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Thread: Polite forms of adjectives?

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    Default Polite forms of adjectives?

    お久しぶりです!

    I was looking at the grammar section on a JLPT N4 study sight and found this construction: (お)+Adj+ございます. It came with the example "こちらのほうが(お)安うございます".

    I looked it up, and I found this site --> http://members.fortunecity.com/kwhazit/ranma/g_adj.html

    If you scroll down there's a section called 'High Formality', which basically explains how to conjugate the high formality adjectives. What I really want to know is - are these ever used? I've never heard of them before and I've been studying quite a few years now, so I'm quite weirded out by this sudden discovery.

    It would be especially helpful if anyone who lives or has lived in Japan could say if they ever encounter the polite adjective forms in their day-to-day life.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Polite forms of adjectives?

    These high formality/politeness forms of adjectives are very rare. They are almost never used in normal conversations, so as long as you can recognize them, then consider yourself in good shape.

    Of course, o-hayou gozaimasu is actually the high polite form of hayai, although people would probably consider it more like a set phrase than the super polite form of hayai.

    I suppose I have seen yoroshuu gozaimasu for yoroshii desu, but I doubt anyone would use it on a regular basis.

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    Default Re: Polite forms of adjectives?

    ありがとうございます!勉強になりました。

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    Default Re: Polite forms of adjectives?

    Yeah, I think it's almost safe to say that they have dropped out of use in normal conversation for all purposes. If you used it in daily speech today you would almost sound sort of ridiculous, like an actor in a play or a character from a novel (think if a guy actually "thou"/"thee" in real life, in English, and you get the idea).

    The exceptions are, as already pointed out above and on the website, if it's already part of an idiomatized phrase (ex. おはようございます).

    The only place you might possibly find such language is in letters for formal or public occasions (like in a reply from a company to a job applicant, invitations to weddings, or an eulogy at a funeral), since such letters in Japan still tend to use extremely strict, highly formalized language you never see anywhere else (like 拝啓 and 敬具).

    Another case I can think of where I vaguely remember hearing language like that is conversation between in-laws (again, usually at a highly formal occasion like a wedding or a funeral), especially if they're from an older generation (like, between my grandmothers).
    Last edited by Datenshi; 07-26-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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