Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 9: 2/13

Shall we

Verb[ます+ ましょう
Part of Speech Expression
Word Type Sentence Ending Particle
Register Polite
品詞 表現
単語の種類 終助詞
使用域 敬語
As covered in our ましょう lesson, ましょう is one of the conjugations of the auxiliary verb ます, and is a common (polite) way to suggest that something be done ‘together’.
Adding the particle to this expression simply changes the nuance from ‘let’s’, to ‘shall we?’, and is more of a direct question than ましょう by itself.
Like ましょう, this expression can be added to the ます stem form of any verb.
  • レストランまで車(くるま)行(い)きましょうか
    Shall we go to the restaurant by car?
  • 今夜(こんや)走(はし)りましょうか
    Shall we run tonight?
One thing to note with these examples is that they are ‘suggestions’, not ‘invitations’. In Japanese there is a slight difference between the two, in the same way that there is in English. If you want to invite someone to do something, the most natural way would be to use ませんか, a phrase that is similar to ましょうか.
  • 一緒(いっしょ)イタリア行(い)きませんか
    Won't you go to Italy with me?
  • 一緒(いっしょ)イタリア行(い)きましょうか
    Shall we go to Italy?
The difference here is that ‘won’t you do (A)?’ has a stronger nuance of being a direct invitation, while ましょうか is closer to just ‘let’s do (A)!’
Slow Male
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Shall we go eat some sushi?
Shall we speak in Japanese?
Shall we go to the beach tomorrow?
Genki I
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Marugoto Elementary 1 (A2) Rikai
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みんなの日本語 I
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Genki I 2nd Edition
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Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 152