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うち vs 私

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by adexx, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. adexx Senior Member


    I have seen うち used a lot in conversations to mean "I, we" instead of 私. E.g. "うちの会社", "うちは~"
    I want to ask, in what situations is うち better off than 私?
    And what level of formality is it? (casual/formal...? Should I use it with friends only or is it OK to talk to higher people that way?)

  2. requiem0818 New Member

    内(うち) is more polite and is humble speech. 私 is a generic polite term. It is like the difference between 致します(いたします)、します、する
  3. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Casual or formal? umm..common, usual especially in a conversation. Not with friends only. Yes it's we, I and other members, or our xx. For example, your boss asks you: 'Which is responsible for that matter?' You can say 「うちです」.
    私の会社 is OK, too, but it sometimes sounds like that you're the president, depending on the case.

    P.S. うち also means a family depending on the context. うちは厳しいです。My family is strict/I've grown up in a strict family.
  4. Schokolade Senior Member

    うち sounds pretty conversational to me than 私[わたし] or 私たち[わたしたち]/我々[われわれ] etc...
    うちは厳しいです is fine when you're talking to your teacher but I would say わたしの家[いえ]は厳しいです when I want to sound more formal.
    我が社[わがしゃ] would be politer and more formal than うちの会社... (Its humble form might be 弊社[へいしゃ]...)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  5. adexx Senior Member

    Thank you all,So I take it that: うち is conversational and common, and while it's not the most polite, it's OK to use it when we talk to our friends, teachers, bosses etc. in everyday conversation (not formal occasions). Correct?
  6. Hiro Sasaki Senior Member

    Osaka, Japn
    Japan, Japanese
    うち without the following noun means "my/our company", "my/our family", "my/our school".

    Hiro Sasaki
  7. nn.om

    nn.om Senior Member

    I'm learning a lot here. Thank you guys!

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