Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 16/18


I humbly do, I am obliged to do, Humble speech


+ Verb[ます+ する
(1) + する[Verb] + する

(1) お, limited to [する]Verbs like: 電話(でんわ)する、勉強(べんきょう)する、散歩(さんぽ)する


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About お〜する

お〜する comes from a form of polite speech in Japanese called humble speech. This type of speech is used to refer to the speaker and their actions. This is opposed to honorific language, which refers exclusively to the listener and their actions. お〜する is almost exactly the same as お~になる, as in it simply means する.
お〜する is regularly used with words of Japanese origin, while ご~する will be used with words of Chinese origin. The する in this compound will attach directly to the ます stem of almost any verb.
  • (ぼく)(まも)します
    I am going to protect you!
  • (いま)すぐに確認(かくにん)します
    I will check right now.
While the する in this structure will attach directly to the ます stem of verbs, this does not mean that verbs that are already する verbs will become しする. In the case of する verbs, simply change the prefix to ご.
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In rare cases, お may be used instead of ご, when attached to words of Chinese origin. There is no specific rule for this, and they must be memorized on a case by case basis.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)電話(でんわ)するのがすきです
    I like to call my senpai.
  • 友達(ともだち)勉強(べんきょう)するのは(たの)しいです
    It is fun to study with my friends.
Thankfully, the words of Chinese origin that use お instead of ご are extremely common verbs. This means that you will be exposed to almost all of them very quickly. All others may be assumed to use ご.
Fun Fact
In the same way that お~になる is a more common variation of なさる (both honorific language), お〜する is a more common variation of いたす (both humble speech).
  • 5分後(ふんご)電話(でんわ)します
    After 5 minutes, I will call you. (I will call you in five minutes)
  • 5分後(ふんご)電話(でんわ)いたします
    After 5 minutes, I will call you. (I will call you in five minutes)




    I (will) humbly close the door.


    I humbly borrowed a computer from my friend's mother.


    I will humbly leave it up to you.


    May I humbly call upon the teacher?


    I will humbly take the teacher's share.

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お〜する – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (12 in total)

  • Yumari-1


  • IcyIceBear


    します is the polite conjugation for する, which being the whole point of お〜する is humble politeness, they would all end in します. Daru was just explaining that the questions are testing for お〜する and not お〜ください (even though they are synonyms). Not that every sentence will end in する specifically, since you still have to conjugate the grammar point into the appropriate politeness level. You say it takes いたす、but that’s because it’s already more polite in itself, so the ます ending isn’t entirely necessary. So I’m not sure if there’s a question here …?

    Objectively, this works here because つもり needs plain form before it....

  • brianmik


    I had a different question about the お渡ししてください construction:

    The entire phrase is これを彼にお渡ししてください.

    Since this is humble speech, meant to talk about oneself (and one’s in-group), does this mean that the “him” is the third person that you’re being polite toward, and the actual listener (the person who’s supposed to give him “this”) is in the same group (i.e., family member) as the speaker?

    Basically, I can’t understand why this humble speech pattern is used when asking someone else to do something…

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