Questions tagged [keigo]

敬語. Honorific speech in Japanese.

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Use of で in 彼のことで何かご存知ですか

彼のことで何かご存知ですか Do you know anything about him? I'm not sure what で is doing in this sentence. It's mentioned in this thread but not broken down in detail. I'm familiar with Xのこと as "about X" ...
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申し訳ないです not used as an apology?

I read the following sentence: あんなおまけイラストまで喜んで貰えて却って申し訳ないです。 As far as I know 申し訳ないです is usually used for formal apologies but translating it like "I'm sorry that you are pleased ..." ...
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Humble verbs in plain form

I saw in Sekiro that some characters are using humble verbs like 参る but in their plain form. What's the point of this? Would anyone actually use a humble verb without the polite ending in real life?
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How do I solve the Dirac equation in Japanese?

In a famous book of Richard Feynman there is a story about him struggling with the Japanese language when it comes to keigo. Take a look at the excerpt from “Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!“, part ...
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2 votes
1 answer
101 views

what is ございまする?

Watching Gintama, ep. 35. Teenage girl, talking to her date (and also previously, other characters), have used でございまする as a sentence ending "desu" phrase. Is this an archaic / made up ...
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Short form of extra modest expression

I recently came across an example of someone saying 'お返しする' rather than 'お返しします' about 18 seconds into this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vazHI4jN6lc&t=18s Under what circumstances should ...
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218 views

Confusion over whose actions can be used with もらう/いただく

I encountered this sentence in the first book of Minna Intermediate: わざわざお時間をとっていただいたのに It is used by a student discussing her meeting with a professor regarding her (the student's) thesis paper. So ...
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What level of politeness/respect should a customer use towards a shop owner?

I made a purchase at a store and received an email from the shop owner. What level of respect/politeness should my reply be, in addition to using 丁寧形 throughout? For example, how should I choose ...
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Understanding でございます in「ただ今ご紹介いただいた田中でございます」

I was looking up ございます in デジタル大辞泉. I found an odd sentence example (2)(補助動詞)補助動詞「ある」の意の丁寧語。「すでにお願いして―・す」「いかがお過ごしで―・しょうか」「ただ今ご紹介いただいた田中で―・す」「おめでとう―・す」「いっそ死にとう―・す」 I'm puzzled why でございます is used in「...
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Parsing a humble form expression (maybe)

その鞄は機内へのお持ち込みはできません You cannot bring that bag on board I'm struggling to understand the grammar of this sentence. I'm aware that you can make the humble form of a verb by adding an お onto the masu-...
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6 votes
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Terminology: Does the term 美化語 include all ご・お・etc. prefixes, or only ones outside of a 敬語 context?

This seems like a basic question, but I can't find an answer to it: As far as I know, 美化語 refers to the ご・お・etc. prefix on words for mere beautification. However, I have seen some ambiguity in its ...
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Confusion on the politeness vs. formality terminology

I was reading the "Dictionary of Japanese Grammar" series, and I found the way it uses the term formality vs. politeness contradictory and confusing, so I wanted some clarifications. Here ...
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Honorific on a number

I've been having a play with Duolingo and I came across this utterance: 果物をお一つどうぞ。 So far I've come across some pretty unnatural stuff and it's left me rather skeptical. I've never seen an honorific ...
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The grammar behind お願いできる

Lesson 1 of みんなの日本語中級I teaches that 何とかお願いできないでしょうか can be used to insist on a request while acknowledging that it is unreasonable. Regarding the grammar behind お願いできる, is the following ...
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contradictory evidence for 何に as (1) なんに and (2) なにに

is 何に pronounced (1) なんに or (2) なにに here: お飲み物は何になさいますか。? (1) www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU-hnuSM098 @0:20 provides evidence (NB: despite the possibly incorrect ローマ字 (roumaji) found there and in the &...
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5 votes
3 answers
275 views

Difference and usage between こちら and 私

I would like to know the difference between the two sentences こちらを見ていた and 私を見ていた The translation is the same I think She was looking at me is こちら and 私 interchangeable when using を after ? EDIT:...
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Who's the implicit subject in お世話になりました?

Which (if any at all) of the following two understandings of お世話になりました is correct? The implicit subject is あなた. The お〜になります pattern is a 敬語 construction. The full sentence in plain form is あなたが(私の)...
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「させていただく」or「させてくださる」

その俳優が大好きなので、ぜひ私に彼へのインタビューを(  )。 A.させてくださいませんか B.させていただけませんか Here is my understanding of these two options (which can be wrong): A: "you" is the subject, will "you" not give "...
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368 views

ご存じ how to use properly and why

I found a couple of examples using this noun; neither makes a lot of sense. i think that ご存じ is an irregular polite form of 知る. However, if that is the case it is a bit odd as the polite form of a ...
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How does 参{まい}る relate to love?

Google translate lists "be madly in love" and "be infatuated" as alternate translations for 参{まい}る. When I saw it I was like, huh? I searched 参{まい}る 意味{いみ} on Google too and the ...
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謙譲語:お「verb stem」する

男:今朝の新聞、お読みになりましたか。 女:いえ、お読みしませんでした。 According to my textbook, this response is incorrect? Why? I thought this pattern is 謙譲語 and suitable. Are there additional rules around this pattern that I'm ...
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146 views

Mixing formal and informal language?

I recently wrote something and has someone check it, and then had someone else look over it to see if it's natural. The text in question was this, 人間は生存を唯一の目的とする獣であり、これらの進化の衝動がなければ、他の目的はありません。  ...
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3 votes
1 answer
120 views

Question about 際 usage in Shinkansen Master N2

Studying for the JLPT N2, I came across the following question in the Shinkansen Master Grammar book. ( ) 際は、こちらのテーブルをお使いいただけます。 a) お食事の b) ご飯を食べる c) お一人様の I thought that a) and b) are good enough ...
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Using いらっしゃる vs いる when referring to 方

I have the following from a tourism article: ただ、2018年{ねん}に築地{つきじ}から豊洲{とよす}に市場{いちば}機能{きのう}が移転{いてん}したことをご存知{ぞんじ}の方{かた}もいらっしゃるでしょう。「築地{つきじ}は今{いま}も観光{かんこう}に値{あたい}するスポットなの?」。そんな疑問{ぎもん}を持{も}つ方{かた}...
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3 votes
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117 views

Understanding 「…でけっこうですので、…」

In my textbook, I encountered the phrase 先生のお時間があるときでけっこうですので、[わからない言葉を教えていただきたいんですが] I assume that the meaning is approximately "I'd like to ask you something, but it's OK if you don't have time"...
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Does 'masu' form have its own te-form?

Things like「どういたしまして」, someone used「と申しまして」to their name, and more that I can't recall at the moment, it seemed like it's a te-form of masu-form, but I can't find any explanations of it. If it exists, ...
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3 votes
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137 views

ございます after adjective (with ウ音便)

If I understand this correctly, ありがとうございます is formed as follows. First, the adjective ありがたい is turned into the adverb ありがたく. Then, in ありがたく+ございます, ウ音便 takes place and ありがたく becomes ありがとう. But in ...
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When to use 丁寧語 and when to use 謙譲語 when talking about myself

Like probably everbody I have a hard time with Keigo. I get the basic concept of in-group and out-group and neutral-group but I am really confused about switching between 丁寧語 and 謙譲語 when talking ...
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What level of formality is used in companies and web pages?

I'm new here, and I'm full of doubts... (sorry) Today I want to ask about how should I address people that work in a company in a webpage? I was recently hired at a consultancy agency to translate ...
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0 answers
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Use of ございます to describe existence

Why in this dialog is「ございません」the appropriate answer? 「兄弟がありますか。」「いいえ。私は兄弟が(___)。 I understand that ございません would parallel あります in the first sentence, but shouldn't I use the polite form of iru to ...
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319 views

Why is `お一人様の際は、こちらのテーブルをお使いいただけます` wrong?

In 新完全{しんかんぜん}マスター文法{ぶんぽう}N2 there is an exercise to choose the correct phrase to make the full sentence correct. (...)際{さい}は、こちらのテーブルをお使{つか}いいただけます。 a) お食事{しょくじ}の b) ご飯{はん}を食{た}べる c) お一人様{...
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9 votes
2 answers
732 views

How do you thank somebody for doing two things in Keigo?

I often run into situations where I have to thank somebody for doing two things in business emails. The sentence would essentially be: “Thank for doing A and B.” I am thinking something around ...
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3 votes
1 answer
627 views

The use of 申し上げる and 申す

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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Ask for a facility visit to another Japanese company

I'm in the process of asking another company if they would be so kind to let us visit their facility. Some kind of tour of the company. They already accepted us going there, but we would like to ask ...
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explanation verbs form 座る 座って 座り

Hi may I ask for explanation of the following, I read here form verb 座る (sit) and polite form 掛ける for form Please sit down there is this forms 座る -> 座れ (very rude) -> 座って (better form) -> 座ってください (...
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3 votes
1 answer
297 views

Appropriate polite language when referencing yourself in a letter written on behalf of others?

Maybe this is a bit too hypothetical, but I thought it was an interesting question nonetheless. I was writing a business email in Japanese, using pretty formal language, on behalf of someone who ...
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6 votes
1 answer
498 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 ...
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1 answer
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もらいます/いただきます usage

When I received a souvenir from my boss, the following statement will be used. 私は課長にお土産をいただきました。 What about if I want to make a statement that A received a souvenir from his boss and his boss is ...
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1 answer
177 views

How to politely phrase "what problem are you trying to solve?"

I'm struggling to find a way to phrase: "Could you let me know what problem you are trying to solve with ${COMPANY_PRODUCT}?" in a business email. The context is that we're offering a ...
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2 answers
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What is the verbかけ- form used ? If any examples then please explain

Which sentence is correct for example,"They didn't call me/invited me for the meeting!" I tried to making below sentences but i am not sure which one is correct(or no one): 私を会議に招待していません。/ ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What kind of conjugation is「お召しなすって」?

This is from 茨海{ばらうみ}小学校 by 宮沢賢治, probably written almost 100 years ago. 「どうぞスリッパをお召しなすって。只今{ただいま}校長に申しますから。」 My question is about お召しなすって. I think 召す is 尊敬語 meaning "to wear" in this case. I know ...
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Meaning of おまちする

From: https://www.serebii.net/blackwhite/subwaymaster.png Context: The character who says this to you (the player) is on the subway along with you. They are also about to battle you. ようこそ ...
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3 votes
1 answer
197 views

Where can I learn the proper way to answer professional emails?

I haven't found any good blogs or books explaining properly the way to start an email or to answer one. For example, I received an email asking me about my availabilities for an interview: ...
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21 votes
1 answer
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Can polite and casual Japanese be combined?

What I mean is, is there any overlap? are you allowed to speak in a way that combines both forms of speech? like are there words that, even if using formal speech, are typical to use casual speech ...
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4 votes
1 answer
260 views

Both parties in conversation using *kenjougo*?

So I'm reading a kid's story, where a tanuki with a swollen stomach calls a rabbit doctor. I believe that both parties are using kenjougo/sonkeigo when speaking with each other. (I'm guessing that ...
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12 votes
1 answer
428 views

I don't understand how お世話になっております is a valid expression

In a post about the validity of お待ちになっております: The grammar おVになる is 尊敬語, respect language. You can't use it to talk about yourself. -⁠ておる, on the other hand, is 謙譲語 (well, in the standard dialect at ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How do I figure out what the implied subject is?

I was doing some JLPT N2 practice and I came across this: あのう、山本先生でいらっしゃいますか。私、先日、先生の講演会で( )鈴木と申します。 1 ご覧になった 2 お会いになった 3 お目にかかった 4 お伺いした My thinking: Some form of 会った should be filled in the blank. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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どうして「お聞き遊ばして」が現代語訳では「お吸いなさいまして」になるのか分からない

現代訳を頼りに、泉鏡花さんの「外科室」を読もうとしているところですが、分からない箇所があります。 原文の  看護婦は医学士の旨を領してのち、かの腰元に立ち向かいて、 「もう、なんですから、あのことを、ちょっと、あなたから」  腰元はその意を得て、手術台に擦り寄りつ、優に膝のあたりまで両手を下げて、しとやかに立礼し、 「夫人、ただいま、お薬を差し上げます。どうぞそれを、...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Family questions

When I speak with my mother I must say "haha", when I talk about other people's mother, I must say "okaasan", but what about when I talk about my mother to other people? There is nothing about that ...
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1 answer
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How can one determine the appropriate meaning of 伺う in formal speech?

Is it based on the particle connecting the object of the verb? For example, に/へ伺う to go vs を伺う to ask Is it purely based on the context of the sentence for distinguishing between to go, to come, ...
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