I've encountered this example sentence for the word ポテトチップス (so there is no further context) where it is the case:

Help yourself to more potato chips.

And then I find another, but there is still no context because it's also an example sentence:

Have another cup.

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    We have several imperative forms of honorific verbs (尊敬語の命令形) eg 「いらっしゃい < いらっしゃる」「ください < くださる」「なさい < なさる」「おっしゃい < おっしゃる」... Are you asking about 尊敬語の命令形 in general, or specifically 召し上がれ ?
    – chocolate
    Feb 6, 2018 at 4:32
  • @Schokolade Sorry if it's not clear but I'm asking about the "standard imperative form" (行け,食べろ,etc...) applied to the verbs considered "sonkeigo" like 召し上がる.
    – Jirei
    Feb 6, 2018 at 9:04

1 Answer 1


What you are showing is an example of language 'beautification' (美化語{びかご}). Taking a word that is normally reserved for honorific language and applying it to a peer or even someone of lower status.

If you have ever said to a friend (in a contrived accent): 'Would you care to dine with us tonight?' instead of 'Wanna have dinner with us?' you have used it already.

Some might describe it as 'effected', but it is just the borrowing of a word or expression normally reserved for honorific speech and applying it to daily use.

A mother will often say tell her child to 「召し上がれ」.

What will signify that this is not, in fact, 尊敬語 is the fact that you wouldn't use the harsh 「れ」ending when addressing one's superiors.

Also telling would be the fact that there is no honorific prefix (お or ご) applied. Assume that if there is none, it likely is not 尊敬語.

As 尊敬語 forms are used quite frequently in regular conversation for effect, it can sometimes be hard to decipher whether it is being used in its original intent or to simply make language more florid without reading from the surrounding context.

I would recommend referring to other posts surrounding the use of 美化語. Many are listed here.

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    "A child will often say tell her child" -> I think you mean the mother will often tell her child, right? Just checking
    – psosuna
    Feb 5, 2018 at 23:01
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    What you are showing is an example of language 'beautification' (美化語) 「美化語」ってのは、「お~」「ご~」のことですが...。 honorific prefix (お or ご) applied. 厳密には honorific じゃなくて、「お/ご」は美化語に分類されて、美化語は丁寧語に分類されていて、尊敬語には分類されないんです。Assume that if there is none, it likely is not 尊敬語. -- 「お、ご」の付かない尊敬語もあります。
    – chocolate
    Feb 6, 2018 at 3:18

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