Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 18/18


Won't you, Could you please (Humble request)


Verb[て]+ いただけません
Verb[て]+ もらえません

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About ていただけませんか

ていただけませんか is the humble speech form of てもらえませんか, which itself is the negative potential form of てもらう 'to have (A) done by someone else'.
This structure is a combination of (the conjunction particle), the う-Verb いただく 'to be topped with', the polite-negative auxiliary verb ません, and the question particle, .
Generally, it is translated in a similar way as てもらえませんか 'won't you (A)', or 'could you please (A)'.
  • すみません(うし)()ていただけませんか
    I am sorry but, could you please sit in the back.
  • (あぶ)ないので(すこ)だけ()がってもらえませんか
    Because it is dangerous, could you please back up just a little.
This construction and いただく itself can regularly be seen as (いただ)く, its kanji form. Due to this kanji literally meaning 'to be topped with', it is just acknowledging that the person that is doing the action for you (or someone in your group), is doing so from 'above' (sounds more respectful).
  • (ゆき)(いただ)(やま)とてもきれい
    A snow-capped mountain is very beautiful.
Here we can see how the 'to be topped/capped with' meaning is used in a standard sentence.




    Could you please walk the dog?


    Could you please return home by nine o'clock? (go home)


    If it is ok, could you please do it for me tomorrow too?


    Could you please come around three o'clock?


    Could you please buy this for me?

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ていただけませんか – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (9 in total)

  • Howl_UK


    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.

  • busnea


    With lots of humble phrases you need to use お or ご before the verb. Why not here? Are there any rules to this?

  • nekoyama


    First off, even though いただく itself is a humble expression, the thing before いただく is something the other party does; a humble form would not be used for it.

    But it is possible to separately use a respectful お/ご with いただく too, in the same way as with ください etc. For example, ご連絡いただく or お電話いただく. It’s just not necessary in most cases because いただく already gets the point across.

    I guess this grammar point has the て form in the name too, so answers without it don’t fit for that reason too. For example it’s not possible to just add an お to something like 帰っていただく, it would have to be changed to お帰りいただく. They can’t just be added to a verb in the て form.

    Another thing to be aware of is that e.g. adding お or ご to something like 電話していただく is wrong as well because お電話する is humble and humble expressions should only be used for one’s own actions. However without the お, it’s completely fine.

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