Questions tagged [formality]

Formal versus informal usage. In Japanese this can include, among other things, different endings and even entirely different words.

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65
votes
4answers
22k views

Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません?

Text books normally teach that the negative of です is じゃありません. However it seems very common to hear native Japanese use じゃないです. Is this slang or somehow less correct than じゃありません? Would it be marked ...
23
votes
6answers
19k views

Can somebody explain the various words and combinations thereof used for thanking?

To my knowledge there are three words which can be used in thanking and they seem to be usable together in some combinations: どうも (d­ōmo) どうもありがとう (dōmo arigatō) ありがとう (arigatō) ありがとうございます (arigatō ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How do Japanese speakers transition from polite to plain form amongst friends?

When you first meet somebody, polite language is, on the whole, the most commonly used form of Japanese. Children may differ, and I understand that not everyone will use plain form, but regardless a ...
16
votes
3answers
557 views

Are 漢語 always more formal than 和語?

It seems that in response to questions regarding the differences between 漢語 and their 和語 equivalents, it is often explained that the 漢語 is "more formal" than the 和語. As a result, I get the feeling ...
8
votes
3answers
11k views

How to situationally respond to 「お元気ですか」?

I'm curious about how native speakers actually respond to the simple question of 「お元気ですか。」 I'm currently going into my third year of studying Japanese. My first-year Japanese professor impressed upon ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use である vs であります?

I understand that である is the "written" form of だ/です. Because it's a "written" form, doesn't that already imply a certain level of formality? So when would one use であります as opposed to just である? If you ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How rude is it to say 寝ぼけてるんじゃねぇよ!

I've heard this used (also as 寝ぼけんじゃねぇよ!) in informal situations with nothing but smiles all around. But when I tried to use it in an informal situation with a colleague, I got the distinct feeling I'...
4
votes
1answer
930 views

How to introduce myself in relation to my wife?

I know there are a few ways to essentially say "husband" (夫、旦那、主人). Can all be used by a speaker to refer to themselves? Examples I thought of: (私はAの)旦那/夫/主人です。 旦那/夫/主人の○○です。 I have a ...
6
votes
1answer
491 views

The difference between するには and する為には

The one answer I have really found says there is no semantic difference. Is there a formality difference? Is する為には more formal than するには?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

全く vs 全然 (formal / casual)

What is the difference between 全く vs 全然? Is there a preference between using 全く or 全然 in essay writing? Is this true: 全部 (zenbu) all [casual] 全て (subete) all [formal] 全然〜ない (zenzen nai) ...
4
votes
3answers
798 views

Difference between onyomi words and kunyomi words

I think the more I read up on complicated topics the more I encounter onyomi words that have kunyomi synonyms. For example: 新しいvs新規 最新 終わりvs終了 危ないvs危険 Is the rule generally that onyomi words are ...
7
votes
2answers
877 views

What is the difference between formal and polite verb forms?

In the answer to this question I asked (When to use である vs であります?), sazarando responded by saying that "である" is formal but not polite, and "です" is polite but not formal. I sort of understand the ...
6
votes
1answer
509 views

How common/formal is あたくし?

A while ago, I discovered that あたし has a more-formal variant: あたくし This is obviously very similar to the relationship between わたし and わたくし. However, there are a couple of details that I'm not too ...
6
votes
1answer
291 views

Politeness / Respectfulness / Humility / Formality

The wikipedia article "Honorific speech in Japanese" states that Japanese has grammatical functions to express several different emotions. Not only politeness but also respectfulness, humility and ...
5
votes
2answers
252 views

Omitting を in writing

I came across the sentence その子は指で十数えました in writing, and I was under the impression that, in written Japanese particles are not omitted. I can see that that sentence means, "That child counted to ten ...
4
votes
3answers
318 views

Question about switching formality in a conversation

In case I am talking with someone using the informal form but we are not close friends yet (perhaps a close acquaintance or someone I'm chatting with online) and I want to ask him a personal question (...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

How to introduce oneself in relation to ones husband?

I know there are a few ways to essentially say "wife" (妻、家内、女房). Can they be used by a speaker to refer to themselves? Examples I thought of: (私はAの)妻/家内/女房です。 妻/家内/女房の○○です。 I have a feeling ...