Japanese Language Blog

Let’s Learn Keigo! – Part 2 Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Culture, Grammar


The other day, I had covered basics on Japanese Keigo. There are three forms of Keigo’s in Japanese, but today’s post is all about the first one, called “Polite Language (Teinei go, ていねいご、丁寧語)” By the time you finish reading this post, you will learn not only the basics but also the important aspects of Teineigo, and you will be able to apply it in your conversation. Read on~!


All about Polite Language (Teinei go, ていねいご、丁寧語)

Teineigo, (ていねいご、丁寧語) is the basic Keigo that you can apply. This is the must know Japanese expression, and that you will be using this in almost any conversation you might have with pretty much anyone, even including your friends, family, and relatives.


Teineigo, (ていねいご、丁寧語) just means, being polite. Using polite expressions in your conversation while talking or writing. The basics you will need to know is to add ~ desu(です), and ~ masu(ます) at the end of each sentence.


How do we use “~ desu(です)”?? ~ examples

Desu(です) can be used in sentences such as,

Are you Mr. Smith? – Smith san desu ka?

My name is Hiroko. – Watashi no namae wa Hiroko desu.

Where is the library? – Toshokan wa doko desu ka?

Library is over there. – Toshokan wa asoko desu.

Is this yours? – Kore wa anatano desu ka?

Yes, it is mine. – Hai, watashi no desu.

How are you? – Ogenki desu ka?

He will be absent today. – Kyou karewa kesseki desu.

~Got an idea?


Another form of Teineigo..  ~ masu(ます) 


How do we use “~ masu(ます)”?? ~ examples


Do you eat fish? – Osakana wa tabe masu ka?

Yes, I eat fish. – Hai, osakana tabe  masu.

Do you want to go now? – Korekara iki masu ka?

I am leaving now. – Imakara demasu.

Are you going to the party? – Party ni iki masu ka?

Yes, I am going to the party. – Hai, party ni iki masu.

Are you working today? – Kyou wa oshigoto shite masu ka?

Yes, I am working today. – Hai, kyou shigoto shite masu.


So, for Teineigo, these two are the main forms of expressions you would need to know. Start with simple sentences and expand it from there.  It is always good to use these polite expressions rather than using expressions that might sound too friendly.

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.


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