お先に = osaki ni (Mini Lesson )

= Osaki ni douzo!
= Please go ahead!
= Ie ie  douzo osaki ni!
= No, you go ahead, please!

Hi everyone! お久しぶりです!( = Ohisashiburi desu.) It has been a long time!

And ただいま!( = Tadaima!)  I am back!!

I’m officially back from the summer vacation.
Since my brain is still in vacation mode, I will give you a mini lesson today.
The key word for today is…..
!star! お先に  ( = osaki ni)
It means “Go ahead!” / “After you!” or “You first!”
If someone tells you, 
= Osaki ni (douzo)
= ( Please) Go a head!
= Douzo osakini.
(* どうぞ  ( = douzo) means “please”)
you can say, 


= Ie douzo osakini!

= Oh, no, please (you) go ahead.

Or if you want to go ahead, you  say,


= Soredewa osaki ni shitsurei shimasu.

= OK, then, let me go first. (←the literal meaning is…I will take the liberty of going ahead of you. or doing something before you do).

Or simply say,


= Arigatou (gozaimasu.)

= Thank you (very much)



= Sorede wa shiturei shimasu.

= If you insist.. allow  me to go ahead.

Also when you leave your office or some place before other people do, it is polite to say,


= Osaki ni shitsurei shimasu.

= “Please excuse me for leaving before you.

(I am sorry to leave the office while you are still working or doing something.)”

Note : If someone leave the office before you do saying this, you say


= Otsukare sama deshita.

= (The literal meaning) You must be tired after all the hard work today.

= Thank you for your hard work. / Thank you for all your work today.

If you want to make it sound more polite, say


= Osaki ni shiturei itashimasu.

And if you are talking to your friends or in casual situation, you just say


= Osakini! / Osaki!

= Bye! I’m off! (I’ll just go ahead and leave ahead of you.)


Now お先に ( = osakini) is a formal form of  先に ( = sakini)

When you  refer to your own actions , you just say 先に ( = sakini)
For example, you and your friends suppose to go  somewhere and you want to go ahead and wait for them, you say
Ex. 先に行って待っています。
= Saki ni itte matte imasu.
= I will go ahead and wait for you there.
When you tell someone to go ahead and wait for you, you say,
Ex. 先に行って待っていて下さい。
= Saki ni itte matte ite (kudasai).
= Go ahead and wait for me there.
(more casual)
Ex. 先に行って待ってて!
= Saki ni itte mattete!
= Just go ahead and wait for me there!
Note : In conversation we often omit い ( = i)
maggie-senseiマギー先生より= Maggie sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei
もうこうやって10分も経つんだけど….私達、礼儀正しいでしょ? !JYANE!
= Mou kouyatte juppun mo tatsundakedo…Watashitachi reigi tadashii desho?
= We’ve been doing this for ten minutes now. We are very polite, aren’t we?


Will you be my Patron? 

I appreciate your support!  サポートありがとう!

Become a Patron!



You may also like


  1. Hi, I’ve something of an urgent request. I live one rail stop from a co-worker who will not hear of me leaving a bar before he has become too wobbly to support himself. I like a drink myself, but I’ve come to dread the ride home because of my senpai’s constant need to debark early in order to relieve himself—occasionally in terribly inappropriate places.

    I am always drunk when I attempt the following conversation, but I assure you my Japanese is little better when I’m sober: all I know I’ve picked up from variety shows, so my vocabulary is limited; my particle selection is practically random; I have no formal training so I have no business breaking rules that I don’t even know yet in order to speak informally; and I have little sense for ordering phrases so that they make the best, er, sense.

    Anyway, this is what I try to say after we have argued for ten minutes about when I will be allowed to pay the tab:

    「できたれば おしっこしまさょうか? 今は べんりし、おさけ は よく のんだったから、 もうすぐ ひつようじやないか?」


    「さあ、こんや ビイルは よく のんだったさ、いま とても べんりとかさ、かえるまえに トイレ 行こう。 がまんがあるとか わかっているんでも、くるしくなかったのほうも いいじゃぬいか?」

    I think I could be more assertive—or at least make my もんだい better-understood—if my Japanese weren’t so godawful. Help me Maggie-sensei, you’re my only hope.

  2. Can i use お先に or お先にどうぞ!when i open the door for someone? just like the “ladies first” kind of thing.

    ありがとう ございました. !happyface! !happyface!

  3. I love you’re detailed descriptions of various new words and different sentence patterns! You’re lessons have helped me learn a vast amount of Japanese on my own.教えてくれてありがとうよ!

  4. I have a question. Can I say 「お疲れ様でした。」 to my teacher after class has ended or is it only the teacher who says can say it? If my teacher says it to us, how should we reply?

    1. @jane

      お疲れ様でした is a polite expression and you can use it to someone superior. So some people do say お疲れ様でした to one’s teacher after the class but but ありがとうございました is more appropriate.

  5. Hello Maggie sensei,
    I know my question has not much to do with this lesson, other than the kanji 先 itself. I have a really hard time understanding the overall meaning of the following sentence, especially the last part.
    もちろん、民主的な選挙が出来ない国も世界には沢山ありますから、そういう意味では、そこそこ民主的な選挙制度があるだけでも幸せで、そういう意味で、日本の選挙制度も “Better than nothing.”「ないよりはまし」なのかもしれませんがが、都民、国民が「この人にぜひ!」と思えるような人が沢山出てくるような時代は、もう少し先なのでしょうかねぇ
    My try at literal translation (sorry that English is not my mother tongue, but hope you get what I mean)
    As a matter of course, there are many other countries in the world that do not have democratic electoral system, so in that kind of meaning, having such system is already quite a good thing. One could say that the electoral system in Japan is “Better than nothing”, and there is time when there are a lot of municipal/ national citizens could think (point out) “That guy will win (the election)”, so it’s fairly predictable, isn’t it?

    I know it sounds a bit awkward, so could you help me out, sensei?

    1. @Poriko

      Hello Poriko
      Your translation is pretty good.

      1) この人にぜひ! : Your translation “That guy will win (the election)”
      この人にぜひ is unfinished sentence and it implies (勝ってもらいたい・政治家になってもらいたい・やってもらいたい…etc)

      2) もう少し先なのでしょうか : you translated it’s fairy predictable.
      The speaker is wondering it will take a little bit of time

      1. Thank you for your correction sensei!
        Now things are much clearer to me.
        Since I had no idea 少し先 means so I just assumed the writer wants to criticize the not-so-democratic of the so-called democratic electoral system, then translated the last part accordingly.
        Thank you again for your help.

      1. @イサイ

        日本語(にほんご)が上達(じょうたつ)していると聞(き)いてうれしいです。(I am glad to hear your Japanese is improving. )

          1. @イサイ

            (速い→ 早速の is better. 早速の返信ありがとう!)

            早速の= sassoku no = quidk

  6. Hmmmmm… I just tried to comment and I don’t think it worked. Thanks for the great lessons. I have to start exploring your archive of lessons they are a great resource.

  7. Hi maggie, first time on your website and it is just so helpful, thanks for your dedicated lessons and taking your time to help out the rest of us who are struggling with this beautiful language! I was wondering, shouldn’t Saki ni itte mattete! be 「先に行って待ってて」instead of 「先に行ってて」. I wish I had the confidence to write this message in japanese but I don’t think I’m quite there yet!:D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *