Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 7: 10/18

お~になる

To do (Honorific)

Remember not to use honorific language when speaking about yourself and your actions!

Structure

+ Verb[ます+ になる
(1) + [する]Verb + になる
いく・くる・いる → おいでになる

(1) お, limited to [する]Verbs like: 電話(でんわ)する、勉強(べんきょう)する、散歩(さんぽ)する

Details

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    Polite

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    敬語

About お~になる

お~になる (or ご~になる) is an honorific language expression which is used to pay respect to the actions of the person that is being spoken to/another person (never the speaker). In this expression, になる is used in exactly the same way that する would be, except that it will be attached to the ます stem of the verb that it is referring to.
  • 客様(きゃくさま)()になるのは3()(ごろ)です
    The time that the customers will come will be around 3 o'clock.
  • 皆様(みなさま)立ちになてください
    We request that everyone stand up.
  • この資料(しりょう)参考(さんこう)にな(さいわ)です
    It would bring me great happiness if this document could be a useful reference for you.
  • 部長(ぶちょう)どういう番組(ばんぐみ)(らん)になのです
    Boss, what kind of TV shows do you watch?
The primary difference between お and ご, is that お will be used with words/readings of Japanese origin (kun-yomi), and ご will be used with words/readings of Chinese origin (on-yomi). In fact, お and ご are both represented by the same kanji. For this kanji, () is one of the kun-yomi, and () is one of the on-yomi.
Fun Fact
Some verbs, like いでる, are used almost exclusively with honorific language. おいでになる (the お~になる form of いでる) is an example of this, and can mean 'to come', 'to go', or 'to be'. This is due to the perspective of the speaker when using honorific language, and something that we will discuss in more detail later.

Examples

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  • 先生(せんせい)(かえ)になりました

    The teacher has gone home.

    • ()になった切符(きっぷ)(わす)れないでください

      Please do not forget the ticket you took.

      • ハリーポッター()になりました

        Did you read Harry Potter?

        • 父上(ちちうえ)もう(かえ)になったんです

          Father has already gone home, hasn't he.

          • 歯医者(はいしゃ)()になるのは3()です

            The dentist will arrive at 3 o'clock.

            お見えになる is an honorific set phrase meaning 'to arrive'.

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            お~になる – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (25 in total)

            • Daru

              Daru

              Don’t sweat it! Remember that if its taking twice the syllables to say the same thing, it’s probably keigo.

            • nikuotoko

              nikuotoko

              This grammar point is driving me nuts. Up until now I’ve broadly associated plain form with casual and -ます form with polite, and here comes おーになる to destroy that simple connection.

              Can anyone explain historically how Japanese ended up with an honorific form that looks and acts like a casual form we’re told not to use in polite conversation?

              Historically or linguistically rather than grammatically, which I understand thanks to an answer up thread - the trick I think is to stop thinking of “short form” as “casual form”.

              It boggles the mind that one ought to be polite with strangers but that polite form is optional in honorific speech.

            • nekoyama

              nekoyama

              You’re mixing up two different concepts.

              • です・ます expresses politeness vs. the person we’re speaking with, regardless of the content of the conversation.
              • おーになる expresses respect vs. the person we’re talking about and who’s doing an action.

              These can be the same person, but they don’t have to be the same person.

              "Miku read a manga" polite vs. listener respectful vs. Miku
              ミクさんは漫画を読んだ no no
              ミクさんは漫画を読みました yes no
              ミクさんは漫画をお読みになった no yes
              ミクさんは漫画をお読みになりました yes yes

              Additionally, polite forms generally only appear at the end of a sentence. Respectful (and humble) forms can appear anywhere someone does something, including the middle of a sentence three layers of re...

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