There are several exceptional honorific verbs that have more than one usage. This lesson will focus on such verbs. This lesson covers mostly any meaning that you may find in a dictionary. Dictionaries aren't always up-to-date with things, but usages you'll find here go from samurai-like old-fashioned speech to very common speech. So, there is definitely a lot you can learn about these words. It's just that not all of the information will be practical in conversing in 敬語.
The Intransitive Verb 参る
1. The humble verb form of 行く and 来る, the speaker is generally oneself or someone in one's in-group. 参る is humble, but so is 伺う. The difference between the two is that 伺う should be used when going to the place of the addressee.
I will come at once.
I would be glad to come.
2. A polite version of 行く and 来る. Notice how it is extended to items.
The ideal chance has come.
The train will come.
If I have time, I will come.
3. In the 命令形 primarily in the speech of samurai, it is a boastful equivalent of 行く or 来る. Or, it may be a solemn variant of 行く or 来る where it is also acceptable in honorific speech as 参られる.
4. To make homage to a shrine.
To visit a grave.
I am going to go worship at the temple.
5. To lose or surrender.
9. まいった。 (Not so common anymore)
I won't surrender so easily.
11. 参ったか。 (Anime-like; somewhat old)
Do you give up?
6. To be bewildered.
I was embarrassed at her awful manners.
7. To be worn down from hardship in mind and body.
A worn down body
I was busy like this and my nerves wore out.
8. To die.
Even he finally died.
9. To have one's heart stolen by the opposite sex.
I was completely had by her beauty, wasn't I?
10. To suffer from.
17. 風邪でまいっている。 （ちょっと古い言い方）
I'm suffering from a cold.
I'm suffering from a hurt leg.
The Transitive Verb 参る
It is used at the end of a formal letter to a give a meaning of giving the letter to a superior. Or it is used to mean "to service" or "to present to". These meanings are very rare, old-fashioned, and warrior-like phrases. So, they are essentially no longer used.
19. 御神酒を参る。 （文語的）
To serve sacred wine.
20. 母上様参る （手紙の脇付にする、古めかしい語）
Letter presented to thy mother
The Supplementary Verb 参る
1. "...ていく・くる" in humble speech.
I have come to experience various things.
2. "...ていく・くる" in polite speech.
The rain came.
It has been becoming hotter by the day.
3. In samurai speech in the 命令形 as a boastful word in "...ていく・くる" or as a solemn expression.
Come lead to here once.
伺う is either the humble form of the verbs "to listen/ask", "to talk to guests" or "to visit/to come". Remember that 伺う is more polite than 参る and should only be used in contexts referring to visiting people and not things.
I will come tomorrow if it is alright with you.
May I ask you a couple of questions?
I heard that you're going to America soon.
I shall listen to your story promptly.
I am inquiring about your health in the summer season.
Shall I take a message?
Are you being waited on?
I'm going to come to your house.
仰る, a contraction of 仰せられる, is the respectful form of the verb いう and may also show what someone's name is. 仰られる is to be avoided, but 言われる is too direct for most honorific situations. 仰せられる is the most polite form of this word. 仰る is sometimes used by females in the 命令形, 仰い.
Hurry and say it.
Excuse me, but what is your name?
What is the teacher saying?
I think exactly what you say.
The Prime Minister said so.
申す is the humble form of 言う and the more polite version is 申し上（あ）げる. However, 申し上げる is not normally used when you are giving respect to those involved in something.
I am Suzuki.
I give gratitude to all of you from my heart.
For your information
40. ここは銀座と申します。 （Might hear in some play)
This is called Ginza.
申し上げる may be a supplementary verb after a noun with the prefixes お- or ご- to make verbs humble. 申す may also do this, but it isn't as humble.
I am waiting.
I must apologize.
Please accept my condolences.
44a. ご相伴申します。 （やや古い言い方）
44b. お相伴申します。 （古い言い方）
44c. お相伴与ります。 （やや珍しい言い方）
I shall be partaking.
It is also possible to see 申す used in boastful and neutral yet polite context. These sentences are old-fashioned and should not be applied into your speech.
Say your name.
I'm not saying such/that.
It is also possible in older texts (古文） to see it as 申される.
What have you said?
頂く, aside from honorifics, may mean "to place on top of". It can also be used figuratively to show a title being placed upon someone, but this isn't really common.
His head is covered in frost.
Idiomatic Expression: Refers to people who with age begin to have white hair.
To return home with stars on top.
Idiomatic Expression: Particularly used to refer when people come home from work in the night.
To wear a crown.
To gaze at mountain peaks covered in snow.
You can see all of the snow-covered peak of Mt. Daisen from this observatory.
I was able to see snow-covered Mt. Fuji from afar.
54. 〇氏を名誉会長に頂く。 （あまり言わない）
To have someone as the honorary president.
いただく shows favor. It may be used with お- and ご-, which gives an added since of regular politeness. いただく may also be used to show that one receives something of profitable value without effort. -ていただく is used to show favor and is seen in the patterns ～ていただく, お- verb in 連用形 + いただく, or ご-noun + いただく.
To receive free time.
To receive good offices.
Could you please help me?
It is alright for you to not trouble over (me).
賜る, however, is much more polite than いただく. However, it is also rarer and sometimes old-fashioned.
I am so grateful you bestowed us this fine good.
頂戴する is possible in honorifics in limited situations.
We are thankful for your opinions.
～is used to show that one is to be allowed the favor to do something.
Allow me to have the privilege of closing (this event).
食べる, 飲む, & 風呂に入る
いただく is often used as the humble form of 食べる 飲む. Being used to mean 風呂に入る is not so common, but it is still possible.
Shall we eat/drink?
Alright, then I'll be first (to eat/drink/get in tub).
Of course, not all of these meanings are common or used frequently. 致す is typically used to meanる in humble contexts, but it also shows up in many set expressions for which most of the meanings in the left-hand column will be of any relevance. It is the transitive verb pair for 至る・到る, which should help you figure it out when it is used more literally.
|To sympathize.||Politer form of する||Humble form of する|
|To do to one’s limits.|
|To bring about.|
|Humble form of する|
What can I do for you.
Shall I help you?
It is entirely my fault.
Sentence Note: Of course, Ex. 66 is not meant to be something you would just randomly say. Rather, this is very ceremonious and likely to be used in a very formal situation where elegant use of honorifics is expected of you.
To sympathize with one's native country.
To exert one's strength to the maximum.
謹んでお詫び申し上げます。（Even more common）
I humbly apologize.
What are you complaining about?
We will arrive in Beppu in another ten minutes.
Please treat me well.
73. 危うきを見て命を致す。 (Proverb/saying)
To give one's life in a crisis.
74. 参上いたせ。 (古風で尊大な言い方）
Call on him!
Sentence Note: Such a usage of this verb as seen in Ex. 74 for boastful purposes is essentially 武家言葉.
差し上げる is the honorific form of theand is used as a supplementary verb as well. It also has another meaning of "to lift". Although in honorifics it is humble, there are other aspects to Japanese culture that might actually make it rude. This is the case in Ex. 77a below.
To lift up very high.
I have been very rude for not having given you tea.
77a. 何か飲み物でも差し上げましょうか。 （ちょっと失礼）
Can I get you anything to drink?
We will give a prize to the first 100 people.
Please guide him.
Sentence Note: The imperative is rarely seen with humble verbs, and when the imperative is used, it essentially makes it polite rather than humble. It would be said out of hearing to someone you are showing respect to.
給う, also pronounced and spelled as たもう, is an old honorific verb meaning "to give". As a supplementary verb, it attaches to the 連用形 to show respect to superiors. In the 命令形, though, it creates a harsh command.
A trial sent by God
81. 止め給え。 （Older guy to inferior/purposely old-fashioned)
82. 黙ってくれたまえ。 （Older guy to inferior/purposely old-fashioned)
To give words of praise.
召す is the honorific/respectful form of many different verbs as the chart shows.
|Transitive||買う; 呼び寄せる; 風呂を使う; 食う・飲む; 着る・履く; 年をとる; 風邪を引く|
Are you pleased with it?
To use the bathtub.
To go to heaven/to be called to heaven.
Word Note: 召される is a slightly more polite version of 召す and may replace なさる.
To wear a yukata.
Cultural Note: A 浴衣 is a thin kimono worn in the summertime.
Will you be drinking alcohol?
Word Note: Notice how お酒 is replaced by ご酒（しゅ）.
He caught a cold.
To ride a horse.