謙譲語 for 出る

I had a private student try to apologize to their classroom teacher for leaving early during a lesson, and they wrote 「ご授業をお出しまして申し訳ありません。」

The phrase 「お出します」struck me as weird, even though I think it is correct 謙譲語。Is there a different irregular verb that should be used instead? Or should one just use 丁寧語? Thank you in advance!

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Yes, that is weird, and not permitted. As my teacher explains: if the renyoukei is only one mora long, you can’t use the 御+連用形+なる・する constructions.

Leaving early can be translated as 早退する so, ご早退して is an option. 早く参って might be a bit too far in the classroom setting…
早退させて・早く帰らせていただきますので might be an option? I did some googling of the word ご早退 and most hits are understandably from business settings.

失礼します・いたします。 could also be all you need to say. ご迷惑かけて… so many options, but sadly I am also still lost about the best ways to use 謙譲語.


Thank you for the detailed reply! So many options…I suppose these are the difficulties of Keigo. So it goes!

I remember watching a Japanese Ammo video about keigo and Misa said that even Japanese people get it wrong to the point it doesn’t matter as must. When they get jobs in service they are giving keigo training but outside of service they’ll just attach お and ご regardless of what the rules say.


“Keigo” training.


「コ-ヒ-になります。」When I hear that I always think I must have accidentally ended up in a Harry Potter cafe :rofl:


Or a philosophy discussion. “Before it was served, it was not coffee. It had the potential to be coffee, but it did not know what it was. Now it has become coffee.”


Or maybe if it’s a real bad cafe, it’s something like an arrow prayer? “I hope this has actually turned into coffee after the staff operated that machine…”


For further keigo entertainment, I can recommend Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo EP02:


Seems like we need this book in order to refer to the corresponding Japanese phrases :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :

(It’s called ‘Classroom English Handbook’ or something like that.)

Did your teacher offer any suggestions on what might be appropriate for an apology in this situation?

I tried searching this phrase, and the thing is, with the ご prefix, Google only brings up 263 results. It’s extremely rare, and according to this HiNative answer, ご早退 is hardly used at all:

One suggestion for why this is the case is that 早退 isn’t a good thing, so perhaps it doesn’t seem appropriate. For me, ご早退する strikes me as strange because I’m not sure if the action of leaving early is being elevated. As stated on this page from Wasabi Japan

The basic idea is that the humble form has to have a recipient of your actions.

They then mention a few exceptions in which the humble form would simply express modesty, but I’m still not sure this would make 早退 natural. When we say ご案内します or お待たせします, our actions are directed towards the listener, so it makes sense for those actions to be made ‘polite’: we provide the service of guiding someone into a place or field of knowledge, and we make someone else wait (therefore the waiting is done by the person to whom we should show respect). 早退 is completely self-contained (notwithstanding the fact that we can add を to indicate what event we departed from) and provides nothing respectful to the listener, so I’m not sure if the word becomes polite if we add ご. If I were to hazard a guess at how to use 早退する with keigo, I would use some form of 早退いたす (致す=いたす is the humble form of する).

This sounds good and polite, but I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for an apology. ‘Because I received permission from you to leave early, I’m sorry’ doesn’t make sense, I think? Expressing gratitude would probably be more natural.

I was considering this, but it seems you use this more frequently when you’re leaving e.g. 先に失礼します. Maybe something like 「先日早退いたして、失礼いたしました。」(literally =‘I left early the other day and was disrespectful.’) might work as an apology?

Is it normal to drop the を that would ordinarily come after 迷惑 when ご is added? I don’t know the rules for this. As a side note, it seems that the most common form of this phrase in polite contexts is ご迷惑をおかけして.

Ultimately I’m no expert and I’d really like – and I need – to learn more about 敬語 (both 尊敬語 and 謙譲語), but that’s what a few Google searches brought up.

EDIT: This article from the Japan Times might be worth looking at. It discusses when ご・お should be added to words: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2015/04/06/language/must-knows-nos-s-s-go/
I think the purist rule discussed in the article is what’s technically correct:

Take, for instance, the term renraku (連絡, contact). Purists will claim that a distinction needs to be made depending on who does it. If you tell the other person you will be waiting to hear back from them, it’s their renraku , so it must be go-renraku wo o-machi shimasu (ご連絡をお待ちします). However, if you announce that you will get back to the other person, it should be the no- go phrase mata renraku itashimasu (また連絡いたします). In reality, however, many people feel more comfortable with go-renraku in the second case, too.

However, they then explain that the other person is necessarily involved in such an action, which might explain the desire to add ご・お. I don’t think this applies to words like 早退 though…



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What an excellent set of replies. I am somewhat consoled that it seems like the real answer is…“keigo is hard.”
Also @Jonapedia thank you for that pdf, low key gonna use that in my classroom!

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Hahaha. You’re welcome. Just be aware that I don’t think it’s the full book. Seems like a preview from the publisher.

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