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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17 views

How to express lack of preference

What would be the most natural and polite way to express a lack of preference, for instance, when being asked by a waiter if I prefer a seat at the counter or a separate table? I've searched Google, ...
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45 views

Is there a situation where 造語 such as “ググる” could be used with the “ます” ending?

I ask this out of pure curiosity, but would there be any situation where you could reasonably say something along the lines of, "はい、今はそれをググります。" What I've seen/thought of Katakana+る words ...
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48 views

The degree of politeness of the different sentence ending particles

ね・よ・の・わ・さ・な・… I'm wondering, how sentence ending particles fit into the different levels of politeness in Japanese. I would have thought that they were essentially only used for familiar speech, but I'...
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90 views

About addressing people by -San, -Chan and -Kun

I understand that -San is a formal way to address somebody. A unisex way of both Mr. and Mrs. Kun is a way to address males, but it's used with friends? I'm wondering about that. Now, Chan is very ...
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156 views

In written correspondence, how do I politely say “it's OK” in response to an apology?

I sent an email a Japanese former colleage of mine, and he replied several weeks later. His reply included an emphatic apology for not replying sooner (返信が遅くなってしまって本当にごめんなさい。) Is there a polite phrase ...
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103 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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78 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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286 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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914 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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82 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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82 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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143 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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116 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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458 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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1answer
129 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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131 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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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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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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124 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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217 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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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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82 views

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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110 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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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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99 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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180 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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242 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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180 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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173 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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241 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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97 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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269 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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248 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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161 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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159 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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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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221 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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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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215 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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109 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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365 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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115 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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87 views

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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111 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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294 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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360 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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183 views

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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444 views

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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215 views

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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