疑問文. 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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Embedded question followed by と

What is the grammar behind the use of the quote marker と in this sentence? 雨がいつ降るかと大変楽しみにしていましたが、なかなか雨が降りません。 He was looking forward to when the rain would come, but... Can I also write ...
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1answer
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How to say “please be strict with me” in Japanese

I'm trying to figure out how to say "please be strict with me" For when I am practising with conversation exchanges. So far I have come up with: 私と厳しくしてください 私に厳しくてさられてお願いします Are any of ...
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58 views

The usage of という in questions

My question is about the differences when using という in a question compared to without. Take for example the 4 questions below 何があったというのだ? 何があったのだ? 何かが始まるというの? 何かが始まるの? The two questions ...
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89 views

Can “yee ka ka desu ka” mean “how are you?”

I was learning Japanese a few years ago and a phrase I picked up (I think from the Pimsleur program) was "Yee ka ka desu ka" (or maybe the "Yee" was written as "ii" to pronounce as a short form of ...
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“Also…” interjection in Japanese, Appending an additional request or afterthought

In Japanese, how would one go about appending an additional request or afterthought? For example: 1: お水【みず】をお願【ねが】いします。 "Water please." 2: あっ、(・・・)、氷【こおり】を入【い】れていただけませんか。 "..Ah also, ...
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185 views

Use of question particles in plain speech

I'm becoming increasingly confused about the correct way to form questions in informal speech. I originally learned that I should replace か with の. Then I learned that that was a bit girly. Then I ...
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204 views

How to ask someone to do something for you

I'd like to know how to politely ask someone (as a question, not a statement) to do something for me in Japanese. I'm already aware of the basic "___をください" and "___をおねがいします" patterns, but I don't want ...
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76 views

Acceptability of 〜ようとしよう vs. 〜ことにしよう

Question from pg. 55 of 新完全マスター: あさっては大雨【おおあめ】が降【ふ】るそうだよ。ハイキングは来週【らいしゅう】( )。 The choices available are: a. 行【い】こうとしようよ b. 行【い】くことにしようよ c. 行【い】くようになろうよ According to the textbook, ...
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I have some question about てけない

僕独りじゃ生きてけない I saw this sentence, but, I actually get the meaning. It means "I can't live alone" right? But how do you translate it? What is "けない" grammar? I tried to search a lot of websites, ...
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“How to say this in Japanese?”

これは日本語で言い方ですか kore ha nihongo de iikata desu ka Is this correct? I want to point to something and ask how do you say that in Japanese. Base 2 + かた means how to.
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129 views

Meaning of お支払いを希望される方

I am having trouble understanding the following sentence: クレジットカードによるお支払【しはら】いを希望【きぼう】される方【かた】は、次【つぎ】の注意【ちゅうい】をお読【よ】みください。 In particular, I am having trouble comprehending the first clause: ...
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The meaning of 「気が合わない人といっしょに生活するぐらいなら、このまま独身でいたい。」

I would like to clarify my understanding of the following sentence. 気【き】が合【あ】わない人【ひと】といっしょに生活【せいかつ】するぐらいなら、このまま独身【どくしん】でいたい。 I believe it means something along the lines of, "if I am going to be ...
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127 views

Difference between the questions 「男じゃないんですか?」 and 「男じゃないですか?」

I was wondering if there is a difference if you add that ん. Is the first one correct and the second one not? 男じゃないんですか? 男じゃないですか?
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Asking somebody of higher social status whether they made a mistake

I am exchanging an email with someone of higher social status than me after noticing a possible mistake on their part. I want to say I'm wondering if a mistake has been made My first thought ...
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233 views

The use of なんというお名前ですか?

Basically, I've been corrected on Lang-8 that [あなたの名前はですか] should be changed to [なんというお名前ですか], or [あなたの名前何といいますか]. After a quick search around, I found that なんという means how as in [how [beautiful]]. I ...
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147 views

Asking how to say something, why do we say 何といいますか?

Why do we say 何と言いますか as opposed to どうやって言いますか or something along the those lines when asking how to say something? The first seems to be "Say what?" while the second would seem to me to say "How to ...
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1answer
100 views

Meaning of “でも” in “食事でもどうですか?”

I've found this sentence on alc.co.jp 食事でもどうですか and I am puzzled as to meaning this でも conveys. How does it differ from 食事はどうですか which would be my first choice; however, according to ...
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Specifying Objects in Japanese

How do you say and write 'this is' and 'that is' in Japanese? Expanding on this, how would you say and write 'these are' and 'those are'? Around this topic, are there any male and female words in ...
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4answers
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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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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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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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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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291 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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344 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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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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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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650 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
149 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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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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259 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 ...
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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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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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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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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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912 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 ...
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699 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: ...
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173 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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110 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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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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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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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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249 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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618 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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186 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 ...