Kuri-chan English – 自宅に来た人に、靴を脱ぐようにお願いする : Asking People to Take Off their Shoes in your House

Coffee Beans of Wisdom, Kuri-chan English

shoe rack

Asking guests or workers to take off their shoes in your house is a little tricky. If you didn’t tell them about your house rule beforehand, they might not be prepared with socks, or might have difficulty taking them on and off, or might prefer to keep them on (especially workers who work with heavy or sharp things). Here are some polite ways to ask for no shoes.

Before guests come:ゲストが訪ねてくる前
Just so you know, we take off our shoes in our house. Thanks for understanding!

When guests come:ゲストが到着した時
Would you be able to take off your shoes? It’s our house rule. You can use these slippers.
(Hint: ‘Can you’ or ‘Could you’ is also okay, but as in Japanese, longer is more polite.)
靴を脱いでいただいてもよろしいですか?我が家のルールです。こちらのスリッパをお履きください。(‘Can you’ や ‘Could you’を使っても大丈夫です。しかし日本語のように長い文の方がより丁寧になります)

When workers come:業者が到着した時
Are you able to take off your shoes, or do you have any booties?
If they can’t take them off because of their company rules, or don’t have booties, or are coming in and out of the house: Well, do you have tarp to put down on the floor?
(Hint: If they don’t have booties, a quick remedy is to tie plastic grocery bags over the shoes!)

Funny story: One Japanese friend had an English teacher who always took off her shoes when she came to the Japanese lady’s house. However, one day, the teacher came in bare feet (while driving and walking outside) and proudly said, “Look, I didn’t wear shoes today to make it easy!”  Oh no!!!