Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 14/18


To be, To exist (Polite)




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About ございます

ございます is a combination of the (special-class) verb, ござる (御座(ござ) in its kanji form), and the auxiliary verb ます. It is considered polite speech, and is directly equivalent to ある (or いる).
  • ありがとうございます
    Thank you very much.
  • 質問(しつもん)ございます
    Do you have any questions?
ござる itself is almost never used in daily conversation in modern Japanese, due to the preference of the polite form, ございます. However, ござる is regularly used in dramas, manga, and other forms of media (especially historical dramas).
  • ここ(わたし)(いえ)でござる。
    This is my humble abode.
Fun Fact
御座(ござ)る literally means 'to be', and it does not matter whether the object that is being described is animate (would usually use いる), or inanimate (would usually use ある). However, いらっしゃる 'to be' is preferred when referring to other people, as honorific language is more respectful than polite speech. Due to this, ございます will often be used in reference to people, in place of であります (the polite form of である).
  • (わたし)担当者(たんとうしゃ)でございます
    I am the representative.
  • タナカ(さま)でございます
    Are you Mr. Tanaka?
  • タナカ(さま)でいらっしゃいます
    Are you Mr. Tanaka?
Notice that is used in these examples. でございます itself is considered its own grammatical structure, that we will examine in a separate grammar point.



  • ありがとうございます

    Thank you very much.

    • 布団(ふとん)あそこ部屋(へや)ございます

      Your futon is in that room over there.

      • すみません青色(あおいろ)椅子(いす)ございません

        I am sorry. We don't have any blue chairs.

        • おはようございます

          Good morning. (Polite greeting)

          • (みず)ございます

            There is water.

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            ございます – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (10 in total)

            • Adarain


              Is “humble” actually the correct descriptor here? My understanding is that “humble” is usually used to refer to keigo verbs that indicate an action done by the in-group (e.g. you or your company) in order to downplay your own importance. Verbs like 参る (humble form of 行く、来る) or おる (humble form of いる). On the other hand, ございます is a neutral polite verb that is used without regards for whether the referent is related to the in-group or out-group (and usually is neither anyway because ございます, like its non-keigo counterpart ある refers to inanimate subjects).

            • onechad


              I came in here to see if this very question had been asked. Even the Tae Kim article linked under Readings says this:

              It is neither honorific nor humble but it is a step above 「ある」 in politeness.

            • suppeppo


              Okay, so I think I have an answer regarding this whole ござる situation (even if this answer might be a bit late lol). This will basically have to be small dive into humble language as a whole so here goes.

              Basically, the ‘humble’ language 謙譲語 has two parts; one is for describing actions you do that in some way or another involve the person you are doing something to/for, and the other is for when you are only describing your own actions, but want to be extra polite in your speaking.

              The first form, which is what most people probably think about when you say 謙譲語 is 謙譲語1, which includes the お~する pattern as well as some specific verbs. The second form, which can be called either 謙譲語2 (or 丁重語) only contains a handful of verbs.

              The verbs which belong to 謙譲語2 are: 致す, 申す, 参る, おる, ござる, and 存じる.

              Now, just as 尊敬語 can be used in plain form if you’re close to the person you’re talking to, e.g. 「今日、先生、いっらしゃる?」 this also applies to 謙譲語1, but not

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