The subtle difference in meaning
下さい (kudasai) : Please do …
お願いします (onegaishimasu) : Could you please do … for me?
As you can see, the difference is subtle, Onegaishimasu is a bit more polite/formal than kudasai. Therefore in most case they are interchangeable.
You don’t need を for onegaishimasu
Check out this example below:
Mizu o kudasai
Please let me have some water
When the request involves action, you cannot use onegaishimasu
We mean, when you want to make these kind of requests:
– Please listen to this
– Please write using a pencil
– Please read this form
In this case, you use a simple formula.
First you change the verb form into it’s
Here’s a sample:
たべる -> 食べて下さい
taberu -> tabetekudasai
eat -> Please eat
よむ -> 読んで下さい
yomu -> yondekudasai
read -> Please read
Things where only お願いします could be used
In these occasions below, you cannot use 下さい.
Accepting offer/Ending an order in restaurant
Consider these few situations below:
– You’re in a restaurant, finishing order, and the waiter ask “Is this all?”
– You’re in a shop, and the salesclerk ask you “Is this okay?”
– When you’re in a hotel and the bellboy ask to offer you help with
In that case, you can reply with “お願いします (onegaishimasu)”. The implied meaning are “I entrust them to you/Please do/Please help.
Asking someone for help to do something that you cannot do by yourself.
For example, asking a taxi driver to help you take you somewhere. In this case you use Onegaishimasu.
Shinjuku eki made onegaishimasu.
To Shinjuku station, please.
Asking for someone on the phone
Can I please speak to Yamada?
Calling someone for attention
When you want to call someone or a waiter, you could raise your hand and say “お願いします (onegaishimasu)”. And someone should be coming on your way! You can also use すみません for this purpose.
That’s all for now! Hope it helps (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧