Etymology 1Edit

The copula です (desu) is thought to be a contracted version of であります (de arimasu), from (de) +‎ あります (arimasu); however, there are other possibilities, namely でございます (de gozaimasu), from (de) +‎ ございます (gozaimasu); でする (de suru), from (de) +‎ する (suru); でおわす (de owasu), from (de) +‎ おわす (owasu); and でそうろう (de sourou), from (de) +‎ そうろう (sourou).



です (desu

  1. Polite form of (da), after uninflecting parts of speech: to be
    Kore wa watashi no pasokon desu.
    This is my PC.
    Kinō wa ii tenki deshita.
    It was good weather yesterday.
    Kono pasupōto wa anata no desu ka.
    Is this passport yours?
  2. After the plain past or nonpast form of -i adjectives (or nonstandardly verbs), to form the polite ending.
    Totemo utsukushii desu.
    It is very beautiful.
    Totemo oishikatta desu.
    It was very delicious.
    Watashi mo ikitai desu.
    I want to go too.

Usage notesEdit

The perfective form is でした (deshita), volitional でしょう (deshō), conjunctive でして (deshite). Other forms are not used.

Plain form of verb + です (desu) / でした (deshita) is nonstandard. The standard form is verb ren'yōkei + ます (-masu) / ました (-mashita). However, both plain form of verb + でしょう (deshō) and verb ren'yōkei + ましょう (-mashō) are valid in Standard Japanese – the former mainly expresses conjecture and the latter mainly expresses volition.

For the past tense of an -i adjective, the adjective + でした (deshita) is nonstandard and generally considered a common grammatical mistake made by non-native speakers. The standard form is instead to use the past form of the -i adjective + です (desu). For the forms ないです (nai desu) and なかったです (nakatta desu), there are synonyms ありません (arimasen) and ありませんでした (arimasen deshita).

This word is phonologically an enclitic, similar to particles. It is classified as 助動詞 (jodōshi, auxiliary verb) in traditional Japanese grammar.


  • どす (dosu) (traditional for Kyoto)
  • だす (dasu) (traditional for Osaka)

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

For pronunciation and definitions of です – see で候.
(This term, です, is an alternative spelling of the above terms.)

(The following entry is uncreated: で候.)