For detailed information, see Honorific speech in Japanese.
Japanese honorific language ("keigo") is divided into three forms: polite, humble and respectful. Within these forms, there are specific words and prefixes.
For example, the verb "to eat" may be given as
- taberu (plain: "I/we/you/they eat" or "he/she/it eats")
- itadaku (humble, literally "to receive", used to refer to oneself or one's in-group), or
- meshiagaru (respectful, used to refer to one's superior)
and the noun "a drink" may be given as
- nomimono (one's own drink), or
- o-nomimono (someone else's drink)
Nouns involving the family, the household, or familial relations normally take honorific prefixes when denoting an out-group and not when denoting an in-group.
Some nouns change completely for the same reasons, such as chichi and haha ("my father", "my mother") versus o-tō-san and o-kā-san ("your father" and "your mother", and also used when addressing one's own parents respectfully).
Read more about this topic: Uchi-soto
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