When you ask 'what is this?' in formal Japanese, one would say: これは何ですか. Colloquially, as I hear it from Japanese friends: 何をこれ. (Am I missing a particle here?)

So if you are comparing two things, for example: A is cheaper than B. We can say: A のほうが B より 安い.

Is it ok to say: A のほうが安い. Is it also ok to say: 安いA のほう? (Or does it make no sense?)

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    Friends are surely asking 何これ without を. – macraf Oct 2 '15 at 2:37
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    @macraf ^ +1. 「これ、何」is ok too :) – Askar Oct 2 '15 at 11:27
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    You might also be mishearing よ as を, given that /io/ and /iyo/ can be pretty much indistinguishable in rapid speech. – snailplane Oct 2 '15 at 22:31

Colloquial japanese tend to skip particles.


But when you speak "spontaneously", the 何 comes first, then you precise what you are talking about.


As said in a earlier response, giving context, Aのほうが安い is correct. You have two (or more) things in front of you, you say A is cheaper.

安いAのほう sound really weird to me but, again as said earlier, giving context it could mean " let go with the cheaper something"

  • ^ +1. Agree with you – Askar Oct 2 '15 at 12:33

「A のほうが安い」 is ok. It is a comparative statement: "A is cheaper". Alone it lacks an element you are comparing it to, but you can use it in some context, just like in English.

「安いA のほう」 makes no sense in the context you asked. The phrase does not have a verb nor a subject. It is: pointing to the object A described by an adjective "cheap". It could be a grammatically valid answer to a question "which one will you take?" (どっちにされますか) "the cheap A" (安いAのほう).

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    「安いA のほう」 makes perfect sense given the right context.. – l'électeur Oct 2 '15 at 5:57
  • Maybe, I didn't get your English, guys, but for me 「A のほうが安い」is the only correct answer. – Askar Oct 2 '15 at 11:28

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