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  5. "田中ともうします。"


Translation:My name is Tanaka.

June 8, 2017



"もうします" is the masu form for "もうす" which is a much polite version of "name/to be called" as it is a humble verb. So you could use this sentence if you are introducing yourself to some one higher up or to just be formal and polite.


So is といいます also acceptable as an alternative?


yes definitely


First of all you could use this sentence if your name is Tanaka.


Why is this using the partile "to", intead of "ga", do you always have to write it like this? (Sorry if this sounds ignorant, I am learning the basics) ^^


It is because 田中 is not the subject of the conversation (が usage). Instead, it is the content of the conversation (と usage).

You say "I am called Tanaka" (I am the subject), not "Tanaka is called Tanaka" (Tanaka is the subject).


と申します Means "My name is..." (probably not literally, but gtranslate translates it to "my name is")


Will -ません form mean the same? Or is it intended to negate the expression?


-ません would be the negation.

[deactivated user]

    Why is "to" in this sentence? It doesnt seem to be a part of the word "moushi"


    The と follows the "content" implied by the verb. Kind of like quotation marks. Here, it is a name. We also use と with 思う (omou, to think) to indicate what it is that we think. 犬だと思う (I think it's a dog.) と is also used with 言う (iu, to say).


    So, we could think about もうし as "to be named"?


    Yes, but you should think of もうします as "to be named". もうし by itself is just the verb stem, and can actually be used as part of compound verbs, e.g. もうしこみます ("to apply for")


    What's the difference between this and といいます? I tried "I am known as Tanaka" but it marked it wrong.


    It was confusing for me as i usually think of to as meaning and


    I don't understand the quotation marks idea. Why would we want to put quotation marks around our name?


    Is だ used here as the masculine declarative? Or is this another usage?


    だ is the plain form copula, the casual equivalent of です. It's used here because the sentence is quoting the speaker's thoughts, and it's expected that you don't think to yourself with polite language (it would seem very arrogant/self-important), so the convention in Japanese is to always use plain forms.

    Grammatically speaking too, in general, when a verb is being used which isn't the main clausal verb, it should be the plain form, regardless of the distal style of the overall sentence.


    I asked a few Japanese people and one of them said he finds "ともうします" is more natural than "わたしは☆☆です" or "わたしのなまえ".

    However, most said that saying it as とまうします is more formal, like for meeting a boss or a partners parents for the first time. It is more polite, whereas the latter is a bit more casual (but obviously still more polite than just saying "田中です"


    But what about using "namaewa" ?


    I guess when you use Oname as in Onamae wa nan desuka, you are being literal as "what is your name' and here you are saying "Im called "insert your name here".

    Also, for those 20 down votes, could you at least explain why is it wrong istead of just down vote? We are all here to learn right?


    From my understanding, that's a more informal version


    How common is this phrase? I've always just known it as 私は田中です


    Very common in self introduction. Especially if you are facing your boss or customers, you must use the humble form 申します, otherwise it is considered as impolite.


    I wonder about that though. If I had a Japanese person come up to me, and say, in flawed English, 'I'm Tanaka, how you doing?' instead of the perhaps more formal 'My name is Tanaka, how are you today?' - I would just assume their grasp of the language isn't perfect, and wouldn't even give the fact that they used a fairly informal greeting another thought. But thats just me. But then again, cultural differences I suppose, with their hierarchal society.


    Yeah, in my experience, Japanese people are pretty understanding of how difficult it is to grasp the nuances of Japanese society. I've never had anyone, aside from my partner, point out any faux pas I've commited (and I'm sure it's happened more than a few times) and there are probably plenty more that I haven't even realized because there was absolutely no reaction from the people around me.

    The thing about Japanese culture though, is that the concept of 本音建前 (hon ne tate mae = the notion of one's inner thoughts and feelings being separate from one's outward behavior and opinions) is such a significant part of it that the majority of Japanese people won't even realize they're doing it; it's so instinctual for them. So, while I've never noticed anyone getting offended when I make a cultural faff, it doesn't mean that no one has noticed or been offended.

    If you're intending to learn Japanese to integrate into Japanese society to the extent that you need to worry about what language to use with your boss and your customers, then it's very important to get a handle on the concept of politeness in Japanese society (which is well beyond the scope of the course here on Duo).

    Aside from that though, you don't really need to know any of these phrases, but you're learning them anyway so might as well learn it fully, right? Keith's comment was also aimed at people who were wondering what the difference is between these phrases, so politeness is something you can't ignore.


    Great explanation, thanks


    Yes you would assume that they didn't know better or forgot because it was their second language, but that's the point in learning a language, to hopefully not make those mistakes. I'm sure no one will be like, ugh that rude fool, but at the same time, when you're taking the time to learn a language then hopefully what you are shooting for is to be able to speak like a native.

    So instead of people thinking, well theyre obviously foreign but at least their trying, you want them to say, wow, that foreigner is very fluent, I'm impressed.

    I'm sure they would get it, just like my coworker from Peru sometimes says he instead of she, I get it, no judgement, but it reminds me that English isn't his first language when it happens.


    I've always learned to say "my name is..." as "(私の)名前はOOです。is this just a different way to do it? Is it more or less formal?


    Saying 私の名前は〇〇です。is textbook speech,eating that while it is technically correct, you will only usually see it in textbooks when learning Japanese and native Japanese speakers will hardly ever say it. Saying 名前は〇〇です, 私は〇〇です, or 〇〇ともうします is much more common and sounds less awkward.


    Or simply 〇〇です。


    It's using a humble verb, the concept of keigo and humble speech, etc has literally books written on it, but, in brief - there are two major aspects to Japanese "polite" language; raising up the other, and humbling yourself. Honorifics lift up and glorify the other, while humble verbs deprecate your own role and importance.


    While this does end up communicating the same thing as "my name is tanaka," I feel that this would be better served as "I am called tanaka" so that you start to learn how と is used as in と言う、と思う, etc. Also learning keigo this soon in the lessons is going to make for an interesting time later, though this does have practical applications.


    I agree; "I am called Tanaka" should be accepted here.


    Im only starting to learn japanese, so its hard for me to know every single kanji that people use here. Can someone tell me what the kanjis between とand う mean? Atleast the hiragana way to write them.


    と言う「という」(TOIU) と思う「とおもう」(TOOMOU)


    Sorry I forgot to say the meanings, 言 means: "speak", 思 means: "think"


    I wish this app openly covered levels of politeness since its such a big part of Japanese language


    As i observe when you say ともうします sounds more natural because you are not using the わたし pronoun. That is because to them referring to yourself so directly look kind of rude. That is why they avoid to do it. But ともうします still is a formal way of talking so i recommend to say your name, last name in first meetings, and finish with です. Like : マキシです!


    Does the name Tanaka literally mean the middle of a rice field? Because the kanji 田 is rice field and 中 is middle


    Yes literally. Historically in the distant past yes


    what is the difference between もうします and といいます?


    もうします is the humble form of いいます. もうします is more polite.


    So, correct me if I am wrong. To match the connotations: 「ーーーと申します。」>"My name isーーー" 「ーーー と言います。」>"I am calledーーー" 「名前はーーーです」 > "The name by which i am known is ーーー."


    と申します (I) am humbly called

    と言います (I) am called

    名前は…です (My) name is


    I was trying to convey the cultural connotations of the forms. Particularly that 「名前はーーーです」is an overly verbose form that no one actually uses.


    Is "your name" as good as "my name" since there is no context?


    No, the use of もうします (a humbling verb) provides enough context that this is "my name" we're talking about.

    謙譲語 (kenjougo) is a subset of polite language or keigo which is used to lower your own status in order to be respectful to the person you're talking to, in other words, "humbling language". もうします is one such verb, and as such, you would never use it to lower the status of someone else.


    I would use... No resentments


    I'd say no, since you're more likely to state your own name rather than someone else's name. Also, I think Duolingo defaults to first person in these cases. But in theory, yes, I agree with you.


    はじめまして, ルースともうします。




    田中と申します。 [ta-naka to mou-shimasu, tanaka to moushimasu] = My name is Tanaka.

    The box-iness is strong with these kanji.


    My OCD can't bear these little offset lines tho


    my mother (someone from japan, and can speak japanese fluently) said that もうします is an incredibly formal way of introducing yourself, used in businesses, and that she has never heard it before. she also pointed out that it's quite old and most likely not used anymore


    Which prefecture does your mother come from? Location greatly inferences the Japanese they speak and I am not surprised some dialects do not have 申します. It is common standard (Tokyo based) Japanese though and still extensive being used in everyday.


    I've noticed some of these phrases are wrong if I do or don't use Mr. Tanaka vs Tanaka. What changes that makes you refer to yourself as Mr. in English when not using -さん after?


    Hmm, so さん doesn't necessarily mean "Mr." It's just a decent approximation of the difference in politeness/formality. I feel like Duo has been pretty good for allowing "Mr." and no "Mr." on sentences with さん, but I haven't checked that very rigorously.

    The thing about さん in Japanese is that you would never add it to the end of your own name, while calling yourself "Mr." in English may be uncommon, but it isn't exactly frowned upon.

    One example I can think of is when you're signing yourself into a hotel or some kind of event and the attendant asks you for your name. In English, it may go like "Hello sir, you must be Mr. ...?" To which I would reasonably answer "Mr. Lorenzo." In the equivalent situation in Japanese, I would absolutely not use さん when giving my name.


    Also to note is, that you can use さん with the first name of another person as well (depending on the relationship, of course).


    "You can call me Tanaka" It's is diferent then "My name is Tanaka"


    My name's tanaka, is wrong???!!!!!


    Because it's literally sounds like "of my name tanaka" - you should not short the "is" that way


    No, "my name's Tanaka" is a perfectly legitimate and natural-sounding English sentence. The problem is that it feels rather casual, because of the contraction, and ~ともうします is a distinctly formal way to introduce yourself.


    I feel like translating this into "Please call me Tanaka." isn't wrong. Given the politeness level and all. Am I wrong?


    No, "Please call me" normally means that I have an original name, but people can call me with a different one. In Japanese the translation would be 田中と呼(よ)んでください


    田中ともうします。 = I will join Tanaka. According to google translate.


    my google translate says "I will play with Tanaka." if I don't include "。"


    Yeah, I think that is because Japanese people are using kanji there and we've just typed it in hiragana. If you'll google ともうします it'll return: "probably you were typing: と申します". Now if we'll use that in gtranslate 「田中と申します。」 it'll properly translate it to "My name is Tanaka."

    However 「田中といいます」 is translated to "It is called Tanaka" And if we'll use kanji 「田中と言います」it'll be "Tanaka is called". So idk. Does nobody use と言います?


    More to the point, I think nobody uses Google Translate for anything more complex than vocabulary words in the JP-EN language pair and expects a decent translation.

    That said, in my experience, と言います is the least used way of introducing oneself, possibly because of the potential conflation with the other meaning of 言います, "to say".


    I agree that I shouldn't use gtranslate to translate something complex in JP-EN pair. I just thought that gtranslate would have user-made translations to the sentences like "My name is ...", "I'm from ..." etc. Just like the other languages have.


    What is the literal translation of" 田中ともうします" I know is means "My name is Tanaka" but that's most obviously not literally translated, right?


    (My name) says as Tanaka.


    The verb 申す does not appear to necessarily be about the speaker. Is "my" the absolute and only correct translation? It seems to me that "your name is Tanaka" would also be possible, depending on context.


    申す is humble form and there is no circumstance that it can refer to an action done by the listener.

    The 申す action must be done by a member in the speaker's inner circle and the listener is outside of the social circle. So you can say うちの社長は田中ともうします。 Our CEO is called Tanaka.


    Alright, so if you were to say 「うちの社長はいい人です。田中と申します。」, I assume that that second sentence would be treated as "his name is Tanaka," and not "my name is Tanaka." But Duo insists that that's wrong.


    What you should do in Duolingo is to stick to the most obvious translation, then come to the discussion board and ask for special cases. We will be happy to explain and share what we know :-)


    Is "名前は田中です。" an acceptable way to say "My name is Tanaka." as well? If not, why?


    It is valid translation, but for common names such as 田中, it is not necessary to say 名前は. 「田中です。」is clear and concise.

    If the name is uncommon, for example 朴(パク), 李(イ or リ), 薬袋(みない), 小鳥遊(たかなし), then we may need to clarify that it is indeed a name: 「名前は 薬袋(みない)です」. For example when I call for a reservation, I usually say 「名前は ウォンと 申します」




    Is it wrong to say"僕の名前は..."?


    Totally okay. Same with 俺


    I wouldn't say "totally". Grammatically speaking, it's fine, but you can't just recommend 俺 to a beginner.

    There is a lot to consider regarding politeness and formality when comparing 僕の名前は and と申します. Unless you know what you're doing in terms of adjusting your speech level to who you're talking to/who you're talking about/what situation you're in, it's better to err on the side of caution (i.e. more polite) which means と申します is preferred over 僕の名前は over 俺の名前は.


    Osu, Ora Goku!!

    How to be humble!!


    I dont really understand how particle と works. Could someone explain? I know its used to list things (like the word "and"), but why is it in this sentence?


    You are sure? that word is correct?


    Shouldn't "I am known as Tanaka" be correct as well?


    So "to" is a particle here right, denoting the subject? Could someone explain why we use "to" here rather than something else?


    Someone has already explained this 1 year ago in the top comments


    why 田中と申します is incorrect ? ;/


    Probably the kanji 申 is not in the list of acceptable answer.


    I'm having this constant problem of it accepting kanji in some of these types of questions and then just not in others. Anyone else experiencing them too or is it just a glitch on my end?


    そうーです = That is right. ちがいーます= That is wrong. Why does one use です and the other ます?


    Not sure why you're asking this here, but it's not so much that one "uses" です or ます, rather that the verb of each is different.

    • そうです: the verb is です, which is the copula "to be". そう is an adverb meaning "so, really", so the sentence as a whole is something like "that is so" or "that really is" (though without the emphasis "really" usually has in English).
    • ちがいます: the verb is ちがいます, which means "to differ". So, it really just means "that is different" and the implication is that it is different from what is correct/right.


    What about "といいます"?


    Please try to at least scan the other comments before posting... your question had already been answered twice.

    To reiterate, ともうします is the more humble (and hence polite) version of といいます. They mean the same thing.


    Shouldn't this be なまえわ田中です。


    As a new learner, I have to imagine that, just as English has several ways to introduce yourself, so does Japanese.


    No, because you don't use わ as a topic marker, you use は, but you read it "wa". And "my name is Tanaka" would be わたし/ぼく/おれのなまえはたなかです/だ。depending on the politeness level.


    Is おれの名前は田中だ the least polite form?


    And ぼくの名前は田中です the most polite? I know ぼくis only for men.


    Of the possibilities given by RogueTanuki, yes, it's the most polite, although わたし and ぼく are generally considered to be the same level of politeness.

    ぼく is generally used by young men, but it is also rarely used by women (who want to sound masculine). I use ぼく all the time, but I've also been told it makes me sound somewhat boyish/childish, since most men will use おれ.



    なまえわ田中です。Doesn't make much sense, Try、 私の名前は田中です。


    なまえは田中です is absolutely normal if you talk about your own name. But if you want to talk about someone else name - you should use おなまえは. The wrong part is using わ instead of は.


    Who wants to be friends?


    Well... If you really want I think there's no harm

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