Has anyone ever come across the form -まする where -ます would be expected? I have just come across a sentence ending ...と存じまする.

My first thought was that る must be a particle, but I can't find any mention of it anywhere. Then I thought it could be a suru verb with the noun 存じま, but I can't find that as a noun in any dictionaries, and anyway in the context a plain する is very unlikely as it's someone addressing their social superior in a historical novel. Based on that, another possibility could be that it's a traditional polite suffix, but I can't find anything that would support that idea, and googling other verbs with the same ending does produce some results with e.g. ありまする, 食べまする, so I don't think it's an old-fashioned thing.

So basically, I'm stuck. It seems most likely that る is a particle, but if so what does it mean and why is it not in any dictionaries? Any ideas?

  • 2
    丁寧の助動詞「ます」の古い終止・連体形。from weblio. So, actually it is old-fashioned. Jun 17, 2016 at 8:41
  • Older writing seems to be full of these sorts of slightly-different sentence enders. Eg there's some other ones like なくてはなりませなんだ and なつてしまひます in the short story 高瀬舟 (which is available on aozorabunka if you're curious: aozora.gr.jp/cards/000879/files/43016_16836.html) Jun 17, 2016 at 9:09
  • Oops, wrong link in my previous comment: aozora.gr.jp/cards/000129/files/691_15352.html Jun 17, 2016 at 10:19
  • @WeirdlyCheezy The second example is just 旧仮名遣い, and the first is still somewhat used in the 関西 area -- 知らなんだ!And also has roots in classical Japanese.
    – Brandon
    Jun 17, 2016 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


I apologize for the errors. The ending is actually part of an old auxiliary ます, which is, I may say, its remnant.

As the linked Kotobank page says, まする is an old ending / attributive form of 丁寧語{ていねいご}-ます-. Kotobank also says as follows:



[Additional Information]Today, together with its hypothetical form 「ますれ」, 「まする」's use cases are limited. It is only used in formal expressions.

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    助動詞 is not translated as particle but as auxiliary. (Moreover, you can answer in Japanese, English or both; I would suggest (for your future answers, in particular for long or complex answers) that you answer in both so that it would be easier if someone wants to fix some part of your answer in English) Jun 17, 2016 at 9:23
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    On a side note, jisho.org lists 仮定形 as "hypothetical" (not "imperative"), which makes sense from the kanji and fits the definition at goo as well (~ba forms, etc"). It is interesting, because if I had to guess from just the ひらがな, I might guess that ますれ is imperative, but apparently it is not so. Jun 17, 2016 at 9:40
  • I think other than "perfunctorily" and "imperative", the entry's translation is quite understandable, but assuming I'm reading the Japanese right I would suggest something like: "Together with its hypothetical form ますれ, まする sees limited use in modern Japanese, being used only in extremely formal expressions." Jun 17, 2016 at 9:47
  • Thank you guys, yes, they are exactly NOT particles...........
    – user7644
    Jun 17, 2016 at 10:56
  • What is the point with the downvotes? The answer might not be well written or easy to read but except for that I can't see anything wrong. Jun 17, 2016 at 12:07

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