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Difference between です and でございます

Mike Cash

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What's the exact difference between です and ございます?

The same as the difference between です and あります, for practical purposes.

You probably want to know the difference between です and でございます instead, I would imagine.

The latter is a more humble equivalent of the former. The difference is in politeness level.
 

laser2302

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ございます not でございます (though I'm not sure if they are the same or not). ございます as used in おはようございます and in ありがとうございます. I heard it's use is as similar as です, it's also a state-of-being meaning "to be".

In おはようございます and in ありがとうございます, can we replace ございます with です?
 

lanthas

 
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As you know, あります and です are not the same. However, です can be written as で あります. (Some say this is where the word です originally came from)
Similarly, ございます (humble equivalent of あります) and です are not the same, but です can be written as で ございます (again, if you intend to be formal and humble).

So, neither あります nor ございます can be replaced by です just like that. You could of course theoretically say はやいです (it's early) or ありがたいです (I'm grateful), but it would be odd to use these instead of the fixed expressions. In fact, they're called fixed expressions for a reason: there's not much point in trying to analyze them, let alone change them.
 
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