Back to basics again :-(

I asked Tanaka to close the door

Is this sentence impolite? It seems weird that the quoted part is in the te-form. Is it really saying that the thing I asked Tanaka is ドアを閉めて. Such a request sounds rather blunt.

What – if any – other ways can 閉める be modified to make this request (but still using と)?

  • I was under the impression that with the quotative と, と頼む always follows the quoted utterance, with or without かぎ括弧. So it seems to usually follow one of these options: te-form, 命令形, てほしい, which means it is generally a request or a command that precedes と頼む. I think「verb + よう頼む」and「verb + ように頼む」both work, although I am not quite clear on the difference, which I hope will be addressed in answers to this question.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 23:11
  • @EddieKal "I was under the impression that with the quotative と, と頼む always follows the quoted utterance" <-- so was I, which is why I thought it was weird that it would be just ドアを閉めて rather than ドアを閉めてください for example. This was in a tool for teaching beginners' Japanese so I wouldn't expect something quite so brusque. I feel I must be missing something. Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


As a native speaker of Japanese, I don't think this sentence impolite, or I don't assert that 'I' (私) really said 'ドア(を)閉めて' which is usually used especially among the family members.


I have tried to think other ways of saying this more politely.

私は田中さんにドアを閉めてくださいと頼みました。(in this case it is very probable that 'I' really said「ドアを閉めてください」and when we compare this with that, the above sentence sounds less polite)

私は田中さんにドアを閉めるように頼みました。(this sentence without と seems to me more preferable)

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