Is there a difference in meaning between 「何時間寝ますか」 and 「何時に寝ますか」 ?

I know that 「何時に寝ますか。」means "What time do you sleep?" But what about 「何時間寝ますか。」?


何時間 is a question about a length of time.

何時 is a question about a point in time.

「何時に寝ますか」is indeed 'when do you go to bed?'. 「何時間寝ますか」 (or perhaps a bit more naturally 「何時間眠りますか」) is instead 'how long do you sleep for?'.

(寝る is 'go to bed', 'decide to sleep' rather than just 'sleep'; 眠る is 'fall asleep' or 'be asleep'.)

Time counter words with 間 in them I think universally refer to periods of time, such as 何週間 '(for) how many weeks'; though not all period-of-time counters use 間 (such as 何ヶ月 '(for) how many months').

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  • 4
    +1, but 寝る can also mean sleep, so 何時間寝ますか is not unnatural at all. (eg. よく寝た! = I slept well!) – naruto Mar 28 '16 at 3:07
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    ^ I agree, we actually say 昨日は8時間寝た。 more commonly than 昨日は8時間眠った。 in normal/daily conversation. – Chocolate Mar 28 '16 at 5:22
  • そっか。覚えた!(^ ^) – Sjiveru Mar 28 '16 at 21:52
  • (I wonder if I jump to 眠る since, as someone with insomnia, 寝る時間(つまり横になってる時間)は時に実際に眠る時間(意識を失ってる時間)とかなりの差がある(´・ω・`) – Sjiveru Mar 28 '16 at 22:14
  • 睡眠 is also commonly used when talking about actual sleeping time: 睡眠時間 – Amani Kilumanga Mar 29 '16 at 3:54

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