Keigo, N4, Others

Introduction to Keigo Part 6: 美化語



We have come to the last part of the Keigo family member, 美化語 (びかご).

By beautifying nouns, it expresses politeness towards the other party. It is used in a lot of situations, regardless of the other party’s status.


By attaching 「お」 or 「ご」to the word, it becomes a 美化語。Take note that not all words can become a 美化語。

お+和語(わご) :native Japanese words

ご+漢語(かんご): Japanese words of Chinese origin


さけ → おさけ






I have a good bible to help me some words to 美化語。

Please don’t go yet! We still have 2 sections on this, 上下関係(じょうげかんけい) and the FAQs.


Keigo, N4, Others

Introduction to Keigo Part 5: 丁重語


Today, we come to the “brother” of 謙譲語(けんじょうご)、the 丁重語(ていちょうご)。

We use this in a situation when there is no other party that we want to praise. By deprecating ourselves, we also express politeness.

日本語: 自分の動作をへりくだることで丁重な表現をする。高める相手がいない場合に使う。

Let’s also revise the difference between 謙譲語 (humble form) and 丁重語 (courteous form).

Some words in 丁重語 (ていちょうご)
いる ⇒ おる
言う ⇒ 申す
する ⇒ いたす
行く、来る ⇒ 参る
思う、知っている ⇒ 存じる
いる ⇒ おる、の例

If you have a difficult time trying to distinguish between 謙譲語 and 丁重語、you just need to remember that 謙譲語 is the one where your action is done on the other party (e.g 申し上げます (to say to the other party). On the other hand, 丁重語 does not require this (e.g 申します) .

It might be difficult at the start to memorize all of this. But, once you apply it into your life, it’s just a matter of time that you get the hang of it.

As a foreigner, if you can use Keigo properly, i think that Japanese will also start to respect you more.

Have a great day ahead!


Grammar, Keigo, N4

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.






Keigo, N4

Introduction to Keigo Part 3: 謙譲語

更新: 2021年1月21日


こんばんは。 I will be sharing what is 謙譲語 tonight.

What is 謙譲語 (けんじょうご)?
謙譲語(けんじょうご) is also known as humble form. It is used to lift up the other party’s status by deprecating speaker’s own action and to express the respect towards that person.

日本語: 自分の動作をへりくだることで相手を高めて、その人物に対しての敬意を表す。

In my table above, Level 1 refers to people who are in the same social status (i.e. friends, acquaintances, etc.). What about Level 0? In the aspect of Keigo, i take it the level which the speaker humbles himself/herself down to a lower social status (e.g an eunuch talking to the emperor).

Let’s take a look at some examples.

わたしは 土曜日(どようび)に 友達(ともだち)の家 (うち) に いきます。
I will go to my friend’s house on Saturday.

わたしは 月曜日(げつようび)に 御社(おんしゃ)に 伺います(うかがいます)。
I will visit your company on Monday.
(Speaker humbles himself/herself down to a lower social status)

How to form verbs in 謙譲語?

There are 3 ways where you can form verbs in 謙譲語.

  1. お+連用形/ます-form+します (For 五段動詞 (Group 1) and 一段動詞 (Group 2) ) 

Example sentences:

  1. わたくし は 本日(ほんじつ)の予定(よてい) を おおくりします。
    (I will send you today’s schedule)
  2. こちらは レポートを おかきします。 (We will write the report)

Note: Not all the words can be used for this form (e.g. お+見+します)

2. ご+漢語+します (漢語 means words like 説明(せつめい)します or 案内(あんない) します)

  1. 本日(ほんじつ)のスケジュールをご説明します。 (I will explain today’s schedule)
  2. 本館(ほんかん)の施設(しせつ)をご案内します。 (I will guide you throughout the facility of this institution)

Exception (電話) : お+電話+します

3. Special Words
The last way would be to use the special words. Take note that not all the words are here as I have removed some which are under 丁重語 (ていちょうご).


Example sentences:

  1. せんせいに これを さしあげます。 (I will (humbly) give this to sensei)
  2. 月曜日に A社の社長 に お目にかかります。
    (I will (humbly) meet the CEO for Company A on Monday)
  3. その資料(しりょう)を 拝見 (はいけん) しても よろしいでしょうか。
    (Can i (humbly) take a look at that materials (that you have)?)
  4. 自分(じぶん) の意見 (いけん)  を申し上げます。
    I will (humbly) say my own opinions.

A lot of students have feedback to me that they always have issues with 敬語. I personally feel it is lack of practice. If we can practice 敬語 a bit more in our daily life, then speaking it should not be a problem.  Previously when I was studying 敬語、I remembered that I would speak to myself and change all the verbs to 敬語 every day for about 3 months.

For example:

「わたしは 日本へ行きます。」「わたくしは 御社(おんしゃ)にうかいがいます」, etc., etc.

I hope you have understood the usage of how to use 謙譲語 by reading this article. Please feel free to let me know if you are having issues with 謙譲語。

If you have missed out our Part 1 and Part 2 of the 敬語 series, you can find them below.

Part 1: Types of Keigo
Part 2: 尊敬語 (そんけいご) / Honorific form

Have a great day/night.


Keigo, Others

Introduction to Keigo Part 2: 尊敬語


おはようございます。It’s 8:15am here in Singapore.

Let’s do 尊敬語 (そんけいご) today.

If you have read my article on Giving and Receiving, you would understand how to read the below 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).

For example,

  1. わたし は ひるごはんを たべました. (I ate dinner)
  2. かちょう は ひるごはんを たべられました (Section chief ate dinner)

As the section chief is of a higher status, it would be impolite to use Level 1 verbs like 「たべます」。

To use 尊敬語 (そんけいご) properly, do also remember that the 3-step rule as mentioned in 日本人の知らない日本語 drama。


敬意: Level of Respect
Forming Level 2.1 尊敬語

Same as how you form 受身形 (うけみけい) / Passive Form
Group 1 verbs (五段動詞)

いいます ->いわ->いわれます (to say)
かきます->かか->かかれます (to write)
Group 2 verbs (一段動詞) -Note that some verbs cannot fit into this level (e.g います)
たべます->たべられます (to eat)
みます->みられます (to see)
Group 3 verbs (サ変/カ変)
します->なさいます (to do)
きます->こられます (to come)
Forming Level 2.2 尊敬語
お+連用形/ます-form + になります

(Only for Group 1 and Group 2 verbs)

Take note that some verbs cannot fit into this level (e.g みます->おになります X)

たべますー>おたべになります (to eat)
かきますー>おかきになります (to write)
Forming Level 2.3 尊敬語

You have no choice but to remember this chart. What i would usually do is try to change what i say in daily life to remember the chart.

Example sentences (Level 2.3)
せんせい は いらっしゃいますか (Is sensei around?)
しゃちょう は 資料(しりょう)をごらん に なりました (The CEO read the materials)
Question: When do i know which level of 尊敬語 to use?

Answer: It depends on how high the status of a person is at that point of time. For example, it would be inappropriate to say this when both your 課長 (かちょう) and 社長 (しゃちょう) is around.
「課長、昼ごはんを めしあがりましたか。」

If your 社長 knows 敬語 very well, he might get angry with you. Thus, it is important to use the correct level of verb at the time.

Later on, i will post some exercises on 尊敬語 for practice.

Hope you enjoyed this article. I might put in a mp3 later on for explanation, so feel free to check back this article.


Grammar, Keigo

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.



Keigo Presentation (Done by my students)



Below is 2 Keigo Presentation done by my students.

Please forgive their pronunciation.

Also, there is a small mistake. For the 謙譲語 portion, it should be




1) History of Keigo

2) Beginner Keigo

3) 電話応対 (Call Handling)

4) Advanced Keigo



New testimonial for my Keigo class


Received a testimonial for one of the students who went for my Keigo class.
Been to Dimitri’s keigo class for the past 2 weeks. The lessons are enjoyable. His teaching methods are innovative. Dimitri is a non-native Japanese language sensei. But I managed to learn more from him as compared to some of the top Japanese language school in Singapore I am currently enrolled.

He has shown great passion in teaching Japanese. I am glad to attend his class 


The Importance of 敬語 and New Business Japanese class coming up in December



Today, one of my N1 students who was from NTU said that she visited the ASEAN Japan Career Fair ( .

A lot of interviewers know that she can speak Japanese and started to speak to her in Keigo. Unfortunately, she said except for はじめまして。私は~です,she cannot say any 敬語。Another foreigner who was beside her and  was able to speak 敬語、got an offer straight away.  She then felt that how “small” she was and people from the neighboring countries were able to speak in 敬語 very well.

Having said that, she told me she wanted to join my 敬語 class for my Intermediate class next week where i will talk about 上下関係, 敬語, etc.

Don’t think that 敬語 is not important. If you want to work in a Japanese company, it’s very important that you know 敬語。

So, how should you introduce yourself in 敬語 when you go for an interview? Here’s how

初めておめにかかります。  (はじめまして)

If you are interested to join my free 敬語クラス next week, feel free to email me via the Contact Us form.