Word order

Speech styles

There are three basic speech styles in Japanese: a plain/informal style, a polite/neutral style, and a formal style.


Plain/informal style:

siblings, parents, close friends


Formal style:

teachers, clients, or superiors


Polite/neutral style:

strangers, classmates, colleagues, parents, friends

If you are not sure, or if you’re speaking to strangers or to your classmates or colleagues, it’s safe to use the polite/neutral style, although you may also use the other two styles, depending on the context.


P.S. The words from this lesson and all subsequent ones will be automatically added to your dictionary.