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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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 ...
2
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1answer
3k 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 ...
5
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1answer
2k 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 the speaker wonders about something to himself? For example, what would be the translation of these sentences: ...
2
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1answer
214 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 ...
6
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3answers
348 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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3answers
305 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?
3
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2answers
358 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 thought 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
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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 ...
2
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1answer
102 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 ...
3
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1answer
117 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 ...
4
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1answer
308 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 ...
21
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2answers
10k 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 ...
6
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3answers
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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 ...
5
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1answer
313 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 ...
3
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1answer
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
191 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
495 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 ...
3
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2answers
158 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 ...
2
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3answers
139 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
98 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 think ...
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1answer
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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 ...
10
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2answers
377 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 ...
8
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2answers
727 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 ...
12
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2answers
505 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
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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 ...
6
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3answers
263 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? ...
12
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4answers
893 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。 ...
0
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1answer
587 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 ...
17
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2answers
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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 isn'...
26
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4answers
25k 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 ...
12
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4answers
814 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 (...
18
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4answers
629 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 ...