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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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75 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
Niall Murphy's user avatar
22 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
sqrtbottle's user avatar
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23 votes
6 answers
21k 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
979 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 ...
rintaun's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
21k 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 ...
charlieshades's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
charlieshades's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k 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'...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 1,238
7 votes
1 answer
700 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?
Angelos's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Amani Kilumanga's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
112 views

敬語 in Informal Situation

I have noticed reading manga/light novel and speaking with friends that, despite talking in informal way, sometimes they use 敬語 (like ますand です) for one or two sentences, then switch back to informal ...
Jacopo Ziroli's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Shashin onegaishimasu / しゃしん おねがいします - informally acceptable?

If I were to ask a native of Japan to take a picture of myself or me and the group with whom I am, is it acceptable to ask "Shashin onegaishimasu / しゃしん おねがいします" as a shortcut instead of the ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
7 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
charlieshades's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
4k 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) not 〜 at all ...
450F's user avatar
  • 263
6 votes
1 answer
667 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 ...
ersbygre1's user avatar
  • 341
4 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
GoBusto's user avatar
  • 768
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

"Formal" Japanese and "honorific" Japanese, are completely different, right?

My understanding is that, strictly speaking, "honorific" Japanese 敬語{けいご} is completely different from "formal" Japanese 丁寧語{ていねいご}. Yet, I sometimes hear even native speakers conflate them: ex: 「する」...
davewp's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
529 views

Is honorific speech ever used in the first person?

I'm just starting out learning Japanese, and I've read that when using honorific and humble forms and conjugations, you use humble forms to refer to yourself, and honorific forms to refer to others, ...
Obie 2.0's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
3 answers
1k 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 (...
Ofek Aman's user avatar
  • 135
3 votes
1 answer
249 views

How often is 略字 (handwriting simplification) used?

Is 略字 (handwriting simplification) used only in informal writing (like a diary or post-it annotations) or is it used in more formal situations (like teacher/professor blackboard writing or an essay)?
Yasushiki's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
245 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 ...
Amani Kilumanga's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
175 views

When are less syllables or words MORE formal / LESS casual? Eg Goodbye: じゃあね vs just じゃあ

That Japanese Man Yuta seems to say じゃあね (jaa ne) is actually LESS formal / MORE casual compared to じゃあ. Btw, is the n supposed to be in red too? What's up with that MORE syllables are actually LESS ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
1 vote
1 answer
147 views

Is there any usage of である outside the literary works?

I have heard であります being used in TED talks, as use of である i have heard it in Kotaro but that also in a comical way as Kotaro talks like his favourite Samurai character. Is there any dialect that still ...
Japanese Learner's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
222 views

Motokano S01E01: Addressing / referring your step-parents as 1st name-san vs aunt / uncle

1st episode of new anime adaptation of light novel series My Stepmom's Daughter Is My Ex aka Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta: Widow Mineaki, father of male protagonist Mizuto, has recently ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605