764 - ~ましょうか (shall we...?)

JLPT N4: ~ましょうか (shall we...?)

We just saw that ~ましょうか can mean something like "shall I...?" or "why don't I...?"

That is, it's used when offering to do things for other people: [NDL #763] - JLPT N4: ~ましょうか (shall I...?)

~ましょうか can also be used when suggesting a course of action for both the speaker and the listener.

In other words, it can also be used to say "shall we...?" or "why don't we...?"

An example:


A:
そろそろ休憩にましょうか
そろそろ きゅうけい に しましょうか。
Shall we take a break soon?
Literally: “soon + taking a break + に + let’s do + か.”


B:
ええ、そうしましょう。
ええ、 そう しましょう。
Yeah, let’s do that.
Literally: “yeah, + that + let’s do.”


Did you notice that Speaker A sneaked that に into his sentence?

I have a feeling that I would have neglected to do so if I'd been saying this. *_*

For other examples of にする in sentences, refer back to this lesson: [NDL #707] - JLPT N4: にする.


Let's see another example.

Note that both speakers are using formal language...


A:
もう12時ですね。一緒にランチを食べに行きませんか。
もう じゅうにじ です ね。 いっしょに ランチ を たべ に いきませんか。
It’s already twelve. Would you like to go to lunch together?
Literally: “already + twelve o’clock + です + ね. + together + lunch + を + won’t go to eat (=eating + に + won’t go) + か.”


B:
いいですね。何を食べましょうか
いい です ね。 なに を たべましょうか。
Sounds great. What should we eat?
Literally: “good + です + ね. + what + を + let’s eat + か.”


Yet another example:


A:
このワイン、おいしいですね。
この ワイン、 おいしい です ね。
This wine is good, isn’t it?
Literally: “this + wine, + tasty + です + ね.”


B:
そうですね。もう一本頼みましょうか
そう です ね。 もう いっぽん たのみましょうか。
Yes, it is. Shall we order another bottle?
Literally: “it is, isn’t it? + another + one (cylindrical object) + let’s order / let’s request + か.”


As we saw with the other usage of ~ましょうか, the conjugation changes for casual speech.

Take this dialogue between friends, for example:


A:
天気がいいから、歩いて行こうか
てんき が いい から、 あるいて いこうか。
The weather’s nice, so why don’t we walk there?
Literally: “weather + が + good + because, + walk (and) + let’s go + か.”


B:
そうだね。
そう だ ね。
Good idea.
Literally: “that’s so, isn’t it?”


Here, on the other hand, we have a boss (A) using casual language and his or her subordinate (B) using formal language:


A:
そろそろろうか
そろそろ かえろうか。
Shall we call it a day [night] soon?
Literally: “soon + let’s go home + か.”


B:
はい。
Yes.
Literally: “yes.”


You might think it odd that I labeled はい as "formal language," but I think it's appropriate in this dialogue. If A and B were just friends, B might just say something like うん, "yeah."


Perhaps this goes without saying, but you would not use the「shall we ~ましょうか」when you are inviting someone to join you for something that you already intend to do.

For example, this doesn't make sense:


✕ 明日、みんなで海に行くんです。アダムさんもましょうか
✕ あした、 みんな で うみ に いく んです。 アダム さん も きましょうか。
✕ We’re all going to the beach tomorrow. Shall you come, too, Adam-san?
✕ Literally: “tomorrow, + everyone + で + sea + に + go + んです. + Adam-san + も + let’s come + か.”


In this case, you could use ~ませんか


〇 明日、みんなで海に行くんです。アダムさんもませんか
〇 あした、みんな で うみ に いく んです。 アダム さん も きませんか。
〇 We’re all going to the beach tomorrow. Would you like to come with us, Adam-san?
〇 Literally: “tomorrow, + everyone + で + sea + に + go + んです. + Adam-san + も + won’t come + か.”


You may recall that we explored ~ませんか, along with it's more casual variant ~ない (か), back in this N5 lesson: [NDL #476] - JLPT N5: ~ませんか (invitation).


With that, your ~ましょう (か) studies are complete.

Congratulations, fellow student.




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