Verbs in Japanese Honorific and Humble Language

The Japanese language makes extensive use of honorifics and humble language in many situations. Let’s learn about them in this short article.
Honorific suffixes are attached to the end of names, such as さん in 田中さん, and are often gender-neutral. Honorific suffixes also indicate the relationship between the speaker and referred individual’s and are often used alongside other forms of formal and polite expressions like Humble Language.
The difficult thing about learning honorifics and humble expressions is that we need to memorize the words that have special forms when they are in honorific or humble forms.
Anything that does not have its own special expression fall under the general rules of humble and honorific conjugations.

Basic Honorific & Humble Expressions



to put the other party at a higher status than our own with the use of respectful language

to use the humble language to voluntarily put down ourselves to show respect to the other party.


V1 & V2

お + Vますform + になる

お + Vますform + する/いたす

Most V3


 ご + Kanjiする + になる

ご + Kanjiする + する/いたす

 いたす is more modest than する



食べる/飲む – 召し上がる

見る – ご覧(らん)になる

行く/来る/いる – いらっしゃる

言う – おっしゃる

する – なさる

知っている – ご存知だ

寝る – お休みになる

着る -お召しになる

食べる – いただく

見る – 拝見する

行く/来る- 参る

聞く/訪ねる- 伺う

いる – おる

言う – 申す/申し上げる

する – いたす

知っている – 存じている

会う – お目にかかる


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