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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Does anyone know which おり this is?

彼女は表情が生き生きとしておりとてもかわいい。 was translated awkwardly on ALC as She is very pretty for the liveliness of her expression. Which おり is this? I think I know it from the polite しております but is it here ...
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Using polite form for neutral subjects

I am trying to write a short message to a japanese acquaintance and am planning to use this sentence: 今日はとても暑くて、雪がそろそろ溶けている。 I know that, in this context, I should use the polite form 「溶けています」. ...
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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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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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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 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 ...
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116 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 ...
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Uses of 'すみません'

I came across many situations where the word 'sumimasen' was used: Apology Thanks and apology Making a request Getting attention Taking leave Above are most common I could find, however, take ...
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幾人も or 一杯? Kanji or hiragana?

I am writing the following sentence: サン・パウロに日本人がいっぱいいるから。。。よかったですね! And I'd like to know if 幾人も could be a more respectful/more natural replacement for 一杯, and whether I should be using kanji.
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Help with Kenjougo!

I'm trying to come up with a polite introduction. Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Megan to moushimasu. Tekisasu kara mairimashita. watashi wa kentakkii-shuu ni sunde orimasu. Sumimasen, watashi ...
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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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99 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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234 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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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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166 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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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 ...
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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!
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Which is more formal/polite: 大いに or ずいぶん?

I know とても is not very formal, but what about ずいぶん and 大いに? Are ずいぶん and 大いに interchangeable, and if so, which is more formal?
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Why does the person who wants to cancel an appointment say キャンセルさせてください to his/her partner?

Assume A has a partner named B. Last week both made an appointment to have dinner (dating). For a certain reason, A cannot come for the appointment and calls B by phone saying ・・・キャンセルさせてください。 ...
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Usage of 私{わたし} in Informal Situations

I know Japanese males tend to use 俺{おれ}/僕{ぼく} in informal contexts. Is it common to use 私{わたし} too or it makes one sounds overly stiff and aloof? Edit: What about 自分{じぶん}?
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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 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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How do you ask if you are understood without being rude?

For example explaining to an acquaintance or a stranger something, but I don't know if it's understood or not and would like to ask. In English I would say something like "I'm sorry, was my ...
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186 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 ...
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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 ...
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Expansion and politeness of 飲んじゃいなよ

Dad says he'll take his daughter out in an hour, after having a beer. The daughter says: 「そんなのあと一時間もかかんないじゃん。ぐ~~っと飲んじゃいなよ」 After one like that it won't take even an hour will it? Gulp it down in ...
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A good and polite way to ask “How long have you been playing drums?”

How to correctly ask "how long have you been playing drums?" in a forum? I tried to come up with my own question but I don't know if it is grammatically correct and/or polite. Here is what I came up ...
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217 views

Adding でしょうか to ます to further emphasize doubt and politeness?

Let's use できる as an example. できる (I) can do (it)/possible (action/event). できるか? Can do?/Possible? できますか? Can do?/Possible? (polite) Believe it or not, できますか? still sounds too direct to me. Now here'...
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Confusion on the politeness vs. formality terminology

I was reading the "Dictionary of Japanese Grammar" series, and I found the way it uses the term formality vs. politeness contradictory and confusing, so I wanted some clarifications. Here ...
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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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340 views

忙しいところ vs 忙しいなか

I've been preparing for an interview, and I've seen both of these phrases used when introducing yourself and thanking someone for their time or when support is being given. For example: お忙しいなかお時間をとって ...
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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 ...
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Is it okay to say 'ohayo gozaimasu' in first meeting with a Japanese stranger?

I've seen a lot of people saying that First Learners should be careful when greeting a Japanese. I have to be careful how to address Japanese people with '-Chan', '-Kun', '-San' and '-Sama' and also ...
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How does 「から」 work in regards to 「だから」 and 「ですから」?

I'm confused at how から works, and there's very little information on this subject. だから is used in front of a な adjective or noun. い adjectives simply use 「から」. Verbs can be in ます form, and only use ...
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790 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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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) ...
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708 views

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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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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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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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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Is telling a superior, “電子メールを見てくださいました,” correct?

Imagine wanting to tell a superior something along the lines of, "I saw/read/received your e-mail." In Japanese, there's sometimes something with using the te form along with words like くださる and もらう ...
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2answers
563 views

くだけた日本語 towards people you dislike?

Is this used ONLY amongst family and close friends or can you use it when you're trying to be rude? For example if you use it on someone you don't like such as a stranger, could it be understood you'...
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“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 ...
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Different ways to say to like?

On one self-teaching site, I learned to say "to not like" in a format like this: いぬはすきじゃりません。But in a self-teaching book it said to format it like this: いぬはすきではありません。I know there are many different ...
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272 views

How do I know which sentence is more polite?

To say the phrase, "Teacher has arrived." A 先生が来られました and B 先生がお越しになりました It should have an order or a rule to compare A and B.
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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 ...
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320 views

Meaning of おられる姿

小池百合子都知事の頑張っている姿、私は最大限評価している。ある意味の古い政治と向き合って戦っておられる姿、共鳴もする。 How do you understand おられる姿?
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Adjective negation: difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません

What's the difference between 〜くない and 〜くありません? Both are added to an i-adjective (イ形容詞, verb type adjective) to make it negative. For example: 寒くない 寒くありません But what's the difference? Is one more ...
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1answer
406 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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623 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 "...

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