Wild Nihongo!


なさい Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Auxiliary Verb

Essential Meaning: Do X (imperative form used by superiors to give commands to inferiors)


  • Verb ます-Form + なさい
    • E.g. はなしなさい [Speak.]
    • E.g. べなさい [Eat.]


  • なさい is the imperative form of the polite honorific verb なさる [To do]. It is used by superiors to give commands to inferiors (e.g. a teacher to a student).
  • ください is the opposite of なさい. It is used by inferiors to make requests of superiors (e.g. a student to a teacher).
  • There is also an impolite command form that includes such strong commands as め! [Read!] or べろ! [Eat!] One example is the famous Bruce Lee quote:「 かんがえるな。かんじろ!」[Don’t think. Feel!] These informal command forms are very strong and aggressive and should generally be avoided.

Example Sentences:

もっとたくさんべなさい。[Eat more.]

あそばないで勉強べんきょうしなさい。[Don’t play. Study.]

はやくうちにかえってなさいよ。[Come home early.]

もうおそいからみがいてなさい。[It’s already late, so brush your teeth and go to bed.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to this line from 1:47: さけいたグラスあればすぐになさい、みんながつまみやすいようにくしはずなさい [If there’s an empty glass, fill it immediately…Separate the food from the skewers so that everyone can snack more easily] The context here is that a boss is condescendingly giving commands to the singer.

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