Another test down

This one was a full 200 points, 1/5 of the total for the quarter. The big item for this chapter was giving and receiving. As it is in English, the verb you use depends on who the subject is – you wouldn’t say your parents received to you a present for your birthday for example – but you also have to watch out for what situations call for what level of politeness, and that’s a study in Japanese society all on its own.

For example… you would use politer forms when referring to your boss at work:
Shacho-san ni biiru wo katte sashiagemashita
I bought my boss a beer.

Contrast with your friend:
Tomodachi ni biiru wo katte agemashita
I bought my friend a beer.

Your friend is socially on the same level as you are while your boss is a step up, so while you did the same exact thing for both people, and it’s worded exactly the same way in English, the verb changed in Japanese.

To make things a mess though, pretend you’re at some meeting with another company – now you can’t “promote” your boss, you have to refer to him more or less as your equal, or at least not as some revered figure you have to answer to on a regular basis:
Shacho-san ni biiru wo katte agemashita
I bought my boss a beer.

Either way, the good news is I think I pretty much destroyed that test. We hammered on that one chapter literally for a month and a half, and it got to the point where studying for the test almost seemed useless to me because the material had already been beaten to death.

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