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Etymology 1Edit

The -ます ending is generally believed to have come from the Old Japanese auxiliary verb mawirasuru (mairasuru: to humbly do something for a superior), with idiomatic use arising from the causative conjugation of 参る (mairu, to come or go to the place of a social superior, humble verb).

mawirasurumairasurumarasurumassurumasurumasu

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): [ma̠sɨ̥ᵝ]
  • The pitch accent depends on the suffixed verb.

Alternative formsEdit

SuffixEdit

ます (rōmaji -masu)

  1. expresses politeness toward and distance from the listener: vaguely similar to the social context indicated by the usted verb conjugation in Spanish, the vous conjugation in French, or the Sie conjugation in German
ConjugationEdit

Other forms not attested.

Usage notesEdit

Connects to the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative form) of a verb and inflects partially like type 1 verbs. The imperative forms are only used with honorific verbs, e.g. いらっしゃいませ (irasshaimase), なさいませ (nasaimase), 下さいませ (kudasaimase). The perfective has an irregular negative form ませんでした (masen deshita); the hypothetical conditional is rare. The old dictionary form まする (masuru) is still sometimes used. When there is a choice, attaches last: e.g. polite passive is 話されます (hanasaremasu), not 話しまされる (*hanashimasareru).

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

The reading of various kanji.

Pronunciation 1Edit

NounEdit

ます (rōmaji masu)

  1. : trout
  2. , , , : a traditional Japanese cup (unit of measurement)
VerbEdit

ます (rōmaji masu)

  1. 増す, 益す: to increase in amount or degree

Pronunciation 2Edit

NounEdit

ます (rōmaji masu)

  1. : trout
  2. , , , : a traditional Japanese cup (unit of measurement)
  3. : (architecture) the capital of a wooden pillar

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9