Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 15/18


To be, Polite copula




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About でございます

As mentioned briefly in the ございます lesson, でございます is a structure which can be used as a replacement for であります, the polite form of である (which itself is the formal equivalent of ). Both です and でございます are considered polite speech. However, でございます is the more polite of the two. Let's take a look at a few examples.
  • 郵便局(ゆうびんきょく)(となり)でございます
    The post office is next door.
  • 運転手(うんてんしゅ)タナカでございます
    I am Tanaka, the driver.
でござる may also be seen, as it is the base form of + ございます a (special-class) verb. However, in modern Japanese, this is primarily restricted to historical dramas, or characters that have a somewhat 'quirky' personality.
  • 拙者(せっしゃ)ハットリでござる
    I am Hattori. (拙者(せっしゃ) is a very common word that was used by samurai, and simply means 'I')
Fun Fact
Using でございます to introduce yourself is considered quite polite, however, when referring to other people, いらっしゃる 'to be' is preferred, as honorific language is more respectful than polite speech.




    This is Mr. Tanaka.


    These goods really are convenient.


    This is the teacher's desk.


    This is the library.


    (I am) head of English, Hamada.

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      でございます – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (3 in total)

      • Sanshi


        I don’t quite understand why we use でござる in the sentence:
        ただいま校長先生が留守 でございます

        In the dictionary we can see that 留守 goes with verbs like (に)する. Is 留守でございます some kind of fixed expression used in honorific language when we talk about our superior being somewhere else (not necessarily home)?

      • Yumari-1


        Sorry for the classic grammar point thread necro, but…

        I’m pretty sure there is nothing special about pairing 留守 with でございます. 留守 can also be used as a noun, in which case it takes a copula, and if you want a really polite version, then でございます is one way to express it, which happened in this example.
        Though I welcome any correction on this one ofc.

        What I’m confused about is the prompt that I don’t think I’ve seen before on this point’s questions.
        Why is the prompt “Kenjougo” (謙譲語)now?

      • IcyIceBear


        Tense hints have just recently been updated. You can read about them here

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