1 Reply ・ Started by Streiker at 2020-11-06 20:43:32 UTC ・ Last reply by Leebo at 2020-11-07 02:01:29 UTC

Help untangling a phrase....

さようでございますか。(from tofugu's 4500 Japanese sentences)

I believe this means "Is this goodbye?", but I don't understand the phrase さようで. The closest I can come in Jisho is the word さよなら, but I don't know how to break down the construction of that word either. Any thoughts will be appreciated....

Leebo at 2020-11-07 02:01:29 UTC

でございます is just a very formal copula (like です)

さよう is 左様, which is indeed the same 左様 as in 左様なら (which originally meant something like “if that's the way it is”.

So 左様でございますか is a formal way to say "is that so?" or something along those lines. It's not metaphorical like with さようなら.

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