さん

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Japanese[edit]

Noun[edit]

さん ‎(romaji san)

  1. , : three; 3
  2. : acid
  3. : legend; caption
  4. : eating and drinking

Etymology[edit]

Derived from (sama).

Suffix[edit]

さん ‎(romaji -san)

  1. A title used after person's name (first name or surname) regardless of sex; Mr, Ms, Mrs, Miss. Also used after a job title and a company name.
    • 山田 (やまだ)さん
      Yamada-san
      Mr/Ms. Yamada
    • あきらさん
      Akira-san
      Akira
    • 山田 (やまだ)あきらさん
      Yamada Akira-san
      Mr/Ms. Akira Yamada
    • 店員 (てんいん)さん
      ten'in-san
      Sir/Madam (lit. "Mr/Ms. shop clerk"; used when talking to a shop clerk.)
    • 運転手 (うんてんしゅ)さん
      untenshu-san
      Sir/Madam (lit. "Mr/Ms. driver"; used when talking to a taxi/bus driver.)
    • ソニーさん
      sonī-san
      Sir/Madam (used in business by people meeting Sony.)
  2. (colloquial) Used after a shop name.
    • 学校 (がっこう) (まえ)床屋 (とこや)さんがある。
      Gakkō no mae ni tokoya-san ga aru.
      In front of school, there’s a barber’s.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (sama) is used in more formal situations, like sir.
    • More familiarly, one uses (kun), especially of men, or ちゃん(chan), especially of young women and children.
  • Referring to someone without using a suffix is quite rude, and is called 呼び捨て(yobisute).
  • When used after a job name which refers to either the shop or the master depending on the context , it does not restrict animacy. For example, when referring to 床屋 (the barber shop or the hairdresser), both 床屋さんが一ある (inanimate ある) and 床屋さん一人いる (animate いる) are correct.

See also[edit]

Suffix[edit]

さん ‎(romaji -san)

  1. : Mount, Mt.

Okinawan[edit]

Noun[edit]

さん ‎(san)

  1. mountain