According to Jisho.com, 申す and 申し上げる are both kenjougo. From what I can tell, the meanings are also very similar, if not identical.

However, the words are not interchangeable. We can use 申す (not 申し上げる) in sentences like ケイトと申します. And we can't use 申す instead of 申し上げる in どうぞよろしくお願い申し上げます.

Though it's easy to memorize the phrases, I'd like to understand the two verbs better. How exactly are they similar and different? When can and can't we use each of them?

Thank you!

  • See answer here . Highly related
    – BJCUAI
    Aug 16, 2019 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


According to 敬語「申す」の意味と使い方、類語「申し上げる/おっしゃる」との違い ,


「申{もう}す」is courtesy form of 「言{い}う」, and the expression is to express what you are doing in a reserved way to the listener to looking up to the listener.

They follow


So,「申{もう}す」 has to change into the 「申{もう}します」 with the polite suffix 「ます」。



this is saying the name "ケイト" to the listener in a reserved way to look up to the listener.

They move onto 「申{もう}し上{あ}げる」.


So, 「申{もう}し上{あ}げる」is humble form of 「申{もう}す」, and the expression is to saying what you are doing in a reserved way for the partner to show the respect to the partner.


So this is greeting itself is expressed in a reserved way to show the respect to the partner.

They also explains the etymology of 「もしもし」 on the phone call is 「申{もう}す」. Telephone operator used to say 「申します、申します」in order not to be rude to the listner, however it was hard to pick up the sound, it has become contracted into 「もしもし」.



  • Thank you for your answer! The origin of もしもし is really interesting! Thank you for sharing the information!
    – Enguroo
    Aug 31, 2019 at 14:35
  • 1
    Wow, I never knew 謙譲語 could be even further categorised into 謙譲語1 and 謙譲語2! There are just so many polite forms!
    – Sweeper
    Aug 31, 2019 at 18:45
  • 1
    @Sweeper I didn't know either. Just 10 years ago so, it seemed to have changed. According to, 敬語は5種ある!【尊敬語,謙譲語,丁重語,丁寧語,美化語】違いと使い分け | 言葉の救急箱 かつて敬語は【尊敬語、謙譲語、丁重語】の3種類でした。 しかし、**2007年**(平成19年)に文化審議会が答申した「敬語の指針」によって、2017年(平成29年)現在、敬語は【尊敬語、謙譲語、丁重語、丁寧語、美化語】の5種類に分類されています。 Aug 31, 2019 at 23:30

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