Category Archives: Grammar

Introduction to Keigo Part 4: 丁寧語


こんばんは。Next up, we have our 丁寧語 (ていねいご), one of the easiest of 敬語。

I guess most of us are familiar with ~です or ~ます. How about ございます or でございます?



This is what we call 丁寧語 (ていねいご) / Polite form. It express the politeness towards the other party through the usage of polite words. It is also used widely regardless whether there is a person of higher status or not. It is one of the most common forms that is used in daily life.

If you are having issues using Level 3 (尊敬語) or Level 0 (謙譲語), you might want to consider using Level 1 (丁寧語) instead. This is something that you will never go wrong. However, from the listener’s point of view, if they are of a higher status, they might get angry why you are not using Keigo.

I remembered i got my 1st job working as a Japanese call centre agent and i did the whole phone interview in Keigo. The IT manager and the director were very impressed with me (at that time, my level was only about N4), so knowing Keigo does help.

日本語: 丁寧な言葉づかいによって相手への敬意を表す。高める相手の有無を問わず幅広く使う。

Example sentences:

こちらは としょかんの じむしつ です。(This is the library’s administration office)

あそこは きのくにや です。 (Over there lies Kinokuniya (a Japanese book store)

There is something else that you guys might not know. That is joining adjectives with ございます。I read that it is not so commonly used. Nonetheless, let’s cover it.






I was asked some questions by some students on Reddit. I would reserve all the questions until the end of section and end off with the frequently asked questions.

Have a great day ahead.






Introduction to Keigo Part 1: Types of Keigo



Today, I will be introducing Keigo as part of the new series upcoming for next week.

Let’s learn the different types of Keigo that we have today.

In the olden days, there were only 3 types of Keigo, 尊敬語 (そんけいご), 謙譲語 (けんじょうご) and 丁寧語 (ていねいご).

In 2017, another 2 types of 敬語、丁重語 (ていちょうご), a subset of 謙譲語 (けんじょうご) and 美化語 (びかご) were identified.


If you were to ask your sensei, they might not know about 丁重語 (ていちょうご) and 美化語 (びかご).

Next week, I will start to talk a bit more about the various forms in greater detail, but first, I need you all to understand some examples of these 5 types of Keigo.

尊敬語 謙譲語 丁重語 丁寧語 美化語
いらっしゃいます 申し上げます 申します たべます ごはん
おっしゃいます うかがいます まいります のみます おみず

Question: Why are we learning the 5 different types when we can survive with 3 different types?

Answer: I will give an analogy. If the price of the food is now $10 instead of $8 two years ago, would you be able to get away just by paying $8? Chances are the restaurant staff might ask you to fork out another $2. Same theory over here. To appreciate the language better, it is better to learn the new concepts rather than the old concepts as taught in the textbooks. I personally encountered problems with Keigo previously. Since i have learned a bit more about Keigo, i hope to share what I have learned, so that it is easy for you all to pick it up.

The next few posts i will go into more detail in the following order.

  1. 尊敬語 (そんけいご/ Honorific form)
  2. 謙譲語 (けんじょうご/ Humble form)
  3. 丁寧語 (ていねいご / Polite form)
  4. 丁重語 (ていちょうご / Courteous form)
  5. 美化語 (びかご / Beautifying words)

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend ahead.

Its 1225am here in Singapore.


Giving and Receiving 3 with いただきます



I have fallen ill (burnout), but nonetheless, i still want to finish writing this set of posts.

Today, i will cover いただきます。Let’s take a look the difference between いただきます and もらいます。

For those who have not read Part 2 of the series, i will repeat myself again.

Level 2 refers to 目上の人(i.e superiors, seniors, teachers, etc).
Level 1 refers to people who are in the same social status (i.e friends, acquaintances, etc).

Let’s take a look at the following example from the post 2 days ago.

わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を もらいました。 (I received flowers from my friend)

In the event, if you are receiving something from someone who is in a higher status than you, e.g seniors, superiors, teachers, etc, it may be better to use 「いただきます」instead of 「もらいます」。

Some examples would be:

わたしは せんせいに 花(はな)を いただきました。 (I received flowers from my sensei)

わたしは しゃちょうに おみやげを いただきました。 (I received souvenirs from my company director)

Red: Giver of action
Blue: Receiver of action
Green: Object

Take note that if you were to use 「もらいます」or 「いただきます」, the person receiving has to be you or someone who is emotionally close to you (e.g your family members, your colleagues at your company).


I hope you understand today’s article. Part 4 would be one of the hardest to understand, i would try to break it down so that it is easier for you.




Giving and Receiving 2 (くださいます/さしあげます)N4



To continue from i stopped yesterday.

Today we will go 1 step further to explain くださいます and さしあげます。

Let’s take a look at the following table.

In my table above, Level 2 refers to 目上の人(i.e superiors, seniors, teachers, etc).
Level 1 refers to people who are in the same social status (i.e friends, acquaintances, etc).

Let’s take a look at the following example from yesterday’s post.
わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を あげました。(I gave flowers to my friend).


In the event if you wish to say “I gave flowers to your teacher”, it would be better to say
わたしは   せんせいに 花(はな)を さしあげました。

This would be in Level 2 politeness. Basically, you change 「あげます」 to 「さしあげます」to indicate the status of the receiver.


Similarly, let’s recap on くれます。


(My friend gave me a book)

If you wish to say your sensei or someone of a higher status gave you or your family member something,
it would be better to use くださいます。

An example would be below:

先生 わたし本(ほん)を くださいました。(My teacher gave me a book)

Some other example sentences:



わたしは 課長(かちょう)に りんごを さしあげました。(I gave apples to my section chief)

わたしは 社長(しゃちょう)に おみやげを さしあげました。 (I gave souvenirs to my company director)



せんせいは いもうとに 着物(きもの)を くださいました。 (Sensei gave my younger sister a set of kimono)

かちょうは わたしに おみやげを くださいました。 (My section chief gave me some souvenirs)


Red: Giver of action
Blue: Receiver of action
Green: Object

Tomorrow/this weekend i will work on Giving and Receiving Part 3 (いただきます) and
Giving and Receiving Part 4 (て+くれます・くださいます/ て+もらいます・いただきます/て+あげます・さしあげます)


Hope you all understand a little better about くださいます and さしあげます。

Have a great Friday ahead.





Giving and Receiving with あげます/もらいます/くれます (N5)



Today i would like to explain about あげます/もらいます/くれます。
わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を あげました。

I gave my friend flowers.

GiverReceiver of ActionObject を あげます。

In this case, 「わたし」 is the giver, 「ともだち」is the receiver, 「はな」being the object given.

わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を もらいました。

I received flowers from my friend .

Receiver of Action GiverObject を あげます。

In this case, 「ともだち」 is the giver, 「わたし」is the receiver, 「はな」being the object given.


Wait, what about くれます then? This diagram will make it clear.

Its the direct opposite of 「もらいます」.

Take note that when you use 「くれます」, the receiver of action must be you or your family member.

GiverReceiver of Action (You/your family member)Object を くれます。

Take note you cannot say:

「ともだちは わたしに はな を あげました。」

but you can say

「ともだちは 木村さんに はな を あげました。」

Some more example sentences:
あげます / Structure: GiverReceiver of ActionObject を あげます。

1) 先生は 木村さんに 本(ほん)を あげました。 (Sensei gave Kimura-san a book)

2) は 田中さんに チョコレートを あげました。 (I gave Tanaka-san chocolates)

もらいます / Receiver of Action GiverObject を もらいます。

3) は 先生に キットカット を もらいました。 (I received Kitkat from sensei)

4) 木村さんは 先生に 本(ほん)を もらいました。(Kimura-san received a book from sensei)

くれます / GiverReceiver of Action (You/your family member)Object を くれます。

5) ともだちは に おかしを くれました。(My friend gave my younger sister sweets)

6) ともだちは  わたしに  じしょを くれました。 (My friend gave me a dictionary)

Try to write some example sentences and post below. I will mark them for you.

My next grammar article will be on くださいます/さしあげます。



Your Japanese is good!


こんばんは。It`s been very long since i wrote a grammar article. I was browsing through one of the online websites for Japanese teachers and it has something like this.


It seems that there was a research done on the public`s response to negative sentences nowadays. People tend to like sentences that is of avoidance.

I think you can change the sentence to something like


I want to give credit to this sensei for writing such an article. Thank you, Kaki-sensei.



Identifying Verb Group

Hi all,

One of the things about learning 国語 (Kokugo, the Japanese language which is learned by native Japanese) is that they have different ways of identifying their group 1, 2 and 3 verbs.

If you are unsure if a verb is group 1 or 2, remove the る、ない、た、etc from the verb and add a ない、if it ends with a [あ]-sound, then its a group 1, else its a group 2.

e.g はなさない (hana-SA-nai) : group 1
たべない (ta-BE-nai): group 2
みない (MI-nai): group 2…

Have a good weekend ahead.