Originally Posted by NiaSama
Oh arigatou thank you very very much
... so I'll take advantage of your kindness by asking .... when should I use GOMEN and when SUMIMASEN?
( I thought gomen less formal and sumimansen more formal)
and why to ask : "How old are you" are two ways ?
Oikutsu desu ka?
Nansai desu ka?
Always the differece between formal and informal ???
Sorry if I ask and thanks for your kind reply
Sorry I'm quite off topic here :/
I would use "gomen" or "gomen-nasai" (which means "sorry") if I bump into someone, or step on their foot, whereas I would use "sumimasen" like "excuse me" when trying to get around people on the sidewalk or train.
For age, "nan-sai desu ka" is fine. As long as you use "desu" or "masu" with a verb, it is polite enough. In casual conversation, people might simply say "nan-sai?"
When I was studying Japanese, this was all very confusing to me, the regular verbs, then having to add "desu", or "masu", or the the shorter "da" (like a kid in the countryside seeing me and saying "gaikokujin da!!), or ha, ga, etc. But after living in Japan and listening to people speak, it was more easy to sort out.