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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Why is Atom not given any honorifics in アストロボーイ・鉄腕アトム? Is it because he's a robot?

I'm very new to Japanese I'd like to apologize now for any glaring mistakes up front. Revisiting Astro boy, I've noticed that Atom is very rarely called by any kind of honorific, just アトム. The only ...
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What is the grammar of ご機嫌【きげん】よう? [duplicate]

What is the grammar of ご機嫌【きげん】よう? It is made of three or, we might say, two parts: ご 機嫌【きげん】 Good spiritswith honorific よう What is よう? Is it 様【よう】 in the sense of "form, style"? Per jisho.org ...
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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 ...
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103 views

Implicitly self-referring honorifics

I am told that ご連絡します for “I will contact you“ is not more polite than 連絡します but simply wrong because the honorific ご should qualify actions done by the interlocutor, not by myself. To make it polite ...
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I'm looking for some pointers on polite, standard sentences when working in a service-oriented capacity [closed]

I've recently begun work in the tourism sector, mainly behind the hotel's bar and in the restaurant. I'm expecting some Japanese guests in the next few months. While I've studied Japanese language ...
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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 ...
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What's the difference between 僕等, 我々, 僕たち, and お互い?

As I read more Japanese texts, I’m finding there are a lot of ways to say “us.” Are there any contextual differences or differences in politeness level between 僕等, 我々, 僕たち, and お互い?
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Polite way of asking if someone's received an email

What's a polite way of asking in an email if you've received a previous email? In my case, "polite" means "I'm emailing the tourism information staff of a place that mainly deals with domestic ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Difference between いたします and させていただきます

When writing in humble 謙譲語{けんじょうご} language, I see いたします and させていただきます. What is the difference between these two forms? For example both mean "I will contact you" in humble language, what is the ...
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303 views

What is the recommended timing for あけおめ ことよろ?

Contrarily to the abbreviated informal (if not rude) version I used in the title, the usual greeting for the New Year is quite long: 明けましておめでとうございます。今年もよろしくお願いします。 Those are two sentences, and it ...
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Why is being indirect more polite than being direct in Japanese?

In Japanese, the more indirect a question (or a sentence in general) is, the more polite it is considered. Is there a reason for this?
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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 ...
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Why does the waiter use past tense here

When I was trying to order a set meal in the restaurant, the waiter said Aランチのほうでよろしかったでしょうか I am not sure why the past tense よろしかった is used here, I personally would say Aランチのほうでよろしいでしょうか I ...
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How do you ask someone to '' please yobisute ''?

I just learned about the concept of yobisute. If someone calls me John San , and I want them to drop the honorific and just call me John how should I say this ? Would it be just ''Yobisute kudasai'' ...
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Is 何それ a rude phrase?

I searched the term on the site, and I noticed that while it could mean "what's that", it also had some negative meanings. What would be a better way to ask "What's that?"
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195 views

Which is more polite, ではまた or じゃまた?

Context: The terms are used when leaving chat sessions. Some people type deha/wamata and others, jya/jaomata. Which one is more polite?
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謙譲語 (Kenjougo) Beginner question

Good day, I'm currently studying Japanese in a school here in Tokyo and I'm on my 5th month already here. Problem is that the lesson here is sometimes too fast, which is why I need to use other ...
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Is it ok to use ~て下さりました instead of ~ていただきました?

Just to avoid repeatedly saying いただきました too much, can I occasionally switch it with 下さりました or 下さいました?
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How should I bid farewell to a superior?

My boss is leaving soon after years of service. What would be a good way for me to express my gratitude for all of his guidance and help? I am somewhat familiar with the expression お世話になりました but am ...
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164 views

How do parents say “I” when talking to their children in Japanese?

When a parent is talking to their child in Japanese, what are the common ways of saying "I"? I've often heard parents refer to themselves in the 3rd person, ie お母さんについてきて ("come with me"), お父さんの車を洗って (...
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Asking for autograph politely

I am a big fan of badminton, especially the Japanese players like Kento Momota-san, and in a few months they will come to my country, and I would like to get some of them to sign their autograph in my ...
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142 views

What are the social implications of being too polite lingustically?

Reviewing some basic keigo forms, I was wondering what happens if you express yourself too polite... I heared that is not uncommon for (elder) couples to use keigo to express their uttermost respect ...
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213 views

Do people only end sentences with ように after the -ます form?

Someone left a comment on the answer to this ending sentences with ように question saying that it only works with the -ます form. I tried looking up (どうか)~ように。sentences and all the ones I found were in ...
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142 views

How to say sir/ma'am when you don't know the name of the person

When you don't someone's name, how do you call his attention? That is, when you would say "Sir, could you maybe ..." or "ma'am, you dropped something ..."
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Should one use the -masu form of verbs when talking about one's own actions?

If I'm having a conversation with someone in which I am using the polite form of verbs, should I also use the -masu form if I'm describing something I do or did? If I'm saying, for example, 私は午前八時に起きる,...
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What to say at the cash register in the convenience store

I just came back from Japan, it is my first time, so I found myself in the situations, that I wasn't prepared for. At the convenience store I noticed natives tend not to say much to the staff at all, ...
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287 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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why do they use 程 when requesting [duplicate]

in the company culture why do they say ご確認の程お願いします? what is the purpose of 程? is it to add a level of politeness?
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166 views

How politely to say “you”?

I found many variants in the internet, but they include あなた, which as I know isn't polite and better not to say it to a stranger. So, if I don't know the name/last name of the person, don't know the ...
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ちょっと and/or むり: How to refuse an invitation with a specific reason?

It is commonly taught that the polite way to refuse an invitation is "ちょっと。。。" However, how do you refuse an invitation, while giving a reason? For example, would it still be considered polite to say ...
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92 views

Declining an offer politely using ちょっと and 無理

Some girls in the Japanese school I study in are planing to do a Maid Cafe, which my teacher have sent me a message inviting me to take part into saying 「メイド喫茶に参加してみませんか?」. Honestly, I don't think I'm ...
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107 views

Do only shop staff use 当店, or could I use it too to say 'here'?

I heard it in the context of a shop staff saying it in anime, but it got me thinking about the different ways I might say 'here' in a sentence like 'Do you serve vegetarian meals here?' ここは。。。 こちらは。。...
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Origin of ません (-masen)?

I understand that polite forms like yomimasu are actually (or originated as) infinitive yomi + auxiliary verb masu in its plain non-past form. Then past form yomimashita is just infinitive yomi + ...
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How often are です and 〜ます used among friends?

since they are polite forms are they ever often used in informal settings among friends? or would people think you’re being overly polite?
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108 views

Sentence structure + 人がわるい

Related to this. At this point, the speaker has won the preliminaries. The elderly chairman of the event, a friend since the previous tournament, comments that the speaker has won a second time (...
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187 views

How to say phrases “Can you repeat that” and “can we go to the next question”?

I have a speaking exam coming up and I'm feeling mostly prepared, but after there's an unprepared conversation part which we're also graded on. It's with my teacher but luckily keigo isn't necessary. ...
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218 views

What's the ultra-polite way to invite someone to do something?

While reading What's the polite way to invite someone to do something?, I noticed that many of the comments/answers talk about how things are polite enough for an online chat service. Well, I'm ...
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Should I use sonkeigo if I meet a celebrity?

Yesterday I met a very famous Japanese person. I panicked and asked him, 「写真をとってもよろしいでしょうか」 Was this correct? Or was this too polite and kind of strange?
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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, ...
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How to address a company in an email? [duplicate]

When writing an email to a person I would add 様 or "sama" at the end of the name in the email opening. However if I'm writing to a company and don't know the recipient's name would I add "sama" as ...
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157 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 ...
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About using おかげさまで as a standalone

I've been doing some research on おかげさまで and, not content with just memorising sayings, am wondering why おかげさまで is used as a standalone/response. Does it mean 'thanks to you', 'thanks to God and ...
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Does using the past tense make the conversation more polite?

I am wondering if the past tense is used sometimes to increase the level of politeness in a conversation which occurs in present form. For example: お待たせしました In that case, under which circumstances ...
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「許可が来ましたか?」の尊敬語

A社の社長 ↑ A社のプロジェクトマネージャー ↑ 私 ↑:許可を依頼する 私は作業を始める前、お客さん(A社)の許可を待っています。 A社のプロジェクトマネージャーが先週「社長に許可を依頼する」と言ってましたが、期日が近づいてますのでどうなったかを知りたいです。 つまり、「...
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How to address misbehaving kids (not one's own)

Say you are in public and see some other people's kids misbehaving. What is the appropriate way to address them? (both sexes) Something on the line of: "Hey kid, don't do ..." It might be specific ...
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Address someone by their first name, or their last name?

When addressing John Doe, would you say "John-さん", or "Doe-さん"? Does it depend on how polite or formal you're being? Does it also depend on whether the person is a nihonjin, a kankokujin (who have ...
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109 views

Polite form of apology with tense form?

After missing an appointment, which would be more appropriate for asking for forgiveness or apologizing? ごめんなさい でした or 本当にごめんね。ほんとうに ごめんね In particular, considering the difference between the ...
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234 views

What is the difference between なさいます and いたします?

お飲み物はどうなさいますか。 お飲み物はどういたしますか。 I can't understand how one might be used instead of the other.

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