Original sentence in the novel is:


A post in this site shows that it is a particle used more by females, while tangorin also shows it to be used as the meaning of "head", aside of the usage as a particle to mean "I wonder".

I think I'm supposed to treat it as a particle, but then there is the の particle that just confuses me. Can someone please explain the usage of かしら with の in this context?

  • 1
    何かしら?("I wonder what") is pronounced [なにかしら]{HLLLL} and 何かしら(の) ("some sort of~") is [なにかしら]{LHHHH}.
    – chocolate
    Jun 22, 2015 at 23:29
  • I don't understand the notation. Does it mean that for the former it would place the emphasis on the な sound while the latter will pronounce the な sound lighter?
    – Daniel Tan
    Jun 23, 2015 at 0:17
  • @DanielTan, another way to say it is that the former has a downstep after な, whereas the latter is flat. Japanese is a pitch-accent language, if you're not familiar with the concept, you could start here: en.wikipedia.org/?title=Japanese_pitch_accent
    – dainichi
    Jun 24, 2015 at 1:28

1 Answer 1


何かしら means something along "about something or another".


Children are always doing some mischief (or other stupid things).


Everybody has some weak points (or other faults e.t.c.).

かしら after 何 qualifies 何 as something not necessarily limiting to the object of the sentence (e.g. the mischief) but also to other similar actions ( e.g. pranks e.t.c). 

  • In this case, would the above sentence be translated to "He will strike us with some kind of trick, I guess." Not sure if I translated the くる into there.
    – Daniel Tan
    Jun 22, 2015 at 13:14
  • I am not quite sure as I am not familiar with the context of the sentence. As you know, at this level, Japanese sentences can mean a lot of things. 手を打つ can mean to take measures about something (e.g. prepare in advance), to strike a bargain, to clap ones hands e.t.c. On the first case it would be something along " I guess some measures should be taken ( or something similar to measures e.g. plans e.t.c.). くる is in the てくる form which expresses a situation which will gradually grow to change at the direction of the speaker. Jun 22, 2015 at 13:21
  • The full dialog in the light novel before the above sentence is 「だが注意したまえ。白峰は聡い男だからネ。何かしらの手は打ってくるだろう」It is a discussion about a military operation. In this case, I'm also confused by the use of は instead of を, but I think it warrants another question post instead.
    – Daniel Tan
    Jun 22, 2015 at 13:27
  • It propably should get more attention, but this thing is common in Japanese. There are many times where you can even put 3 (!) particles  (especially のに formations like のには e.t.c.) in a sentence, but that simple never happens. Especially が and を are dropped when the action becomes the topic. As weird as it may sound, をは exists, although nowadays is ungrammatical. In the sentence you described, the を is dropped because you need to make the action the topic of the new sentence. As to the final meaning, military operation makes the "measures to be taken" translation pretty definitive for me. Jun 22, 2015 at 13:42

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