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Erlkönig: Whence です?

The background behind the word です
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Whence です?

[go to romaji text]

wordoriginnotes
ですで あります (polite of で ある) Contraction. Polite verb for あります is ございます, hence で ございます

Note the replacement of お with わ in the negative reply
あんこ 食べます か?
あんこ 食べません。?
Negative of です
それ わ チョコレート です か?
いいえ、チョコレート で わ ありません

で わ ありません is often replaced by じゃ ありません or even じゃ ない です. However, the more carefully polite で わ ございます is not so contracted.

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