なさい (nasai) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N4]

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なさい (nasai) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N4]

The suffix なさい (nasai) is used to give an order in a polite manner. This form is typically used by a superior (boss at work, teacher, etc.) towards an inferior or young person (employee, student, etc.).

This form is more polite and formal than the normal imperative form, but still conveys a sense of command or order.

In this post we see how an expression with なさい is formed and its various uses through examples of real sentences.


Where does the form なさい come from

なさい is the imperative form of なさる (()さる), which in turn is the honorific form of する (the verb to do).

For this reason なさい is the honorific form of しろ, which is the imperative of する.

する
なさる[Honorific]
なさい[Imperative-Honorific]

Or:

する
しろ[Imperative]
なさい[Imperative-Honorific]

How なさい is formed

The suffix なさい follows the ます form (continuative form) of the verb to which it is added.

Verb[ます]+なさい
()べる
()
()なさい
()
()
()
()なさい
する
なさい
This conjugation is different from 「ください」, which instead follows the te form (て) of the preceding verb

When to use なさい

なさい is used to issue a command in a gentle but firm way. なさい is often used by a teacher or mother to instruct a student or child to perform an action.

なさい is only applied to positive verbs (the negative form ない cannot be used) and must be connected as a suffix to another verb (cannot be used as a term in its own right).

Let's see some examples of the use of なさい:

よく
()きなさい!

Listen carefully!

In this example, we can think of a teacher catching a distracted student, using the form なさい to politely issue an order.

ここ
()りなさい。

Sit here.

Also in this case the form なさい indicates an order to sit where it is indicated.

()(まえ)
()きなさい。

Please write your name.

Remember that なさい is a relatively polite imperative form compared to other more direct forms
It is also possible to remove ~さい from this form to form a more colloquial and direct imperative form with just ~な

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