Questions tagged [honorifics]

Affixes, particles and conjugations applied to words to mark respect.

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1answer
472 views

What does it mean when someone uses -kun after a person's name?

I have heard in many Anime they use then ending -kun. I'm interested on knowing since I can get more of the feeling of how the person feels about the other.
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1answer
867 views

Can さん or 君 be used on animals?

In Mikan Enikki, the protagonist cat was referred to as ネコさん when his name was not known (e.g. Kikuko Kusanagi called him as such when she didn't know his name), and as みかん君 when someone else talked ...
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1answer
3k views

Do all verbs have an honorific and humble form?

I was reading about this phenomenon in a few places and saw, for instance, this table of transformations and substitutions for various verbs. Is it only these common verbs which change, or do all ...
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667 views

Appropriate Honorifics for Fan Letter

I wrote a fan letter to Japanese actors that I admire. It was compulsory to write his name on the envelope, so I just simply put Xさん However, I later noticed that everyone seems to address him as ...
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2answers
127 views

Meaning of ごきけんになるわけだ

The narrator explains his way of talking to adults, and then: するとそのおとなは、自分と同じように趣味のいい人間と知り合えたと感じて、ごきけんになるわけだ.... And that adult feels that he has been able to get to know a person with good ...
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1answer
251 views

Historically, how would a military lord and his direct subordinate address each other? [closed]

I am currently writing a short story, for a text prompt demanding I set my plot among medieval Japan's nobility, but I am unfamiliar with older honorifics. The main dialogue takes place between a ...
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2answers
515 views

Quotation marks around name without honorific: invitation to 呼び捨て?

Last week I began corresponding with a Japanese penpal. I initially addressed her with 丁寧語, but she responded using 尊敬語/謙譲語 so I began responding that way as well. We've been addressing each other ...
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1answer
103 views

If I were named San, and somebody wanted to write out my name with the san honorific, what would it look like? [closed]

A fiend of mine wants to name a plant San-san, but written correctly.
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1answer
377 views

How to refer to a famous writer? (-さん?-先生?)

I was trying to write something about Osamu Dazai, I know that for mangakas we use 先生, but usually celebrities' names are mentioned without any honorifics.
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2answers
852 views

Can the honorific o be used in front of all nouns?

Can the honorific o be used in front of all nouns? I was thinking of sentence structures and wondering if o could be placed in front of all nouns. Thank you.
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995 views

Is the honorific postfix -氏{し} usually used towards men?

Is using the honorific postfix -氏{し} usaged biased towards men or is it equally appropriate to be used for women as well? Building from this excellent answer about honorifics: What does 氏 mean after ...
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4answers
712 views

Is 最愛の神さん the proper way to write "Dear God?"

Say, you're writing a love letter to God. Is this the right thing to write on the envelope? 最愛の神さん (I'm writing a short story featuring that theme.) EDIT: Maybe this 親愛なる神へ is better grammar?
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2answers
187 views

The humble (謙譲語) prefix 愚 when used to refer to own family members

I read about kenjougo (here and here) and understood that it is a type of honorific speech used to lower your rank below the person you are speaking to when you describe the actions of yourself or ...
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1answer
356 views

What is this archaic female honorific form called, and what relationship does it describe?

I stumbled upon this way of referring to women that was apparently used in pre-war Japan。I can't remember where I found it, or what was said about it's name or purpose, just that it went something ...
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1answer
399 views

What should I say when a senior colleague is leaving before me?

When leaving before a senior colleague does, people say お先に失礼します, and the senior employee responds お疲れ様でした or ご苦労様でした. お疲れ様でした is also usually said when a colleague of the same seniority is leaving. ...
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123 views

Using 「~さん」 when referring to both oneself and others: precedence?

In this question ("When shouldn't I use 「〜さん」when referring to a third person?"), the consensus seems to be that one should avoid referring to one's own boss, coworker, etc. in an elevating manner by ...
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3answers
2k views

When shouldn't I use 「〜さん」when referring to a third person?

In In actual Japanese society, how often are second-person pronouns used?, the accepted answer says: You can either refer to a person by the name like 山田, which is not (particularly) polite, or ...
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193 views

How would one refer to someone else's lover in 尊敬語?

I've searched the internet, but can't really find anything. My first thoughts were お恋人 and お付き合いの方, but the first doesn't seem very common, and the latter seems to have a different meaning.
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1answer
209 views

神 compared to 神様

When the Abrahamic God is referred to in Japanese, 神様 is very common, but on occasion I simply see 神 on its own. This even applies when they are clearly speaking reverentially, using words such as 御心{...
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2answers
282 views

Can the honorific お be used with a person's name?

I have seen the honorific used in front of nouns and was wondering if it can be used in front of a person's name. Thank you.
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4k views

How to address a family?

I am sending a gift to a Japanese family (friends of ours). Rather than address the gift to one individual I want to address it to the entire family. How do I write The Tanaka Family in Japanese?...
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2answers
2k views

Honorific and humble forms of suru verbs

This question is about suru-verbs, verbs made from a noun and the verb suru (for ex: 鼓 + する). I am familiar with the potential form of suru being 出来る, then suru-verbs potential become Xしえる or Xしうる or ...
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2answers
286 views

The politeness level of 辞書形(ある/する) in replacement of ます form

こんにちは! I'm just a beginner in Japanese (started my Japanese self-study from this March) but now I'm working in a Japanese company in Tokyo. Since most people in my company can't really speak English, ...
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1k views

Under what Japanese honorific should manga/anime fans address manga-ka/anime directors?

I speculate that there might be some sort of spectrum of the honorifics to use for manga-ka/anime directors. For example, I think one might be able to get away with addressing younger, and more, for ...
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1k views

What is the difference between chan and san and sempai?

What is the difference between chan and san and sempai?
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-たん (-tan) suffix (honorific) meaning?

Came across the honorific -たん in Re:Zero (episode 4, 6 minutes in): You saved me, didn't you, Emilia-tan? Does anyone know what it means? The protagonist who said it clearly likes the female lead ...
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969 views

What is お in お元気ですか?

Sorry if this is a very basic question, but I'm trying to understand everything in my first lesson (online, Rocket Japanese). I don't understand what the purpose of お is in the phrase お元気ですか, which ...
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3k views

How rude is it to speak to a Japanese stranger informally instead of using the polite form?

Are there any native Japanese here that could tell me how rude it is to speak informally to Japanese people I have never met instead of using the polite form? I'm assuming it's more rude the older the ...
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151 views

In this sentence, is changing "迎える" to "迎えられる" for a potential or honorific reason?

Here is part of a document that I am reading: 本日は、世界最高の大学のひとつで卒業式を迎えられる皆さんとご一緒できて、とても光栄です。 "everyone who is able to be attending" or "everyone who is attending" as an honorific ?
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223 views

When in doubt between -chan and -kun what to choose?

I want to call one of my friend, who is not Japanese, by adding -chan or -kun to his name. The friend is a student of Japanese as myself from the same group. A male, not homosexual. I think he's about ...
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173 views

Why is "さん" used as a suffix for these people's CVs / profiles?

Please look at the profile for any of these interpreters: http://www.hicareer.jp/inter/ In the プロフィール section, underneath the photos, their names are written, and "さん" is added to the end of each name....
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3answers
529 views

て-form and other conjugations of 謙譲語

In my limited exposure to 尊敬語【そんけいご】 and 謙譲語【けんじょうご】, I feel like I've only really seen them used in their normal -ます forms and never in て form or conjugated such as a -たい form. Are honorific and ...
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3k views

Desire form verbs (~たい), is there a polite form?

I was just curious if there is a way to make the ~たい form polite? for example 戦いたい - Want to fight I was thinking possibly using the honorific form instead of the masu form might be acceptable? ...
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1answer
216 views

What is the function of "o"?

Why do people have to add "o" to "namae" like "Onamae wa?"
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2k views

けっこんしていらっしゃいますか or けっこんなさっていますか

I was doing an exercise in which you are supposed to change questions into honorific expressions (Genki II second ed, pg. 175 Ex. C.9.) when I stumbled upon a question which had an answer that seems ...
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1answer
2k views

How to say "Do you want to know?" in Japanese 尊敬語?

In 尊敬語、we use 「ご存じですか。」to say "Do you know?". Now, how do we say for asking 「知りたいでしょうか。」or "Do you want to know?" in Japanese 尊敬語?
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217 views

Should I repeat -san to refer to someone whos name ends in san?

My friend's name is Allisan, how can I make it clear that her name is オーリサン and the honorific 'san' is not included and furthermore how can she introduce herself without sounding like a smug to ...
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3answers
694 views

What are the differences between なさる and される?

I noticed なさる and される are both used as 尊敬語. What are some of their differences? How do I know when to use each one?
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Can a sonkeigo verb be used with an inanimate subject? / 尊敬語は無生物主語に対して使えますか?

As a background, consider this question: “is this sentence correct 会議は三時からでいらっしゃいます.?” My initial thought was like this: A sonkeigo (尊敬語) verb is used to show the speaker’s respect toward the ...
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is this sentence correct 会議は三時からでいらっしゃいます.?

会議は三時からでいらっしゃいます. (I'm studying the honorific and humble forms) Thank you
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1answer
543 views

Which form is 切り?

On a Japanese package I've found this inscription: ここからお切り下さい。 This obviously means: "Please cut here (to open)". With my very basic knowledge of Japanese I would instead of お切り (お being the ...
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1answer
195 views

Should I use honorifics to say (言う 'iu') for subordinate clauses?

When I use という to-iu, for example: これと同{おな}じ「草{くさ}」というものがここに生{は}えますか? Kore to onaji “kusa” to-iu mono ga kokoni haemasu ka? Does something like this so-called “grass” grow around here? Should ...
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1answer
2k views

How is "おらず" used in the following sentence?

I'm trying to read a short story whose theme (I think?) is that in order to have self-awareness other people are necessary. Like, they act as abstract mirrors to view oneself (or something...). So, I ...
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1answer
332 views

ございます - Humble or neutral?

I was under the impression that ございます was a humble form of ある. My belief was supported by websites such as this and this. However, in the comments to this question's answer, user4092 says it isn't a ...
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1answer
624 views

おる in honorific contexts

Usually, we're told that おる is a humble verb, and that mostly holds true. But sometimes I see it conjugated to a light honorific form おられる, usually when talking about someone to whom respect must be ...
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1answer
2k views

The usage of 様{さま} (-sama) honorific

I've always heard that 様 is a highly respectful honorific, being used to refer to lords, kings and deities. However, many times I hear people calling someone with 様, without sarcasm or irony, being ...
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1answer
161 views

How does a single verb construct work when it has both honorific and humble auxiliaries?

An example textbook sentence: かかるついでに、見たてまつり給はむや How about looking at him (Genji) on this occasion? たてまつる is humble auxiliary, 給ふ(給う) is honorific. Does this reflect a relationship between 3 ...
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158 views

How to address a formal email response to a 学会本部事務局 when you don't know if the person is a 教授 or not?

I received the following email and I want to submit the 要旨, but should I address the body of my email to 加島 or to 本部事務局? I did a Google search for her full name but I didn't find it on a university ...
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118 views

In what contexts might one say "風呂{ふろ}" instead of "お[風呂]{ふろ}"?

In what contexts might "風呂" be used instead of "お風呂"? "お巡りさん" has been lexicalized. "お茶" is almost lexicalized. What about "お風呂"?
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2k views

can one ever say "おいかがですか?"

I have almost always added 美化語{びかご} to "いかが" (making "おいかが"). However, a native speaker just told me that "おいかが" sounds unnatural. I'd like to double check this. Is it ever natural to add 美化語 to "いかが"...