JPNS 3000

Dialogue for Presentation 7


(Supplements for the textbook
Genki: An Integrated Approach, Vol. 2)


Click here to listen to the entire dialogue.

Click on the links below to listen to each individual sentence. 

This dialogue is designed to accompany Chapter 20 of volume 2. 


Mary is at an appliance store to return the iPod she bought a few days ago.

She is waiting for Yamakawa, who is the person in charge.




メアリー:あ、どうも。ここでこのiPod を買ったんですが、音が聞こえないんです




   (He pauses as he looks at the iPod)




In the last lesson (Lesson 19), you learned about honorific expressions (keigo) is used to show respect to people. These were the expressions we indicated with the symbol in the previous dialogues.  Starting in this chapter, we introduce a new kind of honorific expression.  What your book calls “Humble expressions” are a kind of very polite language that makes oneself sound humble.  It is used in reference to oneself or the group to which one belongs when speaking to someone from outside of that group.  In these dialogues, we will use the symbol () to indicate a phrase that is a humble expression. 


As your book explains on p. 159, there is a pattern that you can use to put almost any verb into a humble expression.


   verb                       +verb stem+する

                                              (Remember, the verb stem is the part of the verb that appears before ます)

   読む                      読みする

   かえす                 かえしする

   取る                      取りする

   書く                      書きする

   ねがう                 ねがいします   (ねがう means “request.” 

                                                                                    This pattern is where we get the expression おねがいします.)


These often appear in situations where you are talking about yourself to a person of higher social status, so often, they appear inます form. For instance, if you are talking to your boss, you might say the following sentences. 


   今晩、リポートをお読みします       “I will read () the report tonight.”

   先週、先生の本をお返ししました  “Last week, I returned () the professor’s book.”


Still, these expressions can appear in all sorts of grammatical constructions that you have learned.  For instance,


   写真をお取りしてもいいですか。       “Is it all right if I take () a picture?”

   先生とお話ししたいですが・・・              “I would like to talk () with the teacher, but…” (it is okay?)


                                                                                                “I sent () an e-mail yesterday, but no response has come.”


The verb する itself has a humble equivalent, which is いたす.  If you substitute the いたします for します in the pattern above, then the expression becomes even more humble!   For instance,


   今晩、リポートをお読みいたします         “I will read (↓↓) the report tonight.”

   先週、先生の本をお返しいたしました    “Last week, I returned (↓↓) the professor’s book.”


Yamakawa works at a store and wants to be very polite to his customers.  As a result, he uses humble expressions to speak to his customers.  As you go through the dialogue, please note that these expressions are used to refer to himself or people at the store who are associated with him. 


The verb 待たせる (a –ru verb) means “to keep someone waiting.”  The expression お待たせしましたis a very humble expression that means “I have kept you waiting (↓↓).”    This expression is basically the verb待たせる put in the humble format, using the verb いたします in the place of します。The expression お待たせしました is a VERY common expression in service industry jobs, where people want to be polite to customers.  A service industry person will often say this when they help a person who has been waiting in line, a person who has been on hold on the telephone, and so on. 


Mr. Yamakawa says that his name is Yamakawa (山川ともうします).  もうす is a humble expression that means exactly the same thing as 言う (to say, to speak).  In other words, this is a more humble way of saying 山川と言います.  You should remember this expression because it is the best way to introduce yourself in situations when you have tell someone in a humble fashion what your name is, for instance, if you are introducing yourself to a 先生 you do not know, a person of high rank, and so on.  Using these humble expressions in introducing yourself leaves a positive impression with the listeners and shows that you are a person of class. 


Note the word もうす can be used interchangeably with 言うin most situations.  For instance, if you are talking in a formal situation, you might say…



   “Yesterday, I told () Mr. White that the situation will probably be difficult.”



   “I said () it before, but next year should be better.”


More to come… 


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Updated November 11, 2010