Request and Assisting: -아/어 주세요/주시겠어요
Time for some new grammar patterns and today we’ll be covering two. the first grammar pattern I want to discuss is how you can ask someone to do something for you in a polite manner. You need such expressions simply everywhere so it is rather important to know how. In Korean you can use the grammar expressions -아/어 주세요/주시겠어요. Let’s give it a look.
Please do -아/어 주세요/주시겠어요
Asking how to ask for help is a critical skill in any language. In Korean you do it with the grammar patterns -아/어 주세요/주시겠어요. The first pattern is -아/어 주세요. It is the generic, polite way to ask for help or ask for someone to do something for you. With this expression you generally won’t be offending anyone as its English equivalent would be “Please do…”. Let’s look at an example:
Example: 문법을 좀 가르쳐 주세요?
Translation: Please explain this grammar.
However, sometimes you want to to be even more polite and show your consideration of the intrusion of you are causing to that person. If you want to do this you simply use the expression -아/어 주시겠어요. When you are making any kind of request, this is actually the most appropriate form in most situations. Let’s look at an example.
Example: 사진을 좀 찍어 주시겠어요?
Translation: Would you please take our picture?
Lastly, when you are asking someone of a higher social status to do something for you, you, of course, need to use honorific forms (존댓말). In that case the forms become -어/아 드리세요. You can hear this in restaurants by the staff to each other in your presence for example.
Example: 가방을 보여 드리세요.
Translation: Show the bag.
You will notice that often in these sentences the little Korean word 좀 is added. When you use 좀 like this, it has no real meaning in English. In Korean it just adds more politeness to your request. So when in doubt, just add it into your request so you are as polite as possible.
How To Use
Using the pattern -아/어 주세요/주시겠어요 is overall not hard. You can use this Korean grammar topic with just verbs. As you might have noticed, this grammar expression uses the same -아/어 rule you are already very familiar with. Nonetheless let’s go over the rules real quick:
- If the verb stem contains either ㅏ or ㅗ, you attach -아 주세요/주시겠어요.
- If not, you simply use -어 주세요/주시겠어요.
- For 하다 verbs, however, it should be -해 주세요/주시겠어요.
Furthermore it is also possible to use this expression in the past tense. When you use it in the past tense, though, it no longer expresses a request. It expresses the completion of an action that was done for you or another person. The ending then becomes either -아/어 줬어요 or -어/아 드렸어요 for honorific situations.
Difference between -아/어 주세요 and -(으)세요
As you might have noticed, there is a similarity between -아/어 주세요 and -(으)세요. However, they are not the same. The pattern -(으)세요 is a demand of the speaker for the listener to something for the listener’s sake. The expression -아/어 주세요/주시겠어요, on the other hand, expresses a request to the listener to do something for the sake of the speaker. Keep this difference in your mind at all times!