Concerning the asking of questions in the Japanese language as opposed to making plain statements. Includes the various words and particles used in questions.

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138 views

Is 「どこにいくのがよろしいですか」 a correct way to ask for directions?

I visit an office and enquire where (floor, desk, etc) I should go - どこに いくのが よろしいですか Would this be an incorrect expression? If so, what is the mistake? What would be a better way to ask the ...
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1answer
85 views

How do you interpret an “interrogative word + non-polite form + か + 知る” construct? [duplicate]

Came across this sentence that has this "interrogative word + non-polite form + か + 知る" structure but not too sure if this is a kind of question or answer. どこの会議室か知りません。 Is this a question or an ...
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1answer
70 views

Is 何歳ですか polite? [duplicate]

何歳ですか (なんさいですか) - How old are you? Is it usual for Japanese to ask each other how old they are, and if it is, how do they go about and ask it? Is there a polite way to ask, or do you not ask this at ...
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5answers
535 views

What is the meaning of のか and how does it differ from か?

What is the meaning of のか in the following sentences? Does it have the same meaning as のですか? 漢字はどう正しく書くのか、どう正しく読むのか、彼らは時々迷います。 参加するのか、参加しないのか、ここではっきり返事しなさい。 Also, I have found sentences of ...
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1answer
145 views

Politely asking to stay at someone's home? お邪魔させてもらう、泊めてもらう、or 滞在させてもらう?

Which of the following is the most polite? Is any of them incorrect? Is there a more standard way to ask someone if you could stay with them while in town? ~ 8日から9日まで、あなたのお宅にお邪魔させてもらえませんか。 ~ ...
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3answers
231 views

The difference between [noun phrase]+[?・なの?・ですか?・なんですか?]

Prompted by a comment thread, I was curious if my understanding of the semantic differences between [nominal phrase]? [nominal phrase]なの? [nominal phrase]ですか? [nominal phrase]なんですか? is ...
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3answers
236 views

Expressing a mild preference

I'm wondering how to express a very mild preference towards an option when being offered several choices in a conversation (e.g. when arranging a meeting time with a colleague). I am familiar with ...
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1answer
60 views

How do you find the best Japanese textbook? [closed]

I am researching how Japanese learners find the best textbook. If you have bought any Japanese textbook ever, can you let me know which one you use(used) and why you choose it? Why I research this? I ...
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3answers
306 views

Asking “have you tried X” or “have you ever Y”?

This has always been a problem for me, so I'm hoping you guys can answer it once and for all. Often, I want to ask somebody if they've ever done something before. For example, in an email yesterday I ...
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1answer
145 views

Interrogative for only two choices?

This is a quick one. I read in the dictionary that どれ is only supposed to be used when there are three or more choices. What word should I use if I have only two choices?
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1answer
182 views

chart for interrogative words

I have been looking for a comprehensive chart for interrogative words and their altered forms. But unfortunately I haven't been able to find one yet. So I thought maybe someone may have already come ...
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2answers
185 views

どうしますか vs 何をしますか

I always interpreted 何 as "what" and "どう" as more of a "How or How about?" and thus was under the impression that if one wanted to ask "What will you do?" or "What did you do?" you would say 何をしますか ...
2
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1answer
94 views

Having a little trouble understanding the meaning of this particular sentence. Could anyone please help me out?

I'm steadily learning the language, but sometimes I find these little things I cantt really grasp. Today doing some reading for fun I found this particular sentence "彼奴め調子にのってやがりますから、我らでこらしめてやりましょう" ...
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1answer
798 views

Usage of nan desu?

In a few songs I've heard recently I've noticed that nan desu (without the か) has been used in what seems to be maybe a declarative or emphatic sense (not really sure), is this possible? I'm not ...
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2answers
802 views

Casually asking for a person's name, more natural than 名前は何ですか。

I just learnt that 「名前は何ですか。」 sounds non-native. What would sound more natural? Let's say I am addressing a friend of a friend, same age, after a futsal game where we talked together without being ...
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3answers
1k views

How to say “Should we [do something]?”

I recently started talking with a Japanese "pen friend" on Skype, and I'd like to ask her "Should we speak in Japanese or English?" If I said: わたしたちは 日本語を はなしますか。 英語を はなしますか。 does that convey ...
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1answer
385 views

How do you say “question”, and which counter should be used?

I'd like to know the word for "question" itself. For example if I wanted to say: I have a question わたしは (question) があります。 I've had a hard time finding an answer to this question because ...
3
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1answer
378 views

Meaning of のだろう?

I'm not sure when should I use particle の in front of だろう/でしょう? Is のだろう used when speaker wonders about something to himself? For example what would be translation of those sentences: ...
2
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1answer
144 views

What does “へ?” mean

I've searched around and I've only found the usage of へ as being a particle meaning "in the direction of..." I'm not sure what it means as an interjectional question. Context: Girl: ねえ 三島さんが ...
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3answers
279 views

What does で mean when asked as a question?

I've come across several instances in manga where the simple question of "で?" is used. What could it mean? I'm guessing it means something like "Is that so?," but I'm not sure.
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2answers
192 views

Meaning of trailing の in a question

I've been running into this trailing の particle quite often and can't seem to understand what exactly it means. Is it replacing か, or does it mean something else? For example: まだ生{い}きているの?
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0answers
124 views

どこでも vs. どこにでも vs. どこも

What is the the difference between どこでも vs. どこにでも vs. どこも? I though どこでも was anywhere, どこにでも was everywhere, and どこも was also everywhere... but then I didn't know what the difference would be between ...
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3answers
276 views

What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Use of どうして わかりましたか

どうして わかりましたか。 My teacher said this in a conversation and my brain translated it to "Why did you understand?" (which didn't make much sense given the context!) but I think what she meant was "How did ...
2
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1answer
108 views

Questions with 辞書形 and raising tone and 辞書形+の?

I was tonight with japanese friends and I noticed they rather used a simple 辞書形 form along with a raising tone to ask a question, although we learned in class that "non-polite" questions were formed ...
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1answer
230 views

Origin of the phrase ほんや(Not 本屋)

A while back in high school my classes watched "My Boss My Hero," in which the main character says ほんや, it was translated as "What?" (I think.) In any case, I've never heard anything stylistically ...
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2answers
3k views

Is ending question sentences with の really feminine?

In What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?, a lot of answers explicitly mention that ending question sentences with の is feminine. However, this makes very little sense ...
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3answers
3k views

How many Kanji characters are there?

I have been searching around, but all the sources give completely different answers ranging from 2,000 to 50,000. So my question is how many Kanji characters that have ever existed since the dawn of ...
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1answer
214 views

Why does どれだけ seem to mean the opposite of どれ + だけ?

The other day I read the word どれだけ which means how long; how much; to what extent. I've read several example sentences, and I that's all well and good, but I cannot shake the feeling that it's really ...
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1answer
395 views

What's the difference between どうして and どうやって?

I've read on Stack Exchange that どうやって can be used to mean "what did you do in order to x" どうやってお医者になったか? — What did you do in order to become a doctor? This definition makes a lot of sense to ...
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1answer
181 views

Using と to mark a question

I've been working on listening practice again. This time, I'm watching the first episode of an anime series called スケッチブック 〜full color's〜. In the first episode, a certain character asks three ...
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2answers
344 views

What separates the different ways to ask a question in Japanese (何, どう, どんな, etc.)?

It's been something I've been thinking about for a while, but could never answer in a more concrete way. This is most apparent when I compare the functions of 何 and どう. I know that 何, どう and どんな are ...
2
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2answers
135 views

Negated questions

I am not sure what the response to the following question would be. 今のオリンピックは勝ち負けを気にするあまり、スポーツマンシップという大切なものをなくしているのではないか。 I am thinking it might be はい、なくしている。 but then again with the ...
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3answers
110 views

Omitting ようだ at the end of a sentence

父はデジタルカメラの講習を受けに行ったが、あまりの難しさにびっくりしたようだ。 So this sentence is saying, "my dad went to take a short course on digital cameras, but it was difficult to the point of surprising him." Could you say ...
2
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1answer
96 views

Trouble with 応じる [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What makes に基づいて instead of に応じて the correct choice for this question? I am having trouble with the following sentence. 情報はシナリオの進行に応じて追加されていきますので、時折覗いてみると良いでしょう。 I ...
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1answer
835 views

What does どうした mean and how does it differ from 何をした?

I've never really understood how どうした works and hope someone can explain or point me towards further reading. For example, in my textbook, the following question is asked in relation to a short ...
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2answers
227 views

What's the difference between なんと and どう

I'm having a lot of trouble working out the difference between なんと and どう。 どう is "How" e.g. これはどう書きますか "How do you write this?" and is easy for me to understand. The problem is なんと、the dictionaries ...
6
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2answers
457 views

Is it grammatical to have more than one “WH question” words in a sentence?

In English it would be strange to have more than one "WH question" word in a sentence, For example: Tomorrow, where are we meeting, at what time and to do what ? It sounds like it's grammatical ...
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2answers
394 views

Can だ ever be used in a question?

I learned in Tae Kim's Grammar Guide that だ cannot be used when asking a question. But in the book Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication by Taeko Kamiya, I found several example ...
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3answers
2k views

In what situation can I use ~かい (for interrogative question)?

One day, I asked my japanese friend how I could invite some friends to eat. He said "一緒に食べに行くかい?" I know that we could also say: 行きましょうか(行こうか)? 行きませんか(行かない)? 行きますか(行くの)? but I got interested ...
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3answers
208 views

Why is it that the っけ suffix can only be attached to a question-sentence

Why is it that the っけ suffix / け particle (indicating that the speaker is trying to recall some information) can only be attached to a sentence when the sentence itself is a question-sentence? ...
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4answers
521 views

To not have: 持っていません or ありません?

Whenever I go to the Life supermarket near my house, they ask me at the check out: ライフカードを持っていますか? (Do you have a Life [members] card?) I always respond with something like: いいえ、持っていません。 ...
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1answer
429 views

how would a native ask the question “Where are you going later?”

After reading the 2 threads: How to use へ (-e), に (-ni), まで (made) and の方 (no-hō) with destination and direction? and When going somewhere, is there any difference between e (へ) and ni (に)? I would ...
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2answers
2k views

When asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'?

As per the title, when asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'? For example, we are taught this: おしごとは。 'What is your job?' But I don't understand why it ...
18
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4answers
11k views

What exactly is “なの” (nano)?

I asked a female Japanese friend to translate a sentence for me and it ends in "nano" which I took to be either an alternative question particle to -ne or -ka; or possibly two particles I don't know ...
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4answers
591 views

Use of ~のか (~んですか) in questions not seeking a yes/no answer

I would like to know if there is a shift in nuance in questions such as these: 誰が参加したんですか。 vs. 誰が参加しましたか。 いつ着いたんですか。 vs. いつ着きましたか。 I wish to limit discussion to only non-yes/no questions ...
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4answers
373 views

Questions with ~か or without: how to choose?

Studying Japanese on my own, I've learned that in order to make a question, you usually add the particle "~か", like this: 今何時ですか。 It's also true that a question can be asked without it, using ...