What is the meaning of this sentence 高橋ですが、今よろしいでしょうか, is が being used to indicate that the speaker has more to say. Also what is the meaning of でしょう in this sentence?


1 Answer 1


The が here is kind of a softener/bridge/segue to the actual relevant clause which follows the first. Oftentimes this is conflated with が meaning 'but', however it is not always appropriate to translate it thus. You will see this use of が quite often in sentences such as すみませんが、トイレはありますか? 'Excuse me, is there a restroom (here)?'. This site describes it as an 'introduction particle' and provides a few more examples.

でしょう expresses uncertainty in this case, as simply asking 今はよろしいですか might sound overly direct. Think of this as similar to when English speakers use 'Might now be a convenient time?' rather than 'Is now a convenient time?'. See the top SE answer here for a bit more detail.

  • Just adding my two cents, でしょう makes the question more indirect and therefore, politer.
    – jarmanso7
    Nov 9, 2019 at 14:57
  • why is desu after the name?
    – user34759
    Nov 10, 2019 at 1:00
  • Can't desu just be ommited?
    – user34759
    Nov 10, 2019 at 1:00
  • 1
    @user532874 If you're unaware, due to the lack of honorifics you can tell that Takahashi is the name of the individual who is inquiring about whether or not it might be an appropriate time. 'This is (Mr.) Takahashi, ... ' is what is being said. です should definitely not be omitted from this obviously polite/formal structure.
    – BJCUAI
    Nov 10, 2019 at 1:59

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