36

The pronoun "anata" is the supposed neutral way to refer to someone whose name you're not aware of, and it's OK to use it to a stranger if you can't think of any other way to phrase the thing you want to ask. The main reason why it's so frequently warned against is that the first instinct of speakers of English (and other Western languages) is to use the ...


29

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 shifts is when the background style is polite. In most conversations in です・ます style between native speakers you will hear shifts to plain form. Here are some ...


15

It's not common at all and I don't remember whether I've heard it in my entire life, but ありがとうございません is not gibberish, and it could pass as a meaningful wordplay to describe ありがた迷惑 if used in an appropriate situation. "Thanks but no thanks" could be usable in an ordinary conversation, but ありがとうございません is a pure joke and it's never used when you are truly ...


14

Yes, it is the -て form of ます. But it's a little more restricted, so you need to be a bit careful. To be polite, you normally only need to use the です/ます form for the final verb. Any other verbs can be in their normal -て form. But if you really want to be polite, then you can put the other verbs in their polite -ます form, obviously resulting in -まして. It is ...


14

This question is largely about culture but a place where culture and language interact. I work at a university in Japan and both on and off campus, we call each other 苗字 (family name)-先生. There's one or two exceptions where a 高橋 goes by her first name (one of four takahashi's). Japan is a relationally organized society, and the manner in which you know the ...


13

People learning Japanese get all caught up in polite language by twisting odd sounding honourific English to make it seem like it's at the same level of politeness as Japanese, like "I humble receive you allowing me to do that". From now on, think of いただきます as simply meaning "get" or "have" as in "getting someone to do something nice for you", because that's ...


13

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. (And it would be more true considering the fact that he knows you're not a native speaker of Japanese.) Among those, 大変失礼いたしました is probably the safest, and you ...


13

The way to go is usually to just deny it a little. Something in the lines of : そんな事ないです。 まだまだです。


13

There could be many ways of saying "I am not good at Japanese." depending on your personal preference and context. My favorites were いいえ、あまり[上手]{じょうず}ではありません。 No, I am not that good at Japanese. いいえ、あまり[上手]{じょうず}じゃないです。 Ditto いいえ、まだ[下手]{へた}です。 No, (my Japanese) is still poor. いいえ is broadly used when you get praised to express modesty.


12

I wouldn't do that. It's true that some people use お姉さん, but you'll be taking unnecessary risk. For a example, some older women might get offended for being called that way, and some younger women might get offended, too! It's like calling somebody "Hi young woman!". Of course some people will like it. If you say お姉さん to an 大{おお}阪{さか}のおばちゃん, you might get ...


12

Until a few decades ago, we used to hear guests call waitresses “お姉ちゃん” or “お姉さん.” But we don’t see or hear someone calling a waitress by the term, “お姉ちゃん” or “お姉さん” today. We address waitresses in restaurant mostly raising a hand, and by saying “すみません ‐ Excuse me” or sometimes “ちょっと、済みません - Pardon a moment” instead of calling them “お姉ちゃん / お姉さん,” which is ...


12

である is formal, but not polite であります is formal and polite, but not humble でございます is formal and polite and humble だ is informal, but not polite です is informal-* and polite *- compared to である A politician giving a speech on TV: 我々は日本国民である - We are Japanese citizens A lawyer speaking to a judge: (I think this usage is rare though...) この通りであります - ...


12

As a general rule, almost all verbs can be transformed into an honorific form, and many, but not all, can be transformed into a humble form*. The chart you pasted lists special/irregular forms. So, for verbs not listed in that chart, you can usually transform them into the basic/regular honorific/humble forms, like this: Honorific forms: 「お~~になる」 ...


11

The other answers I feel are OK, but I wanted to point out that I think your attempt "お支払いたい" is not grammatically correct. As far as I know the honorific お is attached to nouns (or well, する-verbs) but not to verbs directly. Therefore if you say お支払い, here 支払い is a noun hence you cannot conjugate it in the たい-form. You have two options: Use する to turn the ...


11

But I have never once heard a person referred to as 古い, We use 古い also 新しい for a person not for describing his/her age but for describing his/her way/tendency of thinking. As you know 古い is an adjective, and an adjective has two different ways of use as a predicative use and an attributive one. An attributive use of 古い is already answered using the example ...


11

While it’s not impossible to interpret, it is unusual (far more than “thanks, but no thanks”). This is mainly because the grammatical construction of 〜うございます is mostly no longer productive and ありがとうございます is completely lexicalized, so you’re doing something odd to the end of a word. Similar to だいじょばない, perhaps. You could imagine this being used by an anime ...


11

We may not use 家族 to refer to friends as much as in other cultures, but calling someone with whom you have a family-to-family relationship as you describe in your post 日本の家族 is totally acceptable, and it sounds quite natural as a caption to a photo in which you appear with them. 日本のお母さん, 日本のお父さん, 日本の兄弟, etc. would also be understood the way you would expect ...


9

そこ literally means "there" so you can't just add ください to it. For "move", I think you would say: どいて。(informal) どいてください。(polite form of どいて, but still sounds informal) (ちょっと、)そこ、あけて。 (Lit. Make room there.) etc. To sound polite I think you could say: ちょっとあけてください。 ちょっとあけてくれませんか。 ちょっとあけてもらえますか。 ちょっとあけてもらえませんか。 ちょっとすみません。 etc...


9

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 composed of Sonkeigo(尊敬語), Kenjogo(謙譲語) and Teineigo(丁寧語). So, a Teineigo-only conversation sounds like a sorting Keigo quiz or something. How about asking them ...


9

Normally when the Japanese company workers go out for the 飲み会(party) with their Manager or Boss they call them 部長 or 社長 only. In the same way your students will call you as ~先生 even after they graduated/move to higher education. Usually it's difficult for you to call it as 田中さん because you used 田中先生 all the time to call him/her. However if you're friend ...


9

How about... (いえいえ、) 謝っていただくことはありません(よ)。 (いえいえ、) 謝っていただくことではありません(よ)。 (いえいえ、) 謝っていただかなくていいんです(よ)。 (いえいえ、) 謝っていただくことなんか(何も)ありません(よ)。 (いや、/ いやいや、/ううん、etc.) 謝らなくていい(んだ)よ。 -- casual (いや、/ いやいや、/ううん、etc.) 謝ることないよ。 -- casual (いや、/ いやいや、/ううん、etc.) 謝ることなんか(何も)ないよ。 -- casual


9

According to Shogakukan's big 国{こく}語{ご}大{だい}辞{じ}典{てん}, the verb ending -masu ultimately derived from a combination of humble polite auxiliary verb 参{まい}る plus the verb する, as a shift from either ‑mairasuru or possibly ‑maisuru. The final ‑su in modern ‑masu conjugates identically to classical su / suru. The 未然形{みぜんけい} ("...


9

I would say: そんなことないです。 全然ですよ。 まだまだですよ。 Those means "not at all".


9

If I am not mistaken, the above sentence can either mean "I will eat fish" or "I eat fish". Correct. ... conjugating the verb to the ます form only aims to make the sentence polite and doesn't actually change the tense or meaning. Correct. ます is a conjugation form that affects the social context of the sentence (indicating details about ...


9

私は男でも女でもありません is perfectly fine. When you refer to yourself, you don't have to add の人. Even when you refer to someone else, 男/女 tends to sound safe when used predicatively, because you are clearly focusing on one's gender in such a case. It is literary or rude when used as a simple noun (as a subject, object, etc): あの人は男です。: fine (男性/女性です is better ...


9

何それ? is not necessarily rude, but it is certainly informal. As such, it should probably only be used with friends or family or in an informal environment. Using it outside those boundaries might risk it sounding somewhat brusque or perhaps even rude. A standard polite alternative is: それは何ですか。 What is that?


9

おっしゃる通り、「拝見ありがとうございます。」は敬語の使い方が間違っています。「拝見いただきありがとうございます。」「ご拝見ありがとうございます。」「拝見していただき...」などは、(言おうとしていることはわかるんですが、)どれもおかしいです。 「拝見」「拝読」「拝聴」などは謙譲語ですから、相手の行為には使いません。「ご覧くださりありがとうございます。」「ご覧くださってありがとうございます。」(または、「ご覧いただき...」。この「~いただき」は間違っているとの意見もありますが。)などと言うのが正しいと思います。 敬語は日本語母語話者にも難しいようで、結構多くの人が間違えて使っていたり、間違えて覚えていたりします。私も、何かしら間違って使ってしまっているんだろうなと思いますが...。


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