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I try to be simple, but there's always something need explanation. Should I add "ka" at the end of a sentence? Or just replace "desu" and "deshita" with "da" and "datta"? Grammatically you can have them (see @snailboat's answer), but I'm not sure if you should. The reason is that, plain form + ka often sounds too harsh, unless you're a manly man ...


6

All of desu, deshita, and datta appear normally before ka. But da is an exception. In main clauses (like your examples), da is deleted before ka: desu + ka →   desu ka deshita + ka → deshita ka da + ka →   ka datta + ka →  datta ka In subordinate clauses (like [dare da ka] shiranai), da sometimes appears before ka. ...


1

To put it as directly as possible, based on my experiences and learning, the best way to describe the article の appearing at the end of questions, after verbs, is to convey a stronger sense of curiosity than simply asking the question without it. If you're familiar with the んですか?[noun]なんですか? construction, it plays a similar role. You might think of it as: ...


1

Depending on what you mean by "meaning", all three would translate naturally to: Where is Mary? But the difference is the degree of politeness. でしょうか is a polite way of asking questions. As indicated in a different question on this site, What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?, でしょうか can be used to ask a question ...



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