てごらん (Te goran) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Please Try To Do

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'てごらん (Te goran) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Please Try To Do'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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てごらん (Te goran) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Please Try To Do

The expression てごらん (te goran) means try to do it, please try to, please do.

It is an imperative expression in polite form and the meaning is that of てみる: try to do.

Let's look at the meaning and usage of てごらんい and てごらんなさい, another common form in the daily conversation in Japan.

How てごらん is formed

The kanji transcription of てごらん is てご(らん).

The structure is formed by:

  • the て form of the Verb
  • ご the Honorific Prefix
  • (らん) is the Keigo form of the verb ()see, look, watch

「~てみる」と同じく「試す」という意味を表します. It means try to like ~temiru.

て Form of the Verb+(らん)
The Japanese term of ウール is (よう)(もう)


Touch it. It's wool!

てごらん as an invitation to do something

The form てご(らん) is used with the meaning of てみる try to do.

「てごらん」 is a polite form and is used to encourage our interlocutor to do something.

It is an imperative expression and is also used to give an order, so it is not appropriate towards superiors.

It is used, for example, by parents towards their children.


Give it a try and eat!


Try it again one more time.

てごらんなさい Imperative Form

The structure てごらん followed by なさい is stronger than てごらん and gives more emphasis to what we are asking.


You can definitely do it, so please try it once!


This song is beautiful. Listen!

Honorific forms of ()

The forms of kindness have different levels and the use of the various expressions depends on our interlocutor and on the context. The imperative form ()なさい in its variants of the Keigo:

  • (らん)なさい: it is a light imperative used towards peers, not towards superiors

  • (らん)(くだ)さい: is a form that expresses more courtesy than the use of なさい, but is not recommended towards superiors

  • (らん)(くだ)さいませ or ご(らん)になって(くだ)さい: are the appropriate forms towards (じょう)() one's superior, one's boss or towards ()(うえ)(ひと) superiors, senior persons, towards customers and in formal contexts.

    During an exhibition (てん)()(かい) the staff person could say to visitors:


Please take your time and have a look.

In a formal business email, we can write:


Please see the attached document for details.

An upper level of the same structure using Keigo is ご(らん)(いただく)く. We have studied in another post the various forms of the verb receive: もらう towards peers, in the uchi context, and いただく in the soto context, towards superiors or people one does not know.


Did you take a look at the materials I sent you the other day?

Double Keigo: is it correct?

Here is a sentence of common use in a conversation using Honorific Language. 「ご(らん)になられましたか?。」 In this sentence we find ()(じゅう)(けい)() the double Keigo represented by:

  • (らん)になる honorific form of ()see, look

  • なられる: passive form of なる become with honorific use

    The intention is to create an extremely polite expression to ask: Did you have a look?

    It is not actually used and the correct forms are:

  • 「ご(らん)になりましたか」or

  • 「ご(らん)いただけましたか」

Examples of てごらん


Go ahead and do it as you think.

Look at nature this way!
()てごらん: Look at it!


Look at nature this way!


Look at that! There's a rainbow in the sky.