455 - ~てくださいませんか

This is our fourth and final N5 lesson on making requests.

So far we've seen all of these, which I recommend reading at least once before getting into this lesson:

- [NDL #385] - JLPT N5: てください
- [NDL #441] - JLPT N5: をください
- [NDL #448] - JLPT N5: をくださいませんか

In the ~てください lesson, we saw that you can request that an action be performed by conjugating a verb into its て-form and adding ください, which more or less means "please."

Then in the をくださいませんか lesson, we saw that くださいませんか is an even more polite form of the already polite word ください.

What we're looking at in this lesson is the combination of these two things:


JLPT N5: ~てくださいませんか

The short version: ~てくださいませんか is the more polite version of ~てください.

All we have to do to form these types of requests is add くださいませんか to the positive or negative て-form of a verb.

For example, if our verbs are 貸す (かす // to lend) and 吸う (すう // to smoke; to inhale), then we might make requests like these...

V て + くださいませんか

貸してくださいませんか
かして くださいませんか
could you please lend (me)

V ないで + くださいませんか

吸わないでくださいませんか
すわないで くださいませんか
could you please not smoke

Note that if you're still not sure how to conjugate verbs into their て-forms, you should make that a priority before worrying about anything in this lesson. Our first N5 lesson on the て-form may be useful for this.

Note also that 吸う technically just means "to breathe in" or "to inhale." It only means "to smoke" when it's paired with タバコ, "tobacco," as in the example we'll see later in this lesson.


Seeing as how we've already seen just about everything being covered in this lesson, maybe it's not too difficult?

Well, the grammar stuff might not be too difficult, but trudging through example sentences may still be a challenge.

Let's try...

先生、「エリーゼのために」を弾いてくださいませんか
せんせい、 「エリーゼ の ために」 を ひいてくださいませんか。
Sensei, would you please play “Fur Elise?”
Literally: “sensei, + ‘Fur Elise’ (a song by Beethoven) + を + play (and) + くださいませんか.”



I had a Japanese teacher once that told our class we should all use super-polite phrases like this one when addressing her. Sadly for her, none of the students took her advice.


すみません、子供が寝ているので、もう少し静かにしてくださいませんか
すみません、 こども が ねている ので、 もう すこし しずか に してくださいませんか。
Excuse me, my child is sleeping, so could you possibly try being a little quieter?
Literally: “excuse me, + child + が + is sleeping + because (=ので), + a little more + quiet + に + do (and) + くださいませんか.”

Note that instead of saying "be quiet," we can somewhat literally say "make into quiet," 静かにする (しずかにする), in Japanese.


明日の夜、2時間ほど車を貸してくださいませんか
あした の よる、 に じかん ほど くるま を かしてくださいませんんか。
Could you possibly lend me your car for about two hours tomorrow night?
Literally: “tomorrow + の + night, + two hours + about + car + を + lend (and) + くださいませんか.”


すみません、ここでタバコを吸わないでくださいませんか
すみません、 ここ で タバコ を すわないでくださいませんか。
Excuse me, could you please refrain from smoking here?
Literally: “excuse me, + here + で + tobacco + を + don’t inhale (i.e. smoke) (and) + くださいませんか.”


That's all for this one.

Personally, I don't use ~てくださいませんか all that often. Maybe I'm not as polite as I should be. ^^

But it's certainly worthwhile to know, and as you get more familiar with the more complex grammatical aspects of Japanese, this stuff won't seem too hard at all.




Noticed any typos we've missed or other issues?
Report them here at this link.

Have questions about something in this lesson? Something not quite clicking yet? Join our discord community and discuss any questions / comments with us and fellow students.
You can join by heading to this link.