Which form of "dad" to use in vocabulary questions?

When answering the vocabulary questions, how do you know which form of father/dad to use? I always mix up パパ、父親、and お父さん.

Also, how do I know when to use the honorifics for objects, like お茶 and 茶?

Thank you


Take my response with a grain of salt, but I think you use honorifics to refer to a general object or somebody else’s object, but you drop the honorifics when speaking about your own. It basically creates a situation where you are placing another person/their belongings/their actions above yours in level of importance which is supposed to be a sign of respect.

I’ve even heard somewhere that if you are introducing a coworker to people from another company, you introduce them with their family name, but drop the “さん” in order to make sure you’re not making your coworker or your company sound more important than theirs.

As far as the parental words, パパ is a word little kids would use because it’s easiest to say, but that would end up being replaced by other words. Kind of like in English we’d say “papa” or “daddy” then as we get older, we’d eventually just say “dad”. 父 means “my dad” and you would only use it to talk to others about your own father because it puts him in an honorable position. You would refer to your friend’s father as お父さん. You would refer to your own father as お父さん if you were speaking directly to him. 父親 is a word that refers to the general role of a father.


While not a direct answer about the vocab questions, there’s a big difference between the types of word used for “Dad”

  • パパ (Papa), very casual, usually considered childish to use and most kids grow out of using it early in childhood.
  • お父さん (Dad), a more respectful way of referring to your or someone else’s father. I’ve occasionally seen 父さん when referring to your own father, but it’s not very common.
  • 父親 (Father), a polite way of saying “Father”, to me it seems to be used as the noun form of “Father” as opposed to a pseudo-name like saying 「お父さん」to talk to your dad. Looks like it’s used more to refer to fathers more generally.

And for the お honorific before some words, nouns like お茶 and お風呂 are almost always used regardless if you’re speaking of your own tea or bath. Just saying 風呂 and especially 茶 is seen as very coarse and weird for most people.
For other objects, お signifies respect, so what @Mango1 さん said about using it for other people’s objects and dropping it for your own works most of the time, but doesn’t need to be used with peers or those of “lower social standing” (i.e. kids or new hires). However, it should be used with your superiors and management, and if you work in retail, it should DEFINITELY be used with customers.


Thank you for the explanation :relaxed: My dad has just always been “Dad”.


Thank you very much :blossom: :blush:


Just out of curiosity, what kind of vocabulary questions are you answering? Are you studying for JLPT or something?

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I chose to study the N5 deck on Bunpro. I am learning kanji and vocabulary on the Wanikani site. Wanikani is great for learning kanji and vocabulary, but it relies more on recogizition than recall. I can already read most of the N5 vocabulary, but I do not have as much confidence when I have to translate on the spot, or use the secondary meanings within a sentence. The two Apps really compliment eachother.