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I saw in my Deathnote manga the sentence, 何か欲しいものはない?
I also saw in my game I'm playing in Japanese "これらの絵でどれか気に入るものがありますか".

I was wondering, why do どれか and 何か seem superfluous? It seems like they add nothing to the sentence because if you remove them it still has the same meaning. 欲しいものはない? for example.

Does 何か just add some sense of non-specificity? I guess it is because we are always told that どれか and なにか are nouns that I am confused, because it seems here they are working more like adverbs.

I was wondering if perhaps the fact that we are told that 何か = "something" that I am getting confused... because my theory is that 何か is the "some" and もの is the "thing".

Thus 欲しいものはない would be "There a thing you want?" whereas 何か欲しいものはない? would be "There isn't ANY thing you want?"

Anyone have an answer?

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Without the でどれか it would mean do you have interest in the paintings (as a set). With the でどれか it means to do you have interest in any of them. –  virmaior Mar 7 at 5:31

1 Answer 1

You're on the right track with

Thus 欲しいものはない would be "There a thing you want?" whereas 何か欲しいものはない? would be "There isn't ANY thing you want?"

何か (and all related words, like どこか, だれか, etc.) can add a feeling of generality to a question. It's akin to the "any-" we use in English. "Is there anything you want?" (何か欲しいものはある?) "Are there any questions?" (何か質問はある?)

If you don't use such words, there's probably an implication that you have a specific object/question/etc. in mind.

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