7

I have seen

お掛けください

for "please take a seat". But previously I have been using

お座りください

to mean the same thing.

Are these the same or is there a difference?

  • 1
    In my personal sense お掛けください needs something to sit on, like a chair or stool etc. For sitting down on tatami I could only say お座りください. – broccoli forest Apr 12 '17 at 10:15
7

There certainly is a difference.

To mean "Please take a seat.", the better speakers' phrase choice will unquestionably be 「お掛{か}けください。」.

「お座{すわ}りください。」, depite its use of both 「お」 and 「ください」, does not even sound all that polite, let alone sounding refined. It still uses the plain and non-polite verb 「座る」. In case you did not know, we say 「お座り!」 to make dogs sit. Angry moms also say it to make their small kids sit. That is why this phrase would not sound very refined if said to human guests.

The honorific form of 「座る」 is 「掛ける」, which the phrase 「お掛けください」 correctly uses. As you know, not every verb has an honorific form, but when one does, it would always make you sound more polite and proper to use the honorific version of the verb.

Adding the "external" politeness elements such as 「お」,「ください」, etc. would not help much in sounding genuinely polite or respectful.

For instance, 「お食{た}べください」 will never sound politer or more respectful or more refined than 「お召{め}し上{あ}がりください」. In fact, 「お食べください」 does not sound polite at all; It just sounds "funny". It is like someone tried hard to use keigo and failed a big time.

  • I was certain that お座すわりください was polite. I even said it to an elderly gentleman on the Yamanote Line! How does お座り compare with 座って (ください) – VictorySaber Apr 11 '17 at 15:51
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    @VectorySaber お座りください doesn't sound wrong nor funny to me in such a situation, while お掛けください is certainly better in formal business settings.  / ところで「(椅子に)掛ける」はそれ自体が尊敬語というわけではないので、「"座る"の尊敬語が"掛ける"だ」というのは誤解‌​を招かないでしょうか。「お掛けになる」は、「お求め​になる」などと同様、「お」がついて初めて尊敬の意味を帯びる​特別な表現だと思った方がいいので‌​はないでしょうか。 – naruto Apr 11 '17 at 17:22
1

【Original】

They are almost the same, but there is a little difference. When you want to say "please take a seat" to a standing person, they are the same. But, when you want to say "sit down, please", you can say 「お座りください」, but you can't say 「お掛けください」.

【Edited】

  They are almost the same and effective phrases in your use situation, but there is an important difference between them.
  The difference is not in courteousness or politeness, but an essential one caused by the words 「座{すわ}り」 and 「掛{か}け」.

  If you are interested in the courteousness or politeness of the two phrases, refer to l'électeur's answer. I would tell you only the essential difference based on the two different words: 座{すわ}り and 掛{か}け.

お座{すわ}りください=お+「座{すわ}り」+ください
お掛{か}けください=お+「掛{か}け」+ください

「座{すわ}り」の原形{げんけい}→座{すわ}る The original form of 座{すわ}り is a verb 座{すわ}る.
「掛{か}け」の原形{げんけい}→掛{か}ける The original form of 掛{か}け is a verb 掛{か}ける.

A list of difference:

1) 座{すわ}る is an intransitive verb (自動詞{じどうし}) while 掛{か}ける is a transitive verb (他動詞{たどうし}).
From this difference, the word 掛{か}ける needs an object(目的語{もくてきご}) while 座{すわ}る needs no object. In your context, 腰{こし}を掛{か}ける is the formal form and 腰{こし} is omitted, and the omitted form is usually used. Very interestingly, the noun of 「腰{こし}を掛{か}ける」 is 「腰掛{こしかけ}」 which means a seat, a bench, a chair or a stool.
Similar expressions using 掛{か}ける are: 帽子{ぼうし}を掛{か}ける, (ハンガーに)服{ふく}を掛{か}ける.

2) They are different in meaning.
  座{すわ}る is to lower the body by bending the knees.
  掛{か}ける is to hang/put something on something.
  From this difference, you can say both 「椅子{いす}に座{すわ}る」 and 「椅子{いす}に腰{こし}を掛{か}ける or 椅子{いす}に腰{こし}かける」. But, although you can say 「畳{たたみ}に座{すわ}る」 you can't say 「畳{たたみ}に腰{こし}を掛{か}ける」.

3) Antonyms(反対語{はんたいご}) are different.
  The antonym of 「座{すわ}る」 is 「立{た}つ」 while the antonym of 「掛{か}ける」 is 「外{はず}す」 not 「立{た}つ」.

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