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です

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Japanese

Auxiliary verb

です

  1. expresses politeness toward the listener

Usage notes

Perfective form is でした, volitional でしょう, conjunctive でして. Other forms are not used. Replaces in cases of nouns and adjectives which it is used with, e.g. 犬だ becomes 犬です and 綺麗だ becomes 綺麗です. Similarly, でしょう replaces だろう and でして replaces で.

です attaches as is to adjectives used without だ, e.g. 美しい becomes 美しいです and 美しかった becomes 美しかったです. Forms such as 美しいでした and 美しいでして are nonstandard. For the forms ないです and なかったです there are synonyms ありません and ありませんでした.

Word history

The copula です is thought to be a contracted version of であります; however, there are other possibilities, namely でございます, で/す(る), でおわす and でそうろう.

See also

Elsewhere on the web

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