100 Grammar Points

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95. Polite Japanese ๆ•ฌ่ชž

There are three basic types of honorifics for verbs. Which form to use depends on the social rank of the person you are speaking to.

A) Humble (่ฌ™่ญฒ่ชž kenjougo) – This is when referring to oneself or one’s family members and (usually) speaking to someone higher up in social rank, position or some other criteria for determining status. However, even some people with high positions may choose to use the humble form with those under him/her.
B) ~masu – As mentioned above ~masu / desu is actually ไธๅฏง่ชž teineigo or polite language, but I’m using the familiar ~masu form for an easy comparison to the the kenjougo and sonkeigo forms.
C) Respectful (ๅฐŠๆ•ฌ่ชž sonkeigo) – This is what you say to your boss or those higher up when speaking to them. If you are speaking about yourself, you will use the humble form.

Humble
(speaking to your boss about yourself)
Normal
(speaking to your friends)
Respectful
(speaking to your boss about your boss)
ๆ‹่ฆ‹ใ—ใพใ™
haiken shimasu

่ฆ‹ใพใ™
mimasu
to see
ใ”่ฆงใซใชใ‚Šใพใ™
goran ni narimasuใ€€
็”ณใ—ใพใ™
moushimasu
You know this from “name to moushimasu
่จ€ใ„ใพใ™
iimasu
to say
ใŠใฃใ—ใ‚ƒใ„ใพใ™
osshaimasu

้ ‚ใใพใ™
itadakimasu
้ฃŸในใพใ™
tabemasu
to eat
ๅฌใ—ไธŠใŒใ‚Šใพใ™
meshi agarimasu
ๅ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™
mairimasu

This is the humble form for both to come and go!

ๆฅใพใ™
kimasu
to come

่กŒใใพใ™
ikimasu
to go

ใ„ใ‚‰ใฃใ—ใ‚ƒใ„ใพใ™
irasshaimasu

This is the respectful form for both to come and go!

่‡ดใ—ใพใ™
itashimasu

ใ—ใพใ™
shimasu
to do
ใชใ•ใ„ใพใ™
nasaimasu

For a more detailed explanation and many more examples see here.

100 Grammar Points

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