Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

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".

6
votes
2answers
144 views

Any better way to ask “How are you?” instead of “お元気ですか?”

I'm very curios to know about the meaning of "お元気ですか?". This could be the very basic question. But once I asked my office colleague(Japanese Native) "お元気ですか?". so his reply was very shocking to me. He ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Is 休みたいです more polite than 休みたい?

Is 休みたいです more polite than 休みたい? It is necessary to say です in every "たい" word to sound more polite?
5
votes
1answer
158 views

How does one differentiate between future tense (will) and present tense?

How do I differentiate between future tense and present tense. For example, the sentence: 私は魚を食べる If I am not mistaken, the above sentence can either mean "I will eat fish" or "I eat fish". ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Are both of these correct sentences: 「ここに住所を書いてくださいますか?」「ここに住所を書いてくださいませんか?」?

I believe 「ここに住所を書いてくださいますか?」 means “Could you please write the address here?” And 「ここに住所を書いてくださいませんか?」 means “Would you please write the address here?” An exercise I’m doing shows the second ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

What does あいつ and こいつ imply in various situations/contexts?

I've read that あいつ and こいつ can mean "that person over there" or "this person over here", respectively, and also that (at least, as far as I'm aware, for こいつ) they are an impolite way of referring to a ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Is this proper use of 敬語 in a business situation?

For context, I am writing a menu for a made-up restaurant, and want to provide English and Japanese restaurants. This is an exercise I made up for myself. I want to include a phrase that is like, "A ...
8
votes
1answer
127 views

Is there a difference in (im)politeness between ~てくれ and ~て?

I understand that ~てください is the polite request form, and that both ~てくれ and simply using the ~て form are both more colloquial. I'm just not sure how they compare, my guess would be that ~てくれ is more ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Is there a good reason why I can use a polite form before から but not before ので? [duplicate]

Does anybody know why - historically, etymologically or logically - one can use polite forms (e.g. -ます) in causal subordinate clauses before から, while one must use the plain form before ので?
7
votes
1answer
588 views

How do I respond to よろしくお願いします after being assigned a task at work?

My supervisor at work tells me よろしくお願いします after she gives me a task to do in the office. What is the appropriate way to respond? I've looked around on the internet but have been unsuccessful in ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

How to ask if someone wants to continue farming a boss in game / Interrupt to leave

My attempt at both: A: ボスと戦い直したいか? Do you want to keep going? (Fight the boss again?) B: ちょっと・・・ Well... (I don't think I can) But if I have to leave because of an emergency or about to go ...
2
votes
3answers
181 views

What is the difference between 「もらいませんか」 and 「もらいましょうか」? [duplicate]

I came across this fill-in-the-blanks question in a reviewer: にもつ、_____ か。 The choices are もらいません or もらいましょう. My current understanding is that もらいませんか is of the form V-ませんか which translates to "...
2
votes
1answer
203 views

What is the difference between dono hito and donata?

I got to know that dono hito specifically asks about a person while donata is for who in general, so does taht imply to all living beings? Are both used in formal conversations?(If yes, which is ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Thank you speech for schools and city officials [closed]

I have to give speeches for a group of 5th grade students and their parents that thanks the schools and cities for hosting us and showing us around. since i am the only parent that somewhat knows ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

What does ご理解いただけた はずでは? mean here? [closed]

構いませんが すべては手紙に記した通りです... ご理解いただけた はずでは?
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Understanding この度のご縁

Context: a girl from an upper class family has met the man her parents want her to marry. At the end of the evening, she tells him: この度のご縁ありがたく思っております。 I get that this is a super polite way of ...
6
votes
1answer
256 views

When to use the counter word mei 名 over nin 人?

Beginner here. When would you use the counter word 名 over 人? I read online that 名 is used for formal situations, and literally every website gave counting customers as the example (as in, asking how ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

The different usage between “致します” and “申し上げます” interms of 補助動詞

As titled, I have difficulty telling when to use "致します" or "申し上げます" as opposed to the other one. For example, ご連絡くださいますようお願い致します/お願い申し上げます。 ご愛顧を賜わりますようお願い致します/お願い申し上げます。 here is another one ...
1
vote
2answers
175 views

Polite way to ask for help on a boss for a game?

There's a boss in a small Japanese mmo that I can beat if I had one more person about the same level. I'm not sure how rude/gaijin it is to ask for help though, but would it be ok for me to say in ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Conditionals: と良いだ/です should be wrong?

It is said that the と conditional must not be used where the main clause expresses any of the following: an intention, a suggestion, a command, an obligation, a request, etc. However, I've encountered ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

Differences between -kudasaimasuka/kudasaimasenka and -itadakemasenka/itadakitainodesuga

My textbook just put some examples without explanations, so i wonder if these sentences have the same meanings or there are differences. お名前をお書きくださいますか and お名前をお書きくださいませんか。 その論文の題をお教えいただけませんか ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Asking a business contact to make a request on my behalf?

I am helping to plan an event featuring the work of a Japanese artist. I'm speaking to his representative, and would like to ask the question, Can you ask (name) if he would be willing to write a ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it rude to refer to a person as 古い?

Objects, you can refer to as 古い with impunity. But I have never once heard a person referred to as 古い, so for a long time I thought the word just didn't apply to people. Still, searching 古い男 on Google ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is desu needed at the end of every single sentence? Also, can you add end particles at the end of every word/sentence?

When can desu be omitted? Is it needed for every single sentence? Also, can I add sentence ending particles to the end of any word? Such as, "学校ね?" as in "school, right?" Thanks. Edit: I'm still a ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Can you use “anata” with people you don't know well?

I have read repeatedly that the pronoun "anata" (meaning "you") is very personal and should not be used. But to say something like "Which car is yours?" I would say "Dono kuruma ga anata no desu ka?" ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

What does でござんしょうな mean in 馬車はいつ出るのでござんしょうな

馬車はいつ出るのでござんしょうな Does this sentence mean "When will the horse cart come out?" But what does でござんしょうな mean here? Should this be broken down into three parts as で + ござんしょう + な? I know ございます means ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Polite phrase apologizing for irregular (written) correspondence

What is the set phrase used to apologize for not corresponding regularly?
3
votes
2answers
231 views

どうしたの, どうした, どうしたんですか, どうしましたか?

どうしたの どうした どうしたんですか どうしましたか They all mean what happened. But what's the difference in between? Feel free to add examples. Thanks!
7
votes
1answer
154 views

こと (Must Do) Confusion

I often see こと used when listing rules: 冷蔵庫の物は勝手に食べないこと→ Don’t eat my things from the fridge トイレ掃除は毎日交代ですること→ Clean the bathroom every day by turns The above examples come from a written ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

やる in interviews and other polite contexts

日本語 この前、就職の面接で、この質問が頭に浮かんできました。普段しゃべるとき、私はよく「やる」とやるの活用を使っていますが、面接では「やる」より「する」や「します」の方が丁寧だと感じます。たまに「する」が使えませんが、その場合、「やる」を使ってもいいですか。そうでない場合、何と言うべきですか。 ちなみに、先に Differences in usage between する and やる ...
6
votes
1answer
324 views

Dragging one's feet for politeness

Having worked in a Japanese office for years, I have noticed this behavior thousands of time: An important customer rings the reception's bell. An employee 10 to 30 meters away (who has an ...
13
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
371 views

How do I respond to だいじょうぶですか?

When attending my Japanese classes, my teacher would sometimes ask me だいじょうぶですか。 How should I respond to such a question? Usually, I would reply はい,だいじょうぶです。But the reply seems weird, and my teacher ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Japanese concepts of formality and politeness (with a close passage)

Here is a test passage I came across that made me suspect that my perceptions of formality and politeness were wrong. In this passage, we are required to select the options we think are correct (...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

Why would one change from using polite form (です/ます) to using the plain form in the middle of a conversation (and change back later)?

I am reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon in Japanese. Towards the end of chapter 67, Christopher is talking to Mrs Alexander, trying to find out who killed ...
2
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

How can I explain about someone who is beside without saying their name for example “he likes to eat fruits”

Is it possible for me to use あの人は その人は この人は to address somebody (instead of using their name) who is beside me because i'm doing a presentation and i'm required to describe somebody but that person ...
1
vote
2answers
174 views

would you use keigo online?

I'd suppose the answer would generally be yes depending on who you're talking to but I'm a bit unsure. Just wondering if it isn't weird to speak very casually online
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I say “I insist on paying” (for a free item) to a shopkeeper?

This is related to a question on the Interpersonal Skills site about refusing free goods from shopkeepers, etc., and paying for them instead. (Note: I'm not the OP of that question, I'm not blind or ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

What particles and what verb forms to use when attached to もらう or くれる

I was speaking with a friend and at one point in making plans said something like 田中さんに連絡されてもらった後で… but was corrected to 連絡してもらった後で I understand how the particles and such work with the もらう but it ...
5
votes
1answer
126 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.
4
votes
1answer
303 views

What is the proper way to write a professional email to a business?

I'm not sure how I would write a professional email to a business in Japanese. For example, if I wanted to start out with "Hello," I wouldn't say こんにちは, would I? I know there are polite ways of saying ...
2
votes
2answers
601 views

Use of お in the beginning of these question phrases

Studying Japanese in a book, I saw this dialogue: A: お名前は? B: ペドロです A: お国は? B: スペインです From what I know, the お works as an honorific of respect, then, it is used only in formal phrases. But these ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Odd structure - 何か 見つけました?

Recently I have been enjoying the show Chii Sanpou. I expect a few of you have seen or heard of it. The former actor walking around parts of Japan. The Japanese is a mix of casual and polite. Anyway ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“お手伝いできますか?” used to ask for help

Is this a natural combination of phrases when asking for help when you are lost somewhere? 道に迷ってるんですけど、お手伝いできますか? My gut feeling is the "お手伝いできますか" part is awkward and sounds like a literal ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Choosing the correct level of politeness when translating foreign material

Here is my question: how do you choose the correct level of politeness in Japanese, when translating foreign material that may not follow Japanese rules? Let's say we have a formal setting, e.g. a ...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

What's the difference among ~てください, くださいますか, and くださいませんか?

I think all three expressions are used to show my requests to someone who are superior than me. However I am wondering if there are any nuance differences in these expressions. For example: (1) ...
3
votes
1answer
356 views

What is the difference between 行きます and 行ってきます (ました、ません etc)?

When talking with a friend in Japanese, they said "行ってないです", they cannot explain why it's different from "行きません/でした". As far as I'm aware, I'm not sure what the difference would be in terms of it ...
2
votes
2answers
274 views

Asking someone to autograph your shirt

I'm travelling through Japan and I've been asking cool people I meet to sign my shirt in Japanese. I've been saying this: sain shitemoratte ii desu ka? And they always ask sain? and laugh then ...
1
vote
2answers
83 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Is it appropriate (and friendly) to say こんにちは to random people?

For example, if I pass a random person on the sidewalk in Japan, would it be appropriate to say こんにちは? I've had people do that to me. Is it considered friendly? Polite? Rude? Does it depend on ...