If I understand right, those 2 are imperative forms of the verb to come. What are the differences?


3 Answers 3


Japanese has many levels of politeness etc. and therefore very many ways to make requests.

Here are some in order of politeness.

こい! = Come!
来て = Come.
来てくれ = Do me the favor of coming.
来てください = Please come.
来てくれませんか = Could you please do me the favor of coming.

  • 3
    And... 「来てくれ。」 sounds a bit more masculine than 「来て。」, don't you think? Girls/women tend to use 来て over 来てくれ in casual conversation, no?
    – chocolate
    May 12, 2017 at 4:14
  • @Chocolate I suppose men do use it slightly more. Although 来てくれ,seems slightly more polite on paper, it kind of sounds more condescending to me. May 12, 2017 at 4:27
  • How would 来てください、来て and 来てくれませんか be sorted on that list? I know this isn't simple because of feminine and masculine speech but I was just looking at this answer that says 見て is short for 見てください
    – siikamiika
    May 12, 2017 at 4:43
  • @siikamiika I edited my answer for you. You can see ください as being a "please". It is much more polite than 来て but it is still sort of an order so not nearly as polite as 来てくれませんか which is in the form of a question. May 12, 2017 at 4:46

This くれ etymologically comes from 呉れる "to give (something to me)." So 来てくれ literally means "give (me) a visit" or something like that.

来て is merely the imperative form of 来る. (sorry, but it's precisely a 連用形 of 来る. this one is the only カ行変格活用verb...)

But in reality both have very little or no difference in meaning or politeness level.

  • 1
    来て ... it's precisely a 連用形 of 来る. <- I think the 連用形 of 来る is [来]{き}, and the て is a 接続助詞...
    – chocolate
    May 12, 2017 at 4:12

The くれます from くれ indicates the other person is doing you a favour. But as くれ is in imperative form, the command is direct, perhaps even abrupt. 来て seems softer to me because it's using the て form to say 'Come', which is softer than the imperative form こい (Come!).

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