With 丁寧語, it's very possible - 僕が行きます is a perfectly normal thing to say. But what of 僕が参ります? Would that sound odd? 私が参ります would be more normal, I think, but is 僕が参ります possible at all?


I think 僕 is not very respectful (to the listener). It's not exactly rude (you can use it with です・ます, after all) but it's a little relaxed.

So, if you are using 尊敬語 or 謙譲語 to show respect to the listener, then I think 僕 does not fit (normally you'd be using 私{わたくし} or some more relevant term like 弊社).

  1. However, if you're using 尊敬語 to show respect to some third party then I think it's totally fine. For example,

    Manager to subordinate:

  2. Also, I can think of at least one exception here, which is if a much older person is talking to someone much younger, but that younger person is still someone who you would still use a light 尊敬語 with... for example,

    Presenter (company A) to onlooker (company B):
    僕の発表は以上です。どう思われましたか? or ご質問はありますか?

    There might be other cases where the situation balances itself out enough (in this case, old -> young vs company -> unaffiliated company) that you could probably get some light/loose 尊敬語 where it might make sense to use 僕.

    As a note, if you are ever using 謙譲語 (like you are in your example), then I think that's already enough proof that the conversation is pretty formal in tone and you should not be using 僕. (Unless the 謙譲語 is being used sarcastically, of course.)

  • @Yuuwa Thanks for accepting, but I'd probably wait for input from a native speaker, since I'm probably not really qualified to answer this (non-native speaker who rarely ever uses or hears 敬語). Jun 19 '15 at 1:44

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