I have been wondering about how frequent and in what situations people use rising intonation to signal a question without か in polite speech.

Specifically, I’ve heard these kind of sentences:

どう思います?(often pronouncing the masu)

Interestingly, I don’t feel that I hear this か-dropping much with です and its variants.
So I wonder if there are rules to this kind of usage and if it adds a specific “feel” to the question.

1 Answer 1


Yes, it'd roughly felt colloquial, or casual. Using it suggests they are making small talk, or their close relationship. As you may know, polite in Japanese polite speech does not mean speakers are distancing from each other. In some social settings, one is expected to use keigo regardless of closeness, such as when talking to your senpai, or communicating with a contact person in another company who has teamed with you for a long time.

Note that the TUFS's learning resource says that it is not accepted as standard yet:


  • 1
    Does "it" in your answer refer to sentences like どう思います?, or 本当です?, or both?
    – naruto
    Commented May 9 at 14:50
  • @naruto Both. I think might change the wording of my answer, but it refers to the same it in "...it adds a specific “feel” to the question." Commented May 10 at 14:20

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