When I need to mention Japanese sentences in our blogs, I always avoid using polite expressions but one of my friends, who learned how to teach Japanese, once told me that they teach beginners polite expressions at language school.
For example, I recently mentioned the verb “hiromeru,” which means “to spread something.” It is the original form of the verb. If we want to say it more politely, it should be “hiromemasu.” You are most likely to learn the latter form at language school.
Both expressions are equally practical, as far as you use each of them appropriately. If you listen to news on TV or radio, you hear only polite expressions. This style is known as “desu masu tai.” You read formal and unfriendly expressions, known as “da tai” in the newspapers. To make matters more complex, you see blatant “da tai” and pedantic expressions “dearu tai” in academic papers.
The end of sentences, which is, desu, masu, da, or dearu, is the big difference among these expressions. Styles are not limited to three.
Let’s see sentences with different endings.
- Kore wa fukurō desu. (desu masu tai)
- Kore wa fukurō da. (da tai)
- Kore wa fukurō dearu. (dearu tai)
All of these sentences mean “this is an owl.”
When it comes to verbs, there are more varieties of endings.
- Fukurō wa hōhō to naku. (used with datai) – Naku is the verb’s original form.
- Fukurō wa hōhō to naki masu. (desumasutai)
- Fukurō wa hōhō to naku nodesu. (desumasutai)
- Fukurō wa hōhō to naku noda. (datai)
- Fukurō wa hōhō to naku nodearu. (dearutai)
These sentences mean “owls hoot.”