Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 4/18

なさい

Command to do

When casual, can be shortened to just な

Structure

Verb[ます+ なさい

Details

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About なさい

なさい is the imperative form of なさる, an honorific language verb which specifically highlights and respects the actions of another person (never the speaker).
Despite being respectful, the fact that this is a 'command' means that it would never be used toward a superior. Due to this, なさい is most frequently used toward peers, or people of lower status, like children.
To use なさい, simply connect it to the ます stem of any verb.
  • (はや)()なさい
    Hurry up and sleep!
  • (あそ)でいないで勉強(べんきょう)なさい
    Stop playing and study!
なさい may be shortened further to な, which becomes an even more casual form that is used most frequently toward peers.
  • 勉強(べんきょう)
    You should study.
  • (まえ)(わる)から(あやま)
    You are also at fault, so you should apologize.
Caution
Be careful not to get confused between な (the particle), and な (the shortened form of なさい). These can seem very similar, but な (meaning don't) will always be used with the dictionary form of a verb, while な (meaning please do) will always be used with the ます stem of a verb.
  • このクッキー()
    You should eat this cookie.
  • このクッキー()
    Do not eat this cookie.

Examples

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  • 勉強(べんきょう)なさい

    Study!

    • (はや)(かえ)なさい

      Hurry up and go home!

      • 野菜(やさい)()なさい

        Eat your vegetables!

        • これをパパ(わた)なさい

          Hand this to your dad.

          • 注意(ちゅうい)なさい

            Be careful.

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            なさい – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

            • Pushindawood

              Pushindawood

              Hey! A similar question popped up in the てあげる thread.

              Basically, it won’t change the meaning, but emphasize that the action is a favor.

              Cheers!

            • Donutmancer

              Donutmancer

              This grammar point states: “なさい is the imperative form of なさる”, without further elaboration.
              However, the grammar point on the imperative form looks completely different, suggesting that it would be either なされ, or なさろ.
              Where does this difference come from?

              A similar claim is made for ください in a different grammar point, so It cant be completely irregular either.

            • nekoyama

              nekoyama

              なさる and くださる belong to a group of slightly irregular verbs where the imperative and the masu stem end in -ai, together with いらっしゃる and おっしゃる and ござる.

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