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"How are your parents?"


June 15, 2017



in the example given, could someone explain the purpose of the ご in the beginning of the sentence?


It's a honorific as in ごはん, similar to the お in おげんきですか in this same example.


if ご and お can both be used as an honorific, does it ever matter which one I use?


I just tried お and it worked... I was puzzeled by the ご in the answers...


The "rule" is that ご is mostly used with words that use Onyomi (Chinese) reading, while お is mostly used with words that use Kunyomi (Japanese) reading.

Though right in this sentence we have one of the exceptions 元気 (genki) which uses the Onyomi reading but still uses お.

Most words that consist of two or more Kanji use Onyomi readings but there are many exceptions to this rule as well.

(edit: you can also have a look at the link posted by trishka9 further down, that I hadn't seen when taking the time of writing this comment)


What's the difference between りょうじん and おや?


りょうしん (両親) is always plural: the kanji literally mean "both parents". おや (親) is "a parent".


I thought that "親" meant kiss lol.


Is it necessary to have the お in front of 元気? Why is お元気 correct but not 元気? What's the indication in the sample that indicates you need the お?


Yes, it's an honorific, which you use because you're talking about someone else's parents. Just 元気 would be a bit informal.


So it's an expected formality, not just a personal judgement of formality. Got it. Thank you. :)




The sentence as currently written uses ご両親 (also written 御両親), with the honorific prefix ご-.


I see from the comments that あんたの can be omitted as being implicit. My answer was also accepted here: お両親はお元気ですか?

What is the difference between おand ご?


I saw in another thread that お is used before words of Japanese origin, while ご is used before words borrowed from Chinese.

This article http://selftaughtjapanese.com/2014/03/21/japanese-honorific-prefixes-%E3%81%8A-and-%E3%81%94-o-and-go/ explains it this way (and then adds some exceptions):

お : used for words with the 訓読み(”kunyomi”), or Japanese reading. It is sometimes written in Kanij as 御.

ご : used for words with the 音読み (“onyomi”), or Chinese reading.


I wrote without the "anata no ga" part and it was correct. Why? What does it means?


'anata no' means your or yours or whatever comes after the 'anata no ' belongs to you, but because the question is asked to a spicific someone it is obvious that you are asking about his or her parents so you do not need to use anata no..

As for the 'go' particle, its job is to make your sentense more formal or just to show respect to the parents and it is not always necessary so it is correct to leave it

That is what I know about them : D


There are situations where it's not obvious which set of parents you're talking about, say the listener has last talked to both your and his parents. Is there anything in this sentence besides the あなたの clause that implies you are talking about theirs?


Yes, the ご. It's an honorific prefix for りょうしん. You wouldn't use it when talking about your own parents because using honorific prefixes for your own family/social circle when speaking to others is not humble and thus a no-no. It's the same reason you should refer to your father as 父 (ちち) instead of as お父さん (おとうさん) when talking about him to other people.


あなたの means "your". Since you're asking a question, it's understood from context that you're talking about the other person's parents, so it can be omitted. ご両親 is simply a more polite version of 両親.


This should be translated into "Are your parents fine?" right?


Not quite. While 元気 literally means "lively/healthy", it's an idiomatic way to ask "how are you [or "they" or whoever is being talked about]?"


In which context should I use "お前 - (おまえ)" and "あなた" ?


おまえ is more familiar than あなた... which is still somewhat familiar. In most cases you'd refer to the person by name rather than use a pronoun, or leave the noun/pronoun off if it's understood from context who you're talking about.


あなた is the standard formula for you. You can use it anywhere, formally, and informally. おまえ, as V2Blast said is more informal, and I only heard it between men (not a rule).


We've been advised multiple times by japanese teachers that あなた is rather informal, and should be avoided.


I think in japanese you basically avoid saying 'you' ever, but if you have to you say あなた in this case sayine "how are the venerable parents" is enough to politely indicate you are talking about the other ones parents. did I get that right?


why is "あなたのご両親はあ元気ですか" wrong?


it should be 元気, not 元気
It's also just a bit redundant to use あなたの in this case since the honorifics already imply you're talking about the listener's parents rather than your own. It's a bit rude to use あなた in general unless you don't know the listener's name at all and it can't be understood through context that you're talking about them. (Or if you are VERY familiar with the listener in which case あなた is similar to the pet name 'dear' or 'darling' in English)


Can someone please tell me why we use both ご and お In this sentence? I understand that it is polite and one is for kunyomi and the other for onyomi but i dont understand why we need two, when the first one already makes it polite?


Why is it not "ご両親のげんきですか?"?


Because that would be like asking "Is it the vitality of your parents?".

の indicates a possessive, which sort of glues two nouns together, and using it here would make 元気 (げんき) the subject/topic of the question. In the normal お元気ですか ("are you well?") 'genki' isn't used as a true noun.


I didn't know when to put "ご" in front of the parent kanji.


You can put it any time you're talking about parents other than your own. It's not technically required ever, but it makes your speech more polite. Just don't use it to talk about your own parents to other people, since you should be humble when talking about your own family.


Why is 親(Oya) marked incorrect here, whereas in a previous question referring to both parents (Where are you parents), 親 was completely acceptable?


Why do you use "go" before "riyoushin"?


honorific character, similar to the お in some other words



【ご- りょうしんは・お- げんきですか?】


I entered 「お両親は元気ですか?」and got the right answer. But what I don't understand is how it's different from the other accepted answer:「ご両親はお元気ですか?」. Can someone please help with this? Thank you!


It's certainly strange that it accepted that,
お and ご are both readings of the same kanji 御 (o for kun-yomi words, go for on-yomi), but the hiragana shouldn't be interchangeable in this case...
removing the honorific from 元気 isn't wrong either, though it is a bit rude when referring to someone else's parents.


Does the ご in ご両親 mean that the speaker is asking about the listener's parents? So you can omit anata ha.


i added anata wa before the whole setence and it markes me wrong... is wrong to add Anata Wa before this whole stenece?

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