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  5. "Good morning, Grandfather."

"Good morning, Grandfather."


July 23, 2017



This app trains you to say it over and over in case he can't hear you well


That came in useful when I was in Japan.


Would "おはよう、祖父" also be accepted? I dont know the differenced when using sofu vs ojiisan


No it won't, because you're addressing the grandfather here directly and you always show respect to older people in Japanese by using the polite version. So it's お祖父さん(おじいさん)and not the humble form 祖父(そふ). The latter you'd use when talking about your grandfather with someone else.


Wait , so if im always using polite version , then what is the point of the himble version at all ?


As I understand it, you would use the humble version if you were speaking to someone outside of your family. For example, after a son was born, a father might have tell a friend "我々は祖父の名前を息子に名付けた", meaning "We named our son after my grandfather"

(with a little help from jisho.org: https://jisho.org/search/%E7%A5%96%E7%88%B6 )


Maybe he meant the "informal" form, when he said "humble" form. Meaning the one you would use when you don't have to be so polite.


No, there's a difference!

casual (informal) < polite < honorific or humble form

Casual (informal) language is what you use with friends;
Polite speech you use with strangers, work colleagues, etc.
and honorifics you use to adress people of a higher social standing than you, like your boss, senior citizens, teachers, etc., but it's also how shop employees would speak to costumers (since the costumer is king or literally god in Japan 「お客様は神様です」).
The humble form is used for when you refer to yourself (and your in-group/family/etc.), to express modesty as well as show respect to the person you're speaking to and lift them higher so to speak.

Hope this clears things up.


That's very good to know! I had no idea there was another tier other than polite and informal. These discussions sections have helped so much!


Would you not also say おはようございます as opposed to おはよう as well?


Damn i thought 祖父 would work because it's a humble term to refer to your own grandfather, but it doesn't work because you're talking TO him?


It wasn't accepted. Not sure why not...


Ojisan = uncle Ojiisan = grandpa???


爺 (じい) means old man which I find helps me remember which is which


So what's the difference between お祖父さん and おじいさん?


They're the same, just one written with Kanji and the other written with Kana alone (which is the more common variant).


No difference, but duolingo will mark kanji version as wrong for some annoying reason.


the kanji version is hardly seen tbh. I used kanji to name my "sandy witch" sim, 砂かけ婆, but her proper name is 砂かけばばあ, and it was actually a little difficult to find the kanji for babaa lol


I know that おじいさん is grandfather, but given that the informal おはよう is used, shouldn't the English translation be something like "Mornin', Grandpa."?


Can you switch around the word order? 'Ojiisan ohayou'?


From what I understand, this is actually more proper, if perhaps a little old-fashioned. I'm even wondering if adding 'ojiisan' in itself makes the 'ohayou' formal enough to allow disregarding adding the 'gozaimasu' as is done here . . .


That's what I answered, and it was accepted.


Why couldn't I use 祖父 for this? There's no context?


Because the sentence clearly adresses the grandfather himself and to show respect to older people you use the polite form in Japanese.
祖父 is only used to talk about your own grandfather with someone else.


when do you use sofu.. instead of ojiisan


Sofu, the humble form, is used, when you talk about your own grandfather with someone else to show respect to the listener by not putting your family members over theirs.
Ojiisan, the polite form, is used, when you adress your own grandfather directly to show respect to older people or when you want to refer to someone else's, to show respect to their family members.


Not sure if it's a good reference but in anime I've heard numerous times おじいちゃん instead of おじいさん when children refer to their grandparents (as well as おばあちゃん) I think it should be accepted. Correct if I'm wrong.


i wrote おはようございます instead of おはよう and Duolingo said it was wrong


Not sure these was taught in the lessons yet, but what is the difference between さん and ちゃん?

I feel I sometimes am hearing おじいちゃん as well as おじいさん, but I naturally thought that ちゃん was MORE polite than さん. But since ちゃん was incorrect here, I guess it is more informal?


Found this from a quick google search:

Chan (ちゃん) is a form of san used to refer to children and female family members, close friends and lovers. The change from san to chan is a kind of "baby talk" in Japanese where "sh" sounds are turned into "ch" sounds, such as chitchai for chiisai, "small".

Makes sense, seems fairly accurate?


I don't get it... if "sofu" is supposed to be used then talking about MY grandfather and ojiisan is about a grandfather in general, is this only valid when you are speaking with someone that does not belong to your family? I'm so confused.


In sentence you address your grandfather directly and are not talking about him with someone else.

See my comment above where I already explained this or take this link:

Also another one of my explanations about the different politeness levels in this same thread:


Why does "おじいさん、おはようございます"not accepted?


It should. Try reporting it as possible answer with the flag button. Whether or not you'd use the more polite version with ございます really depends on your relationship. Plus I'd argue putting the addressee first in the Japanese sentence is more natural anyway, that's how I always answer despite the model answer putting it at the back, when you look at the top of this discussion.


Why is it considered a mistake if a word written in kanji is chosen?


おはようお爺さん is wrong why?????


お爺さん is a generic old man and お祖父さん or just おじいさん is a grandfather (like the father of a parent).


So, the word bank included both "祖父" and "おじいさん". Both of these mean "grandfather". My understanding is that "祖父" is more lkely to be used to refer to your own grandfather (ie: it is the humble form), while "おじさん" is more polite (formal). The app, however, only accepted "おじさん." Does any one know if this is because the application is looking for the hiragana vs the kanji, or if it is because it understands it is more appropriate to use the more respectful""おじさん" when speaking to your grandfather?


You're right in your last assumption: It's more respectful to address your grandfather with おじいさん. The humble form is used when you speak about your own grandfather with someone else.

Also watch out for the spelling:
おじさん = uncle
おじいさん = grandfather


so a few practice sentences ago i used the formal "ojiisan and obaasan" when it was clearly referring to my grandparents yet i was marked wrong... must use casual it seems since they're my family no need to be formal.

but now i that i used the "sofu" since its implied that i'm talking to my grandpa it also marked wrong... wtheck duolingo?!!


Use the informal for when you're speaking about someone in your own family to someone (who is not the person you're speaking of). Use the formal for when you're either speaking about someone else's family member or you're speaking to that person directly

e.g. お祖父さんは何歳ですか。 "How old are you, grandpa?" Or "How old is your grandfather?"

祖父は80歳です "(my) grandfather is 80 years old"


Your explanation is correct, however it's not informal vs formal, but humble vs honorific form (which are both formal) .
See my explanation here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23662840?comment_id=40795386


Why was this not accepted? おはよう御座いますお爺さん


The Kanji usage【お爺さん】refers to "male senior citizen". The one for addressing your (or someone else's) grandfather is【お祖父さん】, but usually written in Hiragana only.

Also ございます is usually written with Kana alone.


Duolingo is cyberbully me.


Well, there are no spaces in Japanese (super rarely between last and first name, if they're else too hard to read) and Kana and Kanji already logically divide words well enough to be read without problem. Plus when typing, Japanese punctuation marks occupy their own squares and make enough room this way automatically.

Edit: Forgot to mention, I was trying to say that the space caused it to be rejected and not the missing comma (because Duolingo ignores punctuation most of the time).


They are the same - should both be accepted

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