4

I heard it in the context of a shop staff saying it in anime, but it got me thinking about the different ways I might say 'here' in a sentence like 'Do you serve vegetarian meals here?'

ここは。。。

こちらは。。。

この店は。。。

当店は。。。

Would all of these be understood and equally polite? If not, why?

5

As a prefix attached to a place, 当【とう】 is basically a formal/polite way to say "our ~". You can use 当 only when you are staff of that place. For example, you can say 当社, 当店, 当会, 当会場, 当施設, 当ウェブサイト and so on, and they mean "our company", "our website" and so on. If you are a visitor, saying 当店 will confuse the shop staff. Instead, you have to say この店, こちらの店 or simply こちら.

こちらの店にベジタリアン用の料理はありますか?

  • Never heard it for 店 but is 貴店 the (overly) formal equivalent for "your" or is that just in a different ballpark? – virmaior Jun 1 at 4:40
  • @virmaior 貴店 is used in a serious polite B2B exchange, but an ordinary customer never uses it. – naruto Jun 3 at 1:41

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