This is related to a question on the Interpersonal Skills site about refusing free goods from shopkeepers, etc., and paying for them instead. (Note: I'm not the OP of that question, I'm not blind or in Germany.) The most popular answer now suggests a polite but firm "I insist!", and that is what I'd probably use if the conversation was in English. But in Japanese, I'm not so sure how to say this. Would something like「失礼{しつれい}します、お支払{しはら}いたいです」be fine?

It's not uncommon to get something for free as サービス in Japanese stores, especially if the shopkeeper made a mistake in something. In such instances, I'd still like to pay for whatever it is they are offering me, especially so if that's what I wanted in the first place.

  • "t's not uncommon to get something for free as サービス in Japanese stores, especially if the shopkeeper made a mistake in something." Any real-life example? In my experience it's much less common than in Europe, if at all possible, and especially if the shopkeeper made a.mistake of some sort.
    – macraf
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 6:50
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    @macraf if personal experience will do, yesterday I bought a pastry for a vegetarian friend after confirming with the shopkeeper that it didn't contain eggs (she inspected the list of ingredients). The friend later noticed that 卵 was in fact in the list, and we went back to return it. She apologised profusely and offered some eggless bread-like thingy for free (which he declined; he insisted to me that he didn't want it for free). At other times, I have also been offered comp drinks, or some small component of a larger purchase for free.
    – muru
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 6:59
  • That practically never happens to me back home in India, so it might not be as common in Europe, but it does seem to be more common than in India. (I wondered at the time how we could have insisted on paying without offending her, but it seems we ended up offending her anyway.)
    – muru
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 6:59

4 Answers 4


The other answers I feel are OK, but I wanted to point out that I think your attempt "お支払いたい" is not grammatically correct.

As far as I know the honorific お is attached to nouns (or well, する-verbs) but not to verbs directly. Therefore if you say お支払い, here 支払い is a noun hence you cannot conjugate it in the たい-form. You have two options:

  1. Use する to turn the noun into a verb and say something like: お支払いしたい.
  2. Drop the お and just say 支払いたい using the verb 支払う.

This being said, I think something more natural for what you want to say could be:

  1. お願いします!是非{ぜひ}お支払いさせてください。
  2. お願いします!是非払わせてください。

Adding お願いします makes it a polite request, and I think that 是非 adds the feeling that you really would like to pay.


I think that it's fine.

I just add "thank you so much and I'd really appreciate it" into your phrase.


Thank you so much. I'd really appreciate your hospitality. Since I can afford it, I would like to pay for it.

  • Thanks. Here, would「おそれ入ります」mean something like "I feel unconformable (accepting something for free)"?
    – muru
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 5:44
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    You feel really humble that someone would like to provide such a kind things to you.
    – user25382
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 6:00
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    I think that it's fine.<-- You mean "お[支払]{しはら}いたいです" is grammatically correct?
    – chocolate
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 7:14
  • Grammatically it may not be accurate enough though, I think that the expression is good enough to show your gratitude and willingness to pay in that short moment even if it was grammatically not accurate.
    – user25382
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 7:25
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    @muru Grammatically, it should be お支払いしたい (polite prefix お + noun 支払い + tai-form of する) or 支払いたい (tai-form of verb 支払う), as you can see in @Tommy's answer.
    – chocolate
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 9:21

Japanese can be offended if you are trying to pay for free stuff or if you are trying to leave tips. Probably in your case, it's better to accept a gift and buy something else that isn't free as gratitude.

Something like this also should work: 「お支払いさせてください」, 「お支払いを[受け取って]{うけとって}ください」

  • 4
    お支払わせてください is grammatically incorrect, I'm afraid. It should be お支払いさせてください or 支払わせてください.
    – chocolate
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 7:16

As for polite form, everybody else has already answered it, but for me, I would say:


どうしても have a meaning like "no matter what" or "at any cost."

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