Grammar

SUFFIX SAN (さん)


SAN (さん) is a suffix to express politeness and respect, which corresponds to Mr., Mrs. or Ms. It can’t be used alone, it’s always placed after the first name or family name (and in some other cases too). Only context will let you know whether SAN refers to a man or a woman.

Be careful! SAN is never used to refer to yourself or even someone of your family if your interlocutor is from another family. If you do that you are openly honoring yourself, and that would sound wrong and arrogant from the Japanese point of view.

Compare the two sentences below:

山田(やまだ)さんです
Yamada san desu.
It’s Mr./Mrs. Yamada.

山田(やまだ)です
Yamada desu.
I'm Mr./Mrs. Yamada.


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  Posted on Jun 2, 2016, 5:37:39 PM #1

JRCyrin



I believe many geological structures, such as mountains, take the honorific SAN (さん) to express politeness. Is this the same "SAN"? For example、Mount Fuji is 富士山 (ふじさん), but is literally translated "Fuji Mountain."
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