[JLPT grammar] What is the difference between 「ください」 and 「下さい」?

Today I am going to share the Q&A quoted from my JLPT N4 course!



What is the difference between 「ください」 and 「下さい」?

I have seen both forms written in Japanese media.

Is one form more formal than the other? Or are they both interchangeable?



[My Reply]

The two are slightly different, but actually, even many native speakers don’t mind the distinction.


「ください」 is used as a support verb.

食(た)べて verb+ください
=食べてください “Please eat”
飲(の)んで verb+ください
=飲んでください “Please drink”


While 「下さい」is not typically used as a support verb. 「下さい」is used as a verb meaning “give it to me.”

みず noun+を+下さい
=みずを下さい “Give me water”
てがみ noun+を+下さい
=てがみを下さい “Send me a letter”

As a verb, we can also use 「ください」instead.


Some native speakers use 「下さい」as a support verb in social media and non-news TV programs, etc. But people don’t mind because they know what it means, though it is technically incorrect.

If you write everything in hiragana, it is not incorrect.


I hope my answer helps you.😊



In the JLPT course, you can ask me any questions as much as you want.
I will teach you until you get it!