Wait but those are entirely different sounds aren't they? Or is that what Thomas meant to say? i interpreted his explanation to mean "oh" becomes "ohhh" etc. Rather than like in seat/sit where "ih" becomes "ee". I've actually been wondering this for a while because I feel like I don't really understand how some pronunciation rules (such as this one) work. Thanks in advance!
Long vowels do appear in English, they just don't change the meaning in most dialects. For example, the first vowel in "ferry" is short in Australian English, but the first vowel is short in the minimal pair "fairy". Whether a vowel is long (bead) or short (bid) is lexically specified in all dialects of English.
adding to that, とうも can be used to mean about anything.. It can be thanks, hi, sorry, all depending on the tone when you say it. Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51YibHPwnVg&t=221s for a better explaination.
Doesn't "gozaimasu" indicate that you are thanking a "superior?"
Yes, the "masu" at the end is formal. You would use it for a stranger or elder (senpai even). With friends or family you could get away with just "arigato" and even just "gomen" (gomenasai). A LOT of words are shortened, I've noticed, with friends and family (and even classmates you're not friends with).
I keep confusing arigatogozaimasu with "please" too, since in most languages we use please and thank you interchangeably. Would this be acceptable in Japan? I know they greet you in stores with somethinf similar, and youre not supposed to say it back (theyre showing their many thanks to serve you in their store, by repeating they have to find another way to show more thanks, it's a little odd to some but thats how it works. You just smile and bow)