ございます (gozaimasu) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Be

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'ございます (gozaimasu) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Be'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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ございます (gozaimasu) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Be

The verb ございます (gozaimasu) means be, exist and is the polite form of the verb ある.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of ございます, how it is formed and when ございます is used through real example sentences.

We will also see the verb でございます which is another polite form of the copula だ (da).

How ございます is formed

The verb is generally written in Hiragana, but it also has a Kanji transcription:

()()います and in its plain form ()()


ございます is a verb that can be written in kanji as 御座います and it means to exist.

Different forms of the verb be, exist

  • The verb ある can be transcribed in kanji as ()る or ()る; its plain dictionary form means exist or be, and it is used in informal situations.
  • あります is the polite form of ある.
  • ございます is considered a Keigo form of speech, specifically (てい)(ねい)(), which is the language of politeness and formality, and it is more formal than あります.




I have a question.



There is a change in the schedule.


We would like to ask you some questions.

ございます form of respect

ございます as a form of the honorific language is used in place of あります, towards ()(うえ)(ひと) people considered superior in the social hierarchy.

We refer to our superiors in the company, to customers or older people.


Have you forgotten anything?

One of the polite interrogative forms uses the negative form, in our case ございません and the interrogative particle .


I'm sorry, do you have this item in a different color?

ございます as Auxiliary Verb

ございます also has the function of auxiliary combined with adjectives that form expressions of common use.

Using the い Adjective (あり)(がた)い: grateful


Thank you.

The past form of ございます is ございました.

有難がとうございました** is used when we want to express gratitude for something received in a past time, prior to the moment of speaking.


Thank you very much for your prompt reply.

Form of greeting using (はや)い: early, fast, quick


Good morning.


I'm sorry.

In this form we find:

  • (もう)(わけ) noun meaning apology
  • ございません: negative form of ございます

⇨ there are no excuses

です and でございます

でございます replaces the copula です in a formal context that requires the use of the honorific language.

でございます is more polite than です and ます and is used more frequently by women or by salespeople towards customers.

Inside a デパート (depāto), which is a department store in Japan, you might hear the following announcement:


The women's clothing department is on the 3rd floor.

Or when we introduce ourselves:


Nice to meet you, this is Johnson from Walmart.

Examples of ございます

Interrogative form ございますか:


Do you have any plans for tomorrow?


This item is in stock.


The restroom is on the second floor.