ていただけませんか - Grammar Discussion

could you please
[humble request]

Structure

  • Verb[ ] + いただけません・か
  • Verb[ ] + もらえません・か

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What situations would もらえませんか be used? Is it more/less formal?

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I couldn’t find a refence to this in the reading section but this might he helpful:

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Thanks! I bet there’s a lot of good stuff buried in this forum; I need to do a deep dive one day, haha.

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これを かってくれていただけませんか 。
Just wondering why this is incorrect for “Could you please buy this for me?”. Is this phrase a request for someone to do something for the asker in its own right?

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I’m not a native English speaker so sorry if this is wrong, but I think the translation

Could you please return home by nine o’clock?

of

夜9時までに帰っていただけませんか。

is a bit misleading. To me the translation appears to request the recipient to arrive home at 9 and is hence said by someone probably living in said home, e.g. the their SO (although it would admittedly be somewhat weird for them to use 謙譲語). The Japanese on the other hand can only be said by someone who want’s you to leave (and probably lives elsewhere), otherwise they would have to use 帰ってくる, as explained to me by a native speaker. Therefore “go home” rather than “return home” seems like the better translation here. Assuming my understanding of the English language is not wrong here, would you mind updating the translation?

@CrisH Hey! I apologize for the extremely late reply! てくれる and ていただける both essentially mean the same thing and they both indicate that the speaker is having something done for their sake. The main difference boils down to formality. てくれる is also closer to “do for me,” while ていただける is used when you want to formally request that you “have something done (for me).” Cheers!

@pampel Hey! While “return home” is less common, it can mean the same thing as “go home.” “Return home” is used more often in formal situations (hence its use in this sentence), while “go home” is used in casual situations. The difference between the two is that “return home” can also mean “come home,” while “go home” obviously cannot. Since this was a point of confusion, I have added “go home” to the hints for this sentence so that you know not to attempt 帰ってくる. Cheers!

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Thanks for posting that and thanks Pushindawood for the answer. I also got it wrong for the same reason (2 years later) and came looking for this grammar point. :smiley:

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