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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when to use formal and informal conjugations?

wakatta and wakarimashita are used sometimes in anime. I understand one is informal and the other is formal past tense. When do you have to use the informal and when to use the formal tenses of the ...
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How rude is it to speak to a Japanese stranger informally instead of using the polite form?

Are there any native Japanese here that could tell me how rude it is to speak informally to Japanese people I have never met instead of using the polite form? I'm assuming it's more rude the older the ...
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Is there a politeness change when replacing です with (っ)す? [duplicate]

I've heard in video games and TV shows some male speakers using す or っす in place of です. For example, instead of "本はどこですか" they say "本はどこすか". Does dropping the で make the sentence any less polite? ...
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polite and casual language— being asked to switch?

So it's been a while that I have been wondering how each level of speech is called in Japanese. All I have seen, is in textbook the mention of casual, polite, humble, or honorific speech, but I ...
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Usage of ました form and た form with こと

Example: Is the formal of にほん に いった こと が ありまづ this : にほん に いきました こと が ありまづ. Or is the first one used in both cases?
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Polite form of つかわないで ください

What is the polite equivalent of つかわないで ください ? (tsukawanaide kudasai) Can we write つかいませんで ください ?
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Using ます-form inside a (compound, conditional) statement

Japanese grammar books say that ます-form should be used only at the very end of a (compound) statement. So 〜ないといけません。is a correct sentence ending. However googling "ませんといけない" finds lots of matches (...
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Masu te-form with Kudasai?

Can you use the -masu te form to form requests? Like, can you say "machimashite kudasai"? (O.o sounds weird huh.)
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Noun + da kara desu — why are da and desu mixed? why not both “da” or both “desu”?

In this sentence: Neko da kara desu. Because it's a cat. Why are the "da" and "desu" used at the same time? Logically, it should've been: Neko desu kara desu. Or in a casual conversation if ...
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て-form and other conjugations of 謙譲語

In my limited exposure to 尊敬語【そんけいご】 and 謙譲語【けんじょうご】, I feel like I've only really seen them used in their normal -ます forms and never in て form or conjugated such as a -たい form. Are honorific and ...
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Asking 'how much'?

Which of these is a more appropriate/polite way of asking how much something costs without specifying the object? (I'm working at a very low level, so please be straightforward - no kanji, please ...
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What is the correct なさる masu form? [duplicate]

Im getting two different conjugations of なさる masu form from different sites some say なさります some say なさいます I know that the conjugation rule for godan verbs ending in る is to convert the る into り and ...
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Desire form verbs (~たい), is there a polite form?

I was just curious if there is a way to make the ~たい form polite? for example 戦いたい - Want to fight I was thinking possibly using the honorific form instead of the masu form might be acceptable? ...
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How to correctly use でございます when speaking with a superior?

I have heard that some phrases may be used in a humble form when speaking to a superior regardless of whether or not it has an impact on the superior. でございます is one of them. But does that only apply ...
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Addressing other members of the same great family when everyone shares the same surname

Hypothetical situation, let's say we have a great familly meeting, where everyone have the same surname but some members of the familly see each other for the first time. Of course, introductions are ...
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What is the difference between ている and ています?

For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences? 私はメアリーとトムに会った事実を知っている。 私はメアリーとトムに会った事実を知っています。
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Appropriateness of using ~たい in a polite setting: “Have you always wanted to be a teacher” in Japanese

I wanted to ask this question to my Japanese instructor, but I understand that in Japanese, it is inappropriate to use 〜たい to 目上の人 So how would I phrase this question in a polite way? よろしくお願いいたします。
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Past negative tense じゃなかったでした

We can use じゃなかったです for past tense, but can we replace the です with でした so that it becomes じゃなかったでした? Why or why not?
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Does 私の名前はXYZです sound natural?

Consider the following sentence: [私]{わたし}の[名前]{なまえ}はライノーです。 watashi-no namae-wa rhino desu. Would a native speaker use this form, as opposed to ”[私]{わたし}はライノーです” or ”[名前]{なまえ}ライノーです”? An ...
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Use of non-polite form between Japanese companies

I'm reading the novel 下町ロケット now and one part that really surprised me is when several of the members from one company speak to members of the other company without using 敬語 (for example "やめた方がいいよ”). ...
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How to politely inform other people of acceptable alternative ways of addressing you?

Being a foreigner often comes with having a name/surname that doesn't quite roll off the tongue in Japanese. So for example if my name/surname is "ABCDEFG", I'd like to say (after introductions) "...
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恐れ入ります correct “thank you” to use after customers make a purchase?

Is 恐れ入ります the correct form of "thank you" when used during a business transaction (for example, a sales person would say this when someone makes a purchase at his/her store)? In the context of an up-...
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よろしくお願いします or ありがとうございます

I have to write a letter to my future Japanese host family. It's in English, but I want to end it in Japanese. Should I use よろしくお願いします or ありがとうございます or even どうぞよろしくおねがいします?
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How do Japanese call their friend's sister or brother?

Do you still call them as NeeChan/ NiiChan or OneeSan/ OniiSan? Or just their name?
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How to say “I don't know you well”

I'm trying to tell someone the reason I don't want to do something is because i barely know them. I'm not even sure if the verb I'm suppose to be using is 知る。I feel that might be really rude to say to ...
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Difference between くださって and いただいて and when you should use it

I'm having trouble using these two to my higher ups. Which is more polite?
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Correct form of address for a bartender, or itamae

What is the right way to address the bartender? Or the person preparing sushi? On a recent visit I heard マスター used to address a bartender, and I already know that 大将 is one way to address the sushi ...
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Is お needed before 誕生日おめでとう?

お誕生日おめでとう vs 誕生日おめでとう What's the difference? And is it needed?
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Writing a birthday letter to a friend

Okay here is my dilemma, I am going to a write to a Japanese friend a birthday letter but I don't know how should I construct it; I've tried to search around the net and I found both formal and ...
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How translators translate polite Japanese conversation?

I am asking about translation of written conversations between two or more persons in Japanese language, that we can find in books, novels, manga, etc. As we know, in Japanese language there are ...
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Why is the phrase ご連絡申しあげます linguistially correct?

I assume ご連絡申しあげます and ご連絡を申しあげます have the same meaning, but differ in style. I use them interchangeably below. This question is not about existence of を unless it was relevant to understanding the ...
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What is it about ~まして?

Is it just the て-form of ます? So, could I just use 食べまして instead of 食べて? Leading to my next question (everything from here on is assumed): Since 食べまして is the polite form of 食べて, why wouldn't you use ...
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How do you politely ask permission to deviate from received instructions?

After I agreed to proofread a professor's 論文, he instructed me to print out a hard copy and write edits on it in red, as well as send him the Word document back with my edits done on the original file....
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Is it rude to ask a Japanese person using keigo to speak less formally? How to do it politely? [closed]

This has mostly to do with me not understanding Keigo well, so when I enter restaurants or other service-based businesses, and they talk in Keigo to me, I hardly ever understand, which is why I always ...
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How to address and greet Japanese people in an english email [closed]

I am aware that in Japanese it is considered to be rude to address other people with just their first name, but I wonder if this is only true for communication in Japanese, of if this still holds true ...
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Polite form of って in 「なになに」って何?

How would you politely say that? When you talk to a stranger, and you don't know the word he just said. Say f.e.: 落札 I understand that you could just say 「落札」の意味は何ですか? but is there specifically a ...
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How to respond to ありがとう?

I get it that ありがとう means "thanks", is informal without the ございます added to it and so on. However, I do not know what I should say after someone thanked me. In English, you generally say something ...
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How do you politely apologize to a professor for unintentional rudeness?

I received an email from a new professor in my department asking for a native English speaker's check of his paper. Since no one had ever asked me to check their English before, whereas I had ...
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もらう level of politeness

When describing もらう DBJG says "The first person or s.o. the speaker empathises with recieves some benefit from an action by someone whose status is not as high as the receiver's" It then goes on to ...
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Politely giving a reason for coming to the office late

How does one tell his manager that he is late because of a traffic jam? Is it okay to say: すみません、交通渋滞できから遅きます。
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What to say when answering the phone

I'm often unsure what to say when answering the telephone when I am the customer; people usually say their name and then wait for me to say something before stating their business. I'm guessing there ...
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What are the meanings of ました, ます, and ません?

What are the uses for ました, ます, and ません? For example with the word, ありがとう, what are the differences between ありがとうございました, ありがとうございます, and ありがとうございません? Also, is it possible to properly use どうも as a ...
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Saying “you're welcome” at the workplace

There are a few ways to say "You're welcome". Which is the best for somebody in the workplace (inside and outside the team and of about the same level as myself) どういたしまして いいえ いえいえ others?
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In Japanese, how do you say you will skip ahead past one section for time's sake while reading aloud to an audience?

How do you succinctly say that you are going to skip ahead past the next section or paragraph for time's sake and tell the audience which spot you are picking up again when reading a paper aloud at an ...
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Polite way to ask about something that I previously requested

Say I have the sentence below about papers I requested previously. (as I am reminding somebody that I haven't received something) 先日{せんじつ}に頼{たの}んだ書類{しょるい}ですが・・・ Is there any way to make a sentence ...
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Is いけません used as an interjection like いけない?

Realizing you've left your money at home when you're out to buy something, (I think) you can say いけない!お金ない; could you, politely, say いけません!お金がありません? (I suppose, for that matter, my question could ...
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Using 尊敬語・謙譲語 but not 丁寧語 on the same target

I was reading this passage from 下町ロケット (pp 15-16): {{pad}}「申し訳ないなあ、忙しいときに来てもらって。というのも、今日は折り入ってお願いがあってねえ」 徳田{とくだ}は、トレードマークの鷲鼻を指でさすりながら、佃{つくだ}にソファを勧めた。新しい会計年度がはじまって間もない、四月第三週のことである。 ...
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How to say “please be strict with me” in Japanese

I'm trying to figure out how to say "please be strict with me" For when I am practising with conversation exchanges. So far I have come up with: 私と厳しくしてください 私に厳しくてさられてお願いします Are any of these ...
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1answer
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僕 in 敬語 - is it possible?

With 丁寧語, it's very possible - 僕が行きます is a perfectly normal thing to say. But what of 僕が参ります? Would that sound odd? 私が参ります would be more normal, I think, but is 僕が参ります possible at all?
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Can using ある in place of いる be offensive?

Considering that ある is objectifying wouldn't it be offensive to use it in いる's place when talking about a person, or would it just be seen as a mistake?

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