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Questions tagged [politeness]

丁寧表現(待遇表現). From social politeness ("please", "thank you", etc) to the technical Japanese grammatical concepts of honorifics and respectful and humble forms known as "keigo".

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Correct thing to say when gifting someone food that you expect him or her to eat later

If you gift someone a box of chocolates, for example, and aren't necessarily expecting him or her to eat it immediately or all at once, but instead whenever it's convenient, is it appropriate to say &...
SpikedHelmet's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
80 views

Omitting か in polite questions

I have been wondering about how frequent and in what situations people use rising intonation to signal a question without か in polite speech. Specifically, I’ve heard these kind of sentences: そう思いません?...
whatyouexpect's user avatar
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1 answer
128 views

Combining words to make a name/nickname

I traveled to Japan last summer, and I was lucky enough to climb Mt Fuji and see the sunrise from the summit. During this trip I had given my jacket to my wife and thus didn't actually have much in ...
Robert Johnson's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
56 views

Couple of questions regarding phrasing for professional/polite inquiries

My Japanese is a bit limited, as my parents are Japanese and growing up, I mostly only picked up casual conversational-level Japanese when speaking with them. Due to this, I have a severe lack of ...
rc0's user avatar
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0 answers
96 views

In corporate office, how to ask superior about why he can not proceed with a proposal?

Basically, I want to ask a very senior person why a work cannot be proceed in other way instead of current way. From my side I have following ways to ask. But are there any better ways? ...
M14's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

When can 「お前」be endearing?

In modern Japanese「お前」is generally considered to be disrespectful or condescending. But sometimes in colloquial speech it's used between friends or even lovers in a way that conveys they are being ...
Mentalist's user avatar
  • 229
2 votes
1 answer
115 views

でございます for a respected person

According to all dictionaries and most grammar books I can check, でございます is a polite form (丁寧語), which seems almost equal to です but with a more polite mood. It is classified as a humble form (謙譲語) by ...
Kotoba Trily Ngian's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
65 views

Is it natural to use 謙譲語 after being addressed with 尊敬語? [duplicate]

Can someone please explain why the answer to the following question is a and not b? 今朝の新聞、お読みになりましたか? a. いいえ、 読んでいませんが b. いえ、お読みしませんでした Is weird to use 謙譲語 after someone has addressed you using 尊敬語?...
Bronwyn Young's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
143 views

Are questions ending in は polite or plain?

On my grammar textbook, there is a part about the possibility to ask a question with just the topic and は, for example: お仕事は? That can mean "what is your job?" or "how is work?". ...
MarcoT13's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
126 views

Which verbs can come with Vていただけませんか and Vていただきたい?

There is somewhat similar question, but mine is not about the degrees of politeness. As far as I understand, Vていただけませんか literally means something like “would I be able to get V from you?”. So, it's ...
homocomputeris's user avatar
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1 answer
106 views

How do you politely refer to a group of people with the pronoun you?

Specifically, if a teacher said "I've finished grading your tests.", adressing the students, would he use あなた? I've seen it been said a couple times that あなた isn't that polite, so would the ...
Ameya's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
107 views

How would you express the phrasing “Courtesy of [x]” in Japanese?

I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out how to phrase this sort of thing. I’m thinking of this in the context of “acknowledging that someone has formally done a service for another”. Examples might ...
nemesis's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
189 views

How does a parent address their child's teacher or principal?

Would the honorific さま (-sama) surfice when addressing a teacher or principal? I'm uncertain if a parent would use 先生 (sensei) or こうちょうせんせい (kōchōsensei) as it's not their teacher, but their child's.
Amy Fay's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
101 views

Keigo ます after a noun

I found this sentence in an anime. 娘さんたちも悲しみます The context is that this lady is dying and a guy says to her that her daughters will be sad. I understand that he transformed the adjective 悲しい into a ...
Unaware17's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
80 views

How to address someone like the owner of a guesthouse

So I am currently in Japan for vacation and also some short work visit and had the chance to use Japanese a little. I learnt things mostly from reading, so I struggled to formulate things verbally in ...
Evangeline A. K. McDowell's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
88 views

when is てます used over ています if you are supposed to be talking "polite"

I understand that てる and てます are basically shortened versions of ている and ています, but if you are supposed talking "formally"/"polite" why would you use a shortened version?
Infernoboy's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

When speaking openly with a group of people, is it okay to speak casually with some and formally with others?

Say that I'm having lunch with my buddy outside, and my boss comes over and starts talking to me. Obviously, with my boss, I'll talk with proper keigo and stuff. But in front of my boss, am I allowed ...
chausies's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
520 views

Are 腹違い (harachigai) and 種違い (tanechigai) rude terms to use when referring to half-siblings?

腹違い and 種違い are ways to refer to siblings born of different mothers/fathers. Are these terms rude/disrespectful? Or are they about as innocuous as saying "half-siblings"? Also, I could open ...
chausies's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
224 views

When speaking to a family (where they all have the same last name), is it okay to refer to people by their first name?

Say I know a woman named Satou Hanako, whom I would refer to as "Satou-san". If I meet her family (mom, dad, big brother, big sister, etc.), and they introduce themselves by name, how should ...
chausies's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
212 views

Difference between last name (no honorific) and first name (with honorific)?

So I know that you usually call people by last name with honorifics, but I was wondering what the difference was between last name without honorifics and first name with honorifics? When would you use ...
Infernoboy's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
187 views

Kaguya-sama: Dropping keigo when narrating?

Related: Kaguya-sama: 女の子 (onnanoko) as an opposite for 男子 (danshi)? In Kaguya-sama Chapter 52 / S02E02, there's a character named Moeha Fujiwara (the imouto of a main character Chika Fujiwara) who ...
BCLC's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
216 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
1 vote
3 answers
173 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
0 votes
3 answers
122 views

Formality of: おXなされてくださりませ

What nuance would be given by this pattern, example: お助けなされてくださりませ Please help me
Japanese Learner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
216 views

The Quintessential Quintuplets: Can you use 1st name with the honorific -sensei?

From S01E06 of the anime adaptation of the manga The Quintessential Quintuplets: The male protagonist Fuutarou Uesugi is a smart but poor high school student who is tutoring these 5 (currently 3 in ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
1 vote
1 answer
71 views

What is a good/polite expression for the word "ma'am"?

Doing some translation work for a comic and I'm trying to come up with a good alternative for ma'am. The specific context of the scene is a cop arriving at a crime scene and asking a woman, "Ma'...
Jet's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
331 views

Is「お元気ですか」an honorific speech and can it be used between lovers?

The question is raised from the famous movie Love Letter (ラブレター), where Hiroko cried to her dead boyfriend Itsuki and said 「お元気ですか?あたしは元気です。」. But I'm taught that the「です」's after sentences and 「お」's ...
C.K.'s user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
245 views

Is 何人ですか a rude question?

「国籍はどこですか」ではなくて「何人ですか」と聞いたことや、名前がカタカナだったので外国人だと思って、在留カードを見せるように言ったことがありました。 There were cases where [the police] asked people "what is your nationality" rather than "what is your ...
user3856370's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
404 views

verb stem+masu vs verb stem+suru

Example: 引っ越す 引っ越しします I know they have the same meaning but what are the small details? I remember seeing the structure お+verb stem+する used in humble speech, but here the お is omitted.
K N's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
334 views

Difference between using -san and -shi

I was at an event with high ranking Japanese personal, heads of a martial arts organisation. People were asking for signatures on event passes, which had their name written on it. As part of the ...
JapaneseBeginner1970's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Stubbornly gender-neutral way to address or refer to your older sibling? (Wait a minute...what about non-binary?)

I believe Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog/Filipino/Philippine and English (I'm a monolinguist from HK and the Philippines) don't have this, and so Japanese probably doesn't either, but here goes: Is ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
4 votes
2 answers
772 views

Usage of "Itadakimasu" for digital objects

Here it reads : As we mentioned earlier, itadaku means "to receive" or "to accept." But it's not a direct translation of the concept in English. There are certain situations where ...
Starckman's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
163 views

How I address a juniour colleague is different from how I refer to the colleague around the colleague's sibling?

From S02E10 of the anime adaptation of the manga The Quintessential Quintuplets: Above, Miku Nakano (left) is a younger identical quintuplet of Yotsuba Nakano (right). Miku and Yotsuba are high ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
1 answer
241 views

Kaguya-sama: Changing the way you address someone without your relationship having changed

Question: Is it common in Japanese to (temporarily? permanently?) change the way you address to someone even if your relationship has not changed because of certain intent say, you want to intimidate ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
1 vote
2 answers
420 views

Is this 'onee-san' address sarcastic or something?

S01E03 of anime adaptation of the LN/manga The Devil Is a Part-Timer! See here 1:18 - 1:32 There are these 2 characters Chiho and Emi who meet for the 1st time when Emi interrupts Chiho's profession (...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
1 answer
310 views

Motokano S01E01: Why when being romantically affectionate do these ex-romantic partner step-siblings call each other by last name?

1st episode of new anime adaptation of light novel series My Stepmom's Daughter Is My Ex aka Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta: Yume Ayai and Mizuto Irido have recently become step-siblings. ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
-2 votes
1 answer
383 views

How relevant is gender in comparing last name-kun/chan compare to 1st name-san?

Re these questions: How does last name-kun/chan compare to 1st name-san? (Danganronpa) Why does Naegi call Togami "kun" and Aoi "san"? (Kaguya-sama) WWhy does Chika call Miyuki ...
BCLC's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
758 views

How does last name-kun/chan compare to 1st name-san?

Let's say the person is John Smith, first name John, last Smith. Comparing the following pairs is easy. The latter is more formal than the former. John-kun vs John-san Smith-kun vs Smith-san John-kun ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

When conjugating adjectives, can we use the normal form of the adjective and use the copula です to indicate its form?

This is specifically for い-adjectives, as な-adjectives work this way. For example, when I want to say something is not delicious I'd usually say おいしくない. Would it be possible to use おいしい じゃありません and ...
Fyreflum's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

ので with requests [duplicate]

I was consulting my grammar book (A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar), when I came upon the following passage (page 323): Now this is all well and good. But it's a bit conflicting with an ...
Riolku's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
106 views

てくれて for a softened request

Suppose I'm making a casual request, and I want something in between 見てね, which is more of a command and 見てくれる?, which is more of a request. Is 見てくれて natural? Or maybe I'm looking for something else ...
Riolku's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
258 views

Do ~ではなかったです / ~じゃなかったです sound natural?

I'm compiling a chart for conjugating nouns, i-adjectives, and na-adjectives for a Japanese beginner, but I'm running into some difficulties in the negative tenses. I'd like this chart to be accurate ...
Hikonyan's user avatar
  • 2,202
6 votes
1 answer
236 views

How do I apologize for unintentionally saying something linked to other people's private difficulties?

I was in conversation with an acquaintance. They start talking about their kid, so I said something intended as a compliment to their child, but that led to them telling me about their kid's ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
370 views

How to give a "professional" compliment as a brief aside ("I just wanted to say…", "As a side note, I really…", etc.)?

Say you're having a conversation with someone broadly in the same line of work as you whom you don't know very well, in an only mildly informal setting—like, near the snack table after a talk you both ...
Zoë Sparks's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
78 views

推薦書を書いて下さいました。vs (先生に)ピアノを教えていただきました。

1 - 推薦書を書いて下さいました。 2 - (先生に)ピアノを教えていただきました。 I wanted to confirm 2 things. First is number 1 尊敬語 and is number 2 謙譲語 Second is the reason why 2 is using 謙譲語 because the teacher is part of the speakers ...
fynxgloire's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

Can I use both ましょう and ですか?

I want to ask someone a question as to whether they want to do something. Would you like to play Minecraft on the computer? Would this be written as コンピューターでマインクラフトをあそびましょうか。 OR ...
username__hidden__'s user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could 家族 be used for really close friends?

My family has a very good relationship with a Japanese family since many decades ago. When I was a kid, I used to play when their sons, and I visited them once and stayed at their home for a month. ...
Miguel Mars's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
219 views

Do friends continue to use chan/kun to refer to each other as adults or do they switch to using san?

Do friends continue to use chan/kun to refer to each other as adults or do they switch to using san?
minetti's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
125 views

うん and ます form in the same sentence

https://twitter.com/MRko_aki___/status/1395581370328489985 A Japanese artist recently tweeted うん、頑張ります What is the stylistic reason for combining the casual うん with the polite 頑張ります rather than はい?
SpikedHelmet's user avatar
  • 1,129
2 votes
1 answer
149 views

Can you use the base of the 〜ます form to mean "and" in spoken Japanese?

When written I've read that you can use the base of the 〜ます form to mean "and". But does the same rule apply when spoken? For example, does the following sentence make sense when spoken? ...
Bennett Hardwick's user avatar

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