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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1answer
99 views

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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1answer
72 views

Using honorifics when talking about others with friends (indirect speech)

I couldn't find the question already being asked, so please redirect me if it was already answered. The honorific suffix -さん is always used when directly speaking to another person. It is also used ...
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1answer
122 views

What's the proper form (formal/informal) to use when speaking to others online?

I should preface this by saying that I myself am fairly young (a teenager) and speak primarily to other young people (while I may not know their exact age, it's safe to assume the other people I speak ...
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1answer
223 views

When is 博士 (hakase) used as honorific?

According to wikipedia, 博士 (hakase) is used as honorific when addressing some academics: Sensei (先生、せんせい) [...] is used to refer to or address teachers, doctors, politicians, lawyers. [...] The term ...
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71 views

How to politely address an older relative's birthday card

I am a 69 year old English speaking Canadian woman. I am about to send a birthday card to a second cousin in Japan. We have never met. This woman is going to turn 100yrs old. How should I address her ...
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1answer
292 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 sentence ...
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2answers
487 views

Different ways of saying “good night” in Japanese [closed]

I know that おやすみなさい means "good night" in Japanese and it can be shortened to おやすみ. What is the difference between the two? In English there are other phrases such as "sweet dreams"...
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75 views

What instances would you use someone's full name?

I've run into this a couple times and was always curious. In what instances might you call someone by both their surname and given name? Ex. In a conversation, person B, refers to person A (named ...
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2answers
823 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". ...
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1answer
81 views

politeness with と思う

I've been reading Minna-no-nihongo and I came across examples: 便利ですが物価が高いと思います。 よく勉強しますが、本を読まないと思います。 For some reasons I thought that an idea or opinion expressed with と思う had to be in informal ...
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1answer
111 views

How to ask someone if it is okay to do something?

I often find myself wanting to ask if I can do something ie. "Is it okay if I ask you a question?" or "Can I switch seats with you?" Along those lines. I'm not sure if this is ...
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1answer
174 views

(美化語)なさい - sound

The difference between (連用形)なさい and (美化語)なさい is rather clear; the first would only be used for social inferiors, and the second can be used for social superiors (it's also part of set expressions ...
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1answer
106 views

What's the meaning of the てですね ending?

I was reading a manga and a character who is really excited about the situation says "毎日何度も指折り数えてですね!". Why does it end with the て form and why is ですね added? The full conversation is: A: ...
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444 views

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

In this thread, I asked about how parents say "I" when talking to their children. I want to refine that question to specifically how fathers refer to themselves. My understanding is that fathers ...
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2answers
126 views

Politeness of 何をお願いしましたか

I've learned that お・ご+語幹+する is humble language, for example よろしくお願いします。 However, when asking others what they wished for, I see the question: 李:小野さんは何をお願いしましたか。 小野:健康と恋愛です。 Background: Li and ...
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5answers
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How would a fluent speaker understand ありがとうございません?

How could that forced negation of a common phrase be interpreted? This came up as just a part of some free exploration of linguistics, and my friends and I were pondering if it could perhaps be ...
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1answer
98 views

お目にかけますのは <- is it correct

I found this in my textbook. ただいまよりお目にかけますのは小学生によるバンド演奏です。 Is it strange ? Is it more polite than お目にかけるのは ? PS.Sorry for my note
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586 views

Is there a convention to always place yourself last in a list of people?

In English, a convention is to always say yourself last in a list of people: (1) Mr. Tanaka and I drank tea. // <--- natural (2) I and Mr. Tanaka drank tea. // <--- grammatically correct ...
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2answers
4k views

How impolite is it to call a waitress お姉{ねえ}さん?

Were I in a situation where I want to get the attention of a waitress in a noisy restaurant, I kind of feel like calling-out: "お姉{ねえ}さん、すみませんが、ビールもう一本お願いできますか?". I think that I've seen this done in a ...
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1answer
215 views

Why do people use です/ます in some intimate situations?

2 things recently have just not made sense to me 1) is from a visual novel. In one scene the main character is on a date with his superior from work. She's confessing her love for him, but the main ...
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1answer
138 views

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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235 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 list of ...
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1answer
106 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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1answer
68 views

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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2answers
510 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 ...
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1answer
93 views

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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10k views

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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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
171 views

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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1answer
311 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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1answer
221 views

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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1answer
530 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 ...
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2answers
408 views

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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1answer
174 views

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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1answer
170 views

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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1answer
231 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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1answer
96 views

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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2answers
3k views

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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1answer
4k views

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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1answer
252 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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2answers
238 views

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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1answer
160 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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1answer
218 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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1answer
155 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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1answer
96 views

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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1answer
7k views

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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1answer
358 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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0answers
55 views

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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1answer
203 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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