3

I think all three expressions are used to show my requests to someone who are superior than me. However I am wondering if there are any nuance differences in these expressions. For example:

(1) もっとはっきり書いてください。

(2) もっとはっきり書いてくださいますか。

(3) もっとはっきり書いてくださいませんか。

I can feel that it is more polite to say (3) or (2) than (1). But am I correct?

1

The nuances of these requests are not far from their English counterparts, actually.

もっとはっきり書いてください。

Please write more clearly.

This is a direct request, but isn't rude by any means.

もっとはっきり書いてくださいますか。

Would you write more clearly (for me)?

This, just like in English, is less direct and therefore showing a bit more respect to the listener.

もっとはっきり書いてくださいませんか。

Wouldn't you write more clearly (for me)?

In this form it feels more like an invitation than a question but is very similar to the previous.

In most cases I would use the first. It has a pretty broad usage. If I were feeling the need to be more polite (maybe I'm speaking to a teacher I don't know well) then I would use the second. If I were inviting a superior to do something for me or come somewhere I would use the third. Knowing which one to use often comes down to having lots of practice with social situations and a good grasp on context.

  • I've learned very early, もっとはっきり書いていただけませえんか。is the form to use when addressing to superior or teacher. How about もっとはっきりお書きください。Even if that's very weird to ask someone higher to write clearly... – Alexis_FR_JP Feb 22 at 3:57

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.