Why would a verb be used in the ます-form but without the ‘ます’? What exactly is the difference in meaning or connotation (if any)?
I’ve been seeing this type of thing in Japanese video games when displaying messages such as お待ちください (please wait).
I’m still very new to grammar but I haven’t seen this explained in any material yet, even when searching for it.
ます-form without the ます – is what is called stem-form and is used in quite a lot of grammatic constructions.
お + verb stem form + ください – is one of the way to say “please, do the verb” politely.
Another way would be verb te form + ください (待ってください）
There are several reasons/forms in which you will see this, too many to reveal right now. This one in particular is a polite formation.
It just means “please verb” very politely
And would there be an advantage or reason to use 待ってください vs お待ちください ? I still need to do some more studying on verb conjugations…
Thanks for the answers to my original question though!
You would use お待ちください if you were addressing a customer. It sounds really formal.
More precisely, you’d use お待ちください if you were addressing a social superior. So yes, a shopkeeper addressing a customer, an underling at a company addressing an… overling, a commoner addressing a noble. (You’d only use it in @TheCodingFox’s hypothetical if you were the shopkeeper. It’s not for customer-to-customer interactions.)
It’s a type of formal language called 敬語, and… it can get complicated, even to the extent that native speakers can struggle with it. You should certainly be aware that it exists, but I wouldn’t focus on it too much at this stage in your learning (though other 敬語 phrases you’ve probably already encountered include shopkeepers saying いらっしゃいませ when you enter a shop, the いただきます before eating, or the お休みなさい to someone going to sleep).