Ask-a-Teacher: Can I use formal form in a quote ?
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Question to Teacher: Can I use formal form in a quote ?
Course 3 Lesson 4: The Concert (Mini Conversations)
Post Date: 2020-01-31 13:45:51
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2018 Oct 09
Sorry, I noticed that in the conversation the person responded [「おなかが すきました」と いいました] and I thought that every quote should be in the informal form when you use と言う
So I wondered if there are situations that I can use the formal form
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JFZ Teacher (Kanako)
Post Date: 2020-02-04 00:44:11
2003 Mar 03
This is a good question.
Any phrase being quoted is normally stated in the informal form as below.
おなかが すいたと いいました。(ONAKA GA SUITA TO IIMASHITA)
= I said I am hungry.
However, there are times when the formal form is used in a quote. Especially when trying to quote EXACTLY what someone has said.
During a business meeting, Mr. Tanaka whispered to Mr. Yoshida.
Tanaka: よしださん。おなかがすきました。(YOSHIDA-SAN. ONAKA GA SUKIMASHITA)
=Yoshida-san, I am hungry.
Yoshida: わたしもです。（WATASHI MO DESU）
President: たなかさん、なんですか。(TANAKA-SAN, NAN DESUKA)
=Tanaka-san, what is it?
Tanaka: すみません。「おなかがすきました」といいました。(SUMIMASEN. “ONAKA GA SUKIMASHITA” TO IIMASHITA)
=I am sorry. I said, “I am hungry.”
It is very common to use their exact words in a quote when talking to someone higher in status than them.