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 with 辞書形+の. Is there a difference between the two ? From this topic "Is ending question sentences with の really feminine?" I gathered that の might have a feminine touch when used along with statements, but what about questions in general ? Can I use の without sounding like a weirdo ? I also heard the two, along with no-verb questions in an anime I'm currently watching, Ergo Proxy, but I guess these are used whenever the verb and/or subject are well defined by the context... To summarize with examples :

  • どこへ行くの?
  • どこへ行く?
  • どこへ?

What's the difference between the above examples ? Can I use any of those in any given situation ? Thanks, ウルカン

  • 1
    So your main question is "what's the difference"?
    – istrasci
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 17:41
  • Yes what's the difference. And I hope the answer would include some hint as to when or in which situation to use which !
    – Urukann
    Commented Jun 22, 2013 at 4:08

1 Answer 1


Can I use の without sounding like a weirdo ?


Is there a difference between the two ?

Yes. A question with の is usually asking about a reason, or following up on a piece of information. For example, 勉強しているの? means "are you studying?", and might have undertones of "is that why (e.g.) you can't come out tonight?", whereas 勉強している? is a straightforward yes/no question. Compare 勉強している ("I am studying") with 勉強しているのだ ("(it's because) I am studying").

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