With u/ru-verbs, one can easily make the humble form as such: “読む” -> “お読みいたします” or “ご到着いたします", but I'm at a loss as to how to make these forms for sentences that end on an adjective or noun. How does one turn, say “これが好きだ” into the humble form? The respectful form can easily be achieved with something like “ご主人様はこれがお好きです”. Surely something such as “眠くおありいたします” would not actually work? as the humble form of “眠い”

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    You use humble forms to be respectful towards the person who is the target of your action. 到着 is not something you do for (or to) another person, so ご到着いたします is funny. And adjectives are not actions.
    – aguijonazo
    Jul 13, 2023 at 9:30
  • "how to make these forms for sentences that end on an adjective or noun" - well, they don't end on na-adjectives or plain nouns; rather, you can say that, but there's an implicit or explicit だ, which is a verb. As for your attempt, as far as I know the humble form of ある is just おります. Jul 13, 2023 at 23:02
  • ^ Hm?? だ in "noun+だ" is not a verb but an auxiliary, right? And だ in "静かだ" is part of a na-adjective and not a verb or auxiliary, right? And, by the humble form of ある is just おります do you mean we can say 「眠くおります。」?
    – chocolate
    Jul 14, 2023 at 0:48
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    @Chocolate I think that Japanese traditional grammar considers だ to be some auxiliary suffix of na-adjectives or nouns, but western linguists usually consider na-adjectives and nouns to be inconjugable, and describe だ/です as separate auxiliary verb(s). (Word auxiliary does not exclude verb, auxiliary simply means "helping, aiding", from auxilium "help, aid".)
    – Arfrever
    Jul 14, 2023 at 2:54
  • もの, こと, ため, 故, 他, 別 etc. could be perhaps described as auxiliary nouns, at least in some of their usages.
    – Arfrever
    Jul 14, 2023 at 3:07

1 Answer 1


There is no humble form for adjectives. Honorific and humble forms are basically only for actions.

Actually, it is possible to add (~て)いらっしゃる to describe someone's state honorifically:

  • 先生は健康でいらっしゃいます。
  • 先生はチェスが(お)好きでいらっしゃいます。
  • 先生はとても美しくていらっしゃいますね。

So it should be fair to expect a humble equivalent to this, but unfortunately, there is none. If you really need something politer than just saying です, that would be ございます:

  • 私は健康でございます。
  • 私はチェスが好きでございます。
  • 私は眠うございます。

But this is technically not a humble form in the first place, and this form has become rare today. While there are still a few elderly people who actively use this form, very few use it in modern business conversations. Practically, when describing your own state, ~です is enough in nearly all cases. (Still, you may want to pay attention to i-adjective + です, which is still sometimes seen as unsophisticated. And ~がございます meaning "there is ~" is still relatively common.)

  • Yes, I feared so, also “〜でいらっしゃいます” is the respectful form of the “〜でいる” not of the “〜だ” form, but one might argue that the “〜でいる” is more action like. But what of ru/u verbs that are such as “見える” do they ever occur as, say “ “お見えいたします”, for say a butler to humbly that something is visible to him?
    – Zorf
    Jul 14, 2023 at 8:29
  • @Zorf I think ていらっしゃる is the honorific version of both だ/である and でいる (チェスが好きでいらっしゃる means チェスが好きである, not チェスが好きでいる). お見えいたします sounds simply unnatural to me.
    – naruto
    Jul 14, 2023 at 9:09
  • I see, the same with say “私はご主人様の身分とお違いいたします” is that also not possible as a humble replacement for “違います"?
    – Zorf
    Jul 14, 2023 at 9:41
  • @Zorf That sentence is incorrect, but you can say 違っております (違う is a verb).
    – naruto
    Jul 14, 2023 at 9:52
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    @Zorf 好きでおります is a correct humble sentence, but it's from 好きでいます (I keep liking) rather then 好きです.
    – naruto
    Jul 14, 2023 at 12:23

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