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Question 1. It my understanding that you can form a negative polite volitional by attaching まい to the ます of the verb. For example, 食{た}べます becomes 食べますまい. Is it therefore also possible to turn the copula です, which is a contraction of であるます, into ですまい?

Question 2. It is my understanding that you can form a positive polite volitional by replacing 〜ます with 〜ましょう. For example, 食べます becomes 食べましょう. Since イ形容詞{けいようし} attach to ある ordinarily to indicate state of being via the atributive (〜く) form, is it possible to create a positive polite voalitional for イ形容詞 by replacing 〜い with 〜くありましょう? What about for a negative polite volitional, with an ending like 〜くありますまい or 〜いまい?

Question 3. Do イ形容詞 have imperative forms as well? Are any of the following options for イ形容詞 imperative endings possible? Maybe there is some other way to express these ideas?

  • 〜くあれ
  • 〜かれ
  • 〜くなくあれ
  • 〜くなかれ
  • 〜くありなさい
  • 〜くなくありなさい
  • 〜くありなさるな

(I'm just making educated guesses here, honestly, based on the other conjugation patterns I've seen. I'm having trouble finding web resources that have mention of these forms, or whether or not they actually exist.)

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Question 1

~ますまい is grammatical, but it's already fairly uncommon. It's mainly heard in role languages for stereotypical samurai and pompous/noble elderly people.

~ですまい is ungrammatical, although ~ではありますまい is okay.

Question 2

Basically if you used ある for a person, it would sound more or less archaic.

~くありましょう is grammatical, but it's fairly uncommon and sounds old-fashioned or like a stereotypical お嬢様. For example a fictional knight might say 気高くありましょう ("Let us live a noble life").

~くありますまい is rare, but grammatical at least in the "negative inference" sense. For example 彼はもう長く(は)ありますまい is a highly pompous way of saying "I doubt he will live any longer". Today it's used virtually only in fiction. For its "negative volitional" sense, it's so rare and I cannot even tell whether it exists.

Question 3

According to the standard grammar, i-adjectives don't have imperative forms, so it is true that you have to use some other verb to say something like "Be brave".

  • 〜くあれ
  • 〜かれ
  • 〜くなくあれ
  • 〜くなかれ
  • 〜くありなさい
  • 〜くありなさるな

These all sound fairly pompous and/or archaic to me because of ある. These are mainly found in old Japanese novels or translations of Western Bibles or Shakespeare.

  • 〜くなくありなさい

This one is too roundabout and must be avoided regardless of the situation.

If you are looking for modern ordinary expressions, most of the time you can just use なる and say 強くなろう, 賢くなりましょう, and so on. Although less common, you can also use いる and say something like これからも美しくいてください.

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