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
    Commented 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
    Commented 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 Commented 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
    Commented 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.

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