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29 votes
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Can polite and casual Japanese be combined?

Yes, absolutely. It's called "style shift." There's a whole book about it, and it's covered in brief in A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar, but in short: The most common place to hear style ...
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13 votes
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How do you politely apologize to a professor for unintentional rudeness?

I feel that the expressions you listed include "super-polite" apologies which would be a bit too much in this situation. The professor would be surprised if you really used these heavy expressions. (...
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12 votes
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What is the difference between 「しております」and 「しています」?

Technically speaking, ~しております is the humble form of ~しています, as you pointed out. It would have been better to use the consistent expression. However, among the various Japanese humble expressions, ~おる ...
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11 votes
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I don't understand how お世話になっております is a valid expression

I don't understand why the same logic can't be applied to お世話になっております お世話になっております is not the same construction as お V になる. It is originally from the phrase お世話になる or お世話になっている and may have a ...
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10 votes
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Use of で in 彼のことで何かご存知ですか

No, it doesn't have to do with your example sentence being in 敬語 and the verb in 尊敬語. Note the link @broccoli facemask provides in their comment. 【接続】 名詞[辞書形]+のことで 【意味】 〜について 【例文】 ①N1の文法のことで質問があります ②...
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9 votes
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Why "お食事の際は、..." instead of "ご飯を食べる際は、..."?

This looks primarily like a 敬語{けいご} problem, more than a syntax or semantics problem. お使いいただく is 敬語, and 食べる does not match it at all. 食べる is neither 尊敬語 nor 謙譲語. This means that 「ご飯を食べる」 is not even ...
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9 votes
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Is it rude to ask a Japanese person using keigo to speak less formally? How to do it politely?

Asking someone to speak in plain Japanese is not rude if it's done nicely. However, asking someone to speak in Teineigo seems strange, I would say. Because it sounds like a challenge. Keigo(敬語) is ...
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7 votes
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Does "こちらのテーブルをお使いいただけます。" mean "I can use the table, and you cannot?"

It just means "You can use this table" (e.g. a hotel employee explaining to a guest). 「こちらのテーブルをお使いいただけませんか?」 means "Could you use this table (instead)?" (maybe the guest sat at a wrong table).
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7 votes
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What is the difference between 「届け」and 「届ける」?

写真をお届け! I think it's short for 写真をお届けします! or 写真をお届けいたします! "We will deliver a photo/photos to you!" お届けする is the humble form (謙譲語) of 届ける. Examples: ~をご報告 / ご案内 / ご連絡 / ご紹介(いた)します!--> ~...
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7 votes
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Usage and meaning of とのことです

とのことです is a hearsay and a bit formal way. For example, your boss said Mike is working at 碑文谷警察署の本町二丁目交番. Then, your business partner asked you where Mike is working at? So you answered ...
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  • 106
7 votes
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Use of -です/-ます in the middle of a complex sentence

Basic rules are: One polite marker per main clause Beware that it's not "per sentence", since a sentence with coordinate conjunctions is deemed to have multiple top-level clauses tied with them. 〔...
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7 votes
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Respectful terms for parents

Practically, you can consider お父【とう】様/お母【かあ】様 as the most polite form. It's a safe word in every formal speech, even at a wedding ceremony or funeral, as long as you don't forget the prefix お. 母上/父上/...
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7 votes
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Is it customary to say いらっしゃいませ in a corporate setting?

is いらっしゃいませ usually just said in a service-oriented environment (such as restaurants, hotels, and shops)? Yes, it is. I think it's not wrong in your office but a little weird. "お待ちしておりました。(...
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7 votes

Use of: Noun + になります

In this case, なります is not used in the usual sense of "to become", but as a marker of politeness. To be precise, it is 尊敬語{そんけいご}, respectful language. It is typically used by combining: お or ご, ...
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  • 2,648
6 votes

Polite or casual?

時間がなかったからパーティーに行きませんでした。 時間がありませんでしたからパーティーに行きませんでした。 While the second one is relatively a bit politer than the first, neither of these are very casual nor polite. If you said these directly to ...
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6 votes
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When would you use 敬語 in its plain forms?

丁寧語 is about who you are talking to. Its use is to be polite to your listener/reader. 尊敬語/謙譲語 are about who you are talking about. These patterns show respect to the agent. 謙譲語 to lower yourself (or ...
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  • 8,025
6 votes

Giving a reason for asking for a letter of recommendation

Respectful language is in part about indirection, so rather than saying "Because I want a scholarship please write me a letter" (which to me as a native speaker of English who has written ...
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6 votes
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How do I figure out what the implied subject is?

ご覧になる is an honorific form of 見る ("to take a look", "to watch"). お会いになる is an honorific version of 会う ("to meet"). お目にかかる is a humble version of 会う ("to meet"). お伺いする is a humble version of 伺う ("to ...
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6 votes
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Terminology: Does the term 美化語 include all ご・お・etc. prefixes, or only ones outside of a 敬語 context?

In short: 敬語 consists of 尊敬語, 謙譲語 and 美化語. お/ご as a prefix can form either 尊敬語 or 美化語, or neither. The concepts of 尊敬語 and 美化語 are mutually exclusive, but お/ご can be found in both. You have to ...
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5 votes
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How to turn down a job offer

If you're really grateful for the offer, and you'd like to stay in touch with X会社, but you can't help but turning it down, then you can't be too polite. You could write something like this: ...
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5 votes
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Is お・ご~させていただく 二重敬語?

They aren't 二重敬語 (but 敬語連結) but I'm thinking the problem if they sound wrong or not is parallel to that of 二重敬語. Whether it's 二重敬語 or 敬語連結, the problem is if they sound redundant, indecent in a ...
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5 votes

What does the 「な」 do in this sentence?

The なはった is the past tense form of なはる, which is the Kansai version of honorific なさる. So [起]{お}きなはった would be like 起きなさった in standard Japanese. そら見い いよいよおきなはったあ ≂ そら見ろ、いよいよ(≂とうとう)起きなさった。(≂ 起きられた /...
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5 votes
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Comparison of "迷惑をかける" and "手数をかける"?

The two phrases are more or less the same but the way I see it, there is a tiny but appreciable difference between them: 迷惑をかける = to inconvenience someone; to be a nuisance to someone 手数をかける = to ...
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  • 6,075
5 votes

When would you use 敬語 in its plain forms?

This happens all the time in 時代劇{じだいげき}: 「黒田と申{もう}す」 - I am called Kuroda 「仰{おお}せの通{とお}りに致{いた}す」 - (I) shall do just as (you) have spoken
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5 votes

How do I know which sentence is more polite?

Generally speaking, dedicated sonkeigo verbs and お~になる sound politer than ~られる. いらっしゃる・おいでになる・おこしになる > こられる 召し上がる・お食べになる > 食べられる ご覧になる > 見られる
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