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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128 views

Natural phrasing when introducing yourself and the reason you are arriving somewhere

I'm looking for a natural expression to introduce myself and the reason I have come to a certain place. In my specific case, I will be going to a school to observe (with an appointment at a specific ...
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1answer
1k views

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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1answer
1k views

Japanese small-talk [closed]

As long as the conversation I'm having, follows the chapters in Genki I & II I'm sort of OK but as soon as I try to engage in some small-talk I'm lost! Sentences like ロバートさんは, どんなスポーツが好きですか ...
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1answer
84 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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195 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
105 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
191 views

What does ご理解いただけた はずでは? mean here? [closed]

構いませんが すべては手紙に記した通りです... ご理解いただけた はずでは?
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1answer
127 views

How can I explain about someone who is beside without saying their name for example “he likes to eat fruits”

Is it possible for me to use あの人は その人は この人は to address somebody (instead of using their name) who is beside me because i'm doing a presentation and i'm required to describe somebody but that person ...
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1answer
254 views

Choosing the correct level of politeness when translating foreign material

Here is my question: how do you choose the correct level of politeness in Japanese, when translating foreign material that may not follow Japanese rules? Let's say we have a formal setting, e.g. a ...
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1answer
625 views

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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51 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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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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47 views

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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342 views

would you use keigo online?

I'd suppose the answer would generally be yes depending on who you're talking to but I'm a bit unsure. Just wondering if it isn't weird to speak very casually online
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323 views

“jan”, “janai”, “ne”, “desu ne” — the same more or less? [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand how to use "jan". "jan" is a short version of "ja nai", correct? And it also seems to be almost the same as "ne?" and "desu ne?". Is this correct as well? Can I use them ...
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1answer
71 views

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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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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530 views

How important is gendered language in reality? [closed]

Many people say that gendered language is especially important in Japanese. To a point, I can understand this, but only to a certain distance. For example, if I (Fe/male) were to say 'Wow, that show ...
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1answer
227 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
183 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
211 views

Is it rude to always attach furigana to every Kanji used in letters directed to superiors?

I am not sure whether or not attaching furigana changes the nuance of politeness. My question: Is it rude to always attach furigana to every Kanji used in letters directed to superiors? Note: the ...
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1answer
90 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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267 views

What do you say when you want to reject a gift without offending anyone?

If you are offered something that you don't want, what do you say to reject it politely?
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79 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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1answer
97 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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110 views

Conditionals: と良いだ/です should be wrong?

It is said that the と conditional must not be used where the main clause expresses any of the following: an intention, a suggestion, a command, an obligation, a request, etc. However, I've encountered ...
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159 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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2answers
1k views

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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1answer
929 views

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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1answer
178 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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598 views

Is 何歳ですか polite? [duplicate]

何歳ですか (なんさいですか) - How old are you? Is it usual for Japanese to ask each other how old they are, and if it is, how do they go about and ask it? Is there a polite way to ask, or do you not ask this at ...
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126 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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89 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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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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174 views

どうも vs vs ありがとう vs ありがとうございます [duplicate]

I am currently learning Japanese. I have learnt the writing systems, pronunciation, words and phrases. Apparently, there are a few words phrases you should use for Thank you, such as どうも, ありがとう or ...
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1answer
140 views

Is there a good reason why I can use a polite form before から but not before ので? [duplicate]

Does anybody know why - historically, etymologically or logically - one can use polite forms (e.g. -ます) in causal subordinate clauses before から, while one must use the plain form before ので?
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73 views

Only 〜ます in ending verb vs. 〜ませんでした [duplicate]

As I understand, 〜ます should only be used in the ending verb while others inside the sentence should be in basic form. How come, then, that the polite past negative tense is made using 〜ませんでした, which ...

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