How to make a request in a polite way in Japanese? I talked a little bit about this in the article “Make a request in a polite way : 恐れ入りますが and 頂けますでしょうか” but today I write about another useful phrase. That is “差支えなければ / sashitsukae-nakereba”.
As well as 恐れ入りますが / osoreirimasuga, 差支えなければ / sashitsukae-nakereba is used as a cushion to make requests.
When to use 差支えなければ
This phrase is used before you make a request. Remember, this is a cushion. Requests can work without this phrase but they sound politer with this.
Usage of 差支えなければ
Let’s look at some examples.
Thank you for the today’s meeting. I’d like to contact later with other than e-mail so I’d appreciate if I could have your cellphone number.
差支えなければ is literary translated as “if you don’t mind…” or “if it’s not problem…” so the phrase will also be translated as “I’d appreciate if I ….” depending on context.
I’d like to talk about the future project so could I have your time after this if you don’t mind
Don’t use this with casual requests
This phrase is used with formal requests. Using this with casual requests sounds weird. For example;
If you don’t mind… I’d like to pick that pen up for me?
If you drop your pen and ask someone near that pen to pick that up, you may probably say ” excuse me, could you pick that pen?”. The example is too much, isn’t it? As you know being too much formal sounds weird and sometime impolite.
Don’t use many times!
As I wrote above and as you know too much formal can be impolite so use this phrase when you make a main request in a conversation.
If you want to make someone laugh you can use this in a situation where this phrase usually shouldn’t be used. For example, if you see your friend speaking too much like she forgot breathing you can say…
Hey Yumi-chan, if you don’t mind, stop talking and take a deep breath.
(another translation : Hey Yumi-chan, I’d appreciate if you stop talking and take a deep breath)
差支えなければ can also be 恐れ入りますが so take a look at the article I wrote before for your learning!