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Confused with 尊敬語

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Confused with 尊敬語

Postby ThePacster » Thu 07.23.2009 1:15 am

Approaching the end of my textbook, and 尊敬語 doesn't seem too hard, at least for the little bit my book is trying to convey, but there is one thing in my book that confuses me.

For one, verbs conjugated into the passive form can also be used respectfully as 尊敬語 except for special words, which I understand. The book goes on to explain お~になります as another way to make a word respectful, and that this is more respectful than simply conjugating it the same way as a passive verb.

With one being more polite than the other, I'm having trouble discerning when one would be more appropriate than the other. There is a particular dialog in my book that furthered my confusion on the topic.

A: 会社をやめられたそうですね。
B: ええ。
A: いつおやめになったんですか。
B: 2か月まえにやめました

I understand what this conversation means, but I don't understand why (if there is any reason) he would conjugate the verb in two different ways when addressing the same person. In A's second line, does anyone think it would still be ok to say 「いつやめられたんですか。」 or is there something I'm missing to it?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated. :)
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Re: Confused with 尊敬語

Postby becki_kanou » Thu 07.23.2009 2:17 am

My guess would be that they're just trying to expose you to both forms in the dialogue. There isn't a big difference in politeness level between the two forms, so I imagine it's for variety's sake.
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Re: Confused with 尊敬語

Postby ThePacster » Thu 07.23.2009 8:49 am

Thanks for the clear up. ^^ That certainly puts my mind at ease.
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