As a total beginner I noticed that sometimes simple sentences end with ます and sometimes with です. What is the difference?


  • 1
    Have you read much about Japanese grammar yet? You should find an explanation -very- quickly.
    – Sjiveru
    Apr 13, 2016 at 21:17
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because one of its paragraphs ends with the word "difference", the other contains only "Thanks" and it's unclear how these two differ.
    – macraf
    Apr 13, 2016 at 21:25
  • 2
    i doubt you're going to get an answer. The question is far too basic. Start here: guidetojapanese.org/learn Apr 13, 2016 at 21:34
  • @Thiago ます, ました (past), ません (negative), ませんでした (negative past) are polite verb endings. です is attached to nouns (せんせい teacher), i-adjectives (あかい red) and na-adjectives (きれい(な) clean/neat/beautiful/pretty).
    – rhyaeris
    Apr 15, 2016 at 4:37

2 Answers 2


Another beginner answering here.

ます is a (polite) verb ending. The verb to eat (食べる) for example can be conjugated to 食べます, which can be used in polite speech.

です is a state of being, also to be used in polite conversations and can be roughly translated as a conjugated "to be". Example: 私はドイツ人です (I'm German)


です is the polite form of is/am/are/be. It can also come after adjectives to make a sentence polite. ます is an ending attached to verbs, and functions to make the sentence polite.

This is a cat.
Today is hot.
I eat cake.

Note that in the second example although the translation contains the word is this is contained in the adjective 暑い = "be hot". です does not mean is when it comes after an adjective, it just makes the sentence polite.

In the third example the verb 食べる (dictionary/plain form) becomes 食べます to make it polite.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.