK. なさります is the original, but り sometimes changes to い. This is called イ音便{おんびん}.

イ音便 https://kotobank.jp/word/%E3%82%A4%E9%9F%B3%E4%BE%BF-430840

なさいます https://kotobank.jp/word/%E3%81%AA%E3%81%95%E3%81%84%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99-346682

なさります https://kotobank.jp/word/%E3%81%AA%E3%81%95%E3%82%8A%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99-588645

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