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Polite and Plain Style in Japanese

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1.Polite style and plain style
Japanese language has two styles of speech; polite style and plain style
The predicate which are used in polite style sentences and accompanied by either です or ます are Called the polite form, while the predicates are used in plain style sentences are called the plain form.
2.Proper use of the polite style or the plain style
1.The polite style can be used at any time in any place and to anybody. Therefore, the polite style is used most commonly in daily conversation between adults who are not close friends. It is used when talking to a person one has met for the first time, to one’s superiors, or even to persons in a similar age group to whom one is not very close. The polite style may be chosen when one talks to a person who is younger or lower in rank yet not so close. The plain style is used when talking to one’s close friends. Colleagues and family members. Note that you need to be careful about how politeness is needed, basing this on the age of your conversation partner and your type of relationship. If the plain style is used inappropriately, you could sound rough and impolite. So when you cannot tell the situation it is refer to use the polite style.
2.The plain style is commonly used in written work. Newspaper, books, theses and diaries are all written in the plain style. Most letters are written in the polite style.
3.Conversation in the plain style
(1)questions in the plain style generally omit the particle が, which demotes a question and end with a rising intonation such as (のむ)
Examples (1)おさけ を のむ?
...うん, のむ

(2)すし を たべる / たべるの
...うん, すし を たべる
...ううん, すし を たべたい.
(1)Do you drink Japanese rice wine?
...Yes, I do.

(2)Do you eat sushi?↘
...Yes I eat.
...No. I don't eat
(2)In noun and な-adjective questions だ which is the plain form of です, is omitted. In answer in the affirmative, ending the sentence with だ sound too rough. You can either omit だ or add some sentence final particle to soften the tone of the sentence. Women seldom use だ.
Examples (1)こんばん ひま? | ひまの


...うん, ひま / ひまだ / ひまだよ
...うん, ひま/ひまよ
...ううん, ひまじゃない / ひまじゃないよ

(1)Are you free tonight?
...(used by both man and women)
Yes, I am (used by man)
Yes, I am (used by women)
No, I am not (used by both man and women)
(4)In the plain style, certain particles are often omitted if the meaning of the sentence is evident from the context.
Examples
(1)ごはん [を] たべる?
(2)あした きょうと [へ] いかない?
(3)この りんご [は] おいしいね.
(4)その [に] はさみ が ある.
で, に, から, と and etc., however , are not omitted because the meaning of the sentence may not be clear without them.
(1)Will you take a meal?
(2)Won't you come to Kyoto tomorrow with me?
(3)This apple is tasty, isn't it? (4)Is there a pair of scissors there?
(5)けど but has the same function as が, which is used to connect two sentences.(see Lesson 8)
Examples
(1)この らめん は おいしい.
...うん, おいしい けど たかいよ
(1)This ramen is delicious?
Yes, it's delicious but expensive.

Related Articles: List of Japanese Sentence Structure
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