I'm not too sure if what I think I should say is correct so I would like to ask for some help. I'm trying to say something like, "If you don't mind, I'd like to know what game software you use" or something like that. I'm trying to be polite since I've never spoken to this person before, but at the same time I want to sound natural and not too formal if possible. Here's what I think I should send:


Is this too polite? Or too messy?

Would something like this be better:


So much for passing N4, haha. But anyways, that's all! Thank you!

  • (お伺いしても)よろしければ、どのようなゲームソフトをお使いですか。 The keigo is simple way of expressions for telling thoughts clearly. To do that, it is always necessary to consider that our words make the conversation partner uncomfortable, and that is a manner of speaking used by humble people. That is not a way of parading our knowledge of grammar showily, and unfortunately there is something wrong with the words of such a person.
    – nariuji
    Jul 7, 2016 at 13:16

3 Answers 3



You can't use のは here; you need to use か, as in 「何をお使い教えて~~」「何を使ってい(らっしゃ)る教えて~~」「何をお使いなの教えて~~」「何を使ってい(らっしゃ)るの教えて~~」.
And you don't need です here, as ません is already the polite form.
So, you could say:

  • もしよろしければ / [差]{さ}し[支]{つか}えなければ、ゲームソフトは何をお使い(なの)か教えていただけませんか。←formal
  • もしよろしければ / 差し支えなければ、ゲームソフトは何を使っていらっしゃる(の)か教えていただけませんか。←formal
  • もしよかったら、ゲームソフトは何を使っている(の)か教えてくれませんか。←less formal

Of course you can use どんなゲームソフトを instead of ゲームソフトは何を.


The formal よろしければ doesn't go well with 聞いても and 使っていますか. 「聞いてもよかったら、~~使っていますか。(less formal)」「お聞きしてもよろしければ、~~使っていらっしゃいますか。 / お使いですか。(formal)」 would be grammatically okay, but I think we would more commonly say:

  • どんなゲームソフトを使っていらっしゃるか、お聞きしてもよろしいですか。←formal
  • どんなゲームソフトを使っているか、聞いてもいいですか。←less formal

Your sentences are unnatural. I suggest this sentence "もしよかったら、どんな(何の)ゲームソフトを使っているか教えてください。"

  • Oh, I'm sorry! Thank you for the response! :)
    – fuwa0
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:02

I'm going to try answering this using what little I've studied so far:


Although a way to make 使う honorific is to use お使いです, I think this can only be done when it comes at the end of the sentence, not with other words in between. Furthermore, the sentence is trying to use both お使いです and いただけませんか, which I imagine are two different ways to end a sentence. This could explain one reason why Yuuichi Tam found the sentence unnatural.

Additionally, your sentence uses 2 は topic particles which signals to me that the sentence is unnatural; if 2 は particles are to be present, one of them must be a contrastive は, such as in 私は 今朝は 学校へ 行きませんでした。(perhaps before saying でも、昨日は 行きました。)

I'm not sure about your second sentence, so I shan't try to answer.

Here are my attempts if you absolutely have to use keigo:

もし よろしければ、どんな ゲームソフトを 使っているのか 教えていただけませんか。

もし よろしければ、どんな ゲームソフトを 使っている 教えていただけませんか。

Also, N4 grammar does include the construction ~てもかまわない; perhaps you can try 聞いても構わなかったら or similar constructions.

  • Ah! The「です」right after「いただけません」was an accident! I'm sorry about that. As for your second example sentence, what does the bolded「か」mean? I feel so lucky passing the N4 exam, honestly, I probably was.
    – fuwa0
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:00
  • I see, that's all right. The bolded か goes with a question / interrogative word such as どんな (or どこ, or いつ, etc.). The effect is something like "the issue of what kind of game you are currently using", so this grammatical construction is useful for turning verb phrases into nouns. With nouns, you can then use things like おしえてください, しっていますか, etc. Please see the section "Using Particle か (ka) If There is a Question Word" at the following link (in particular, example question 2 is quite similar to the どんな sentence above): learn-japanese-adventure.com/ka-dou-ka.html
    – rhyaeris
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:50
  • Ohhhh, I get it now! Thank you so much for all the help!! m(_ _)m
    – fuwa0
    Apr 4, 2016 at 18:15

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