Which of these is a more appropriate/polite way of asking how much something costs without specifying the object? (I'm working at a very low level, so please be straightforward - no kanji, please explain with as much as English as possible! xD)




Or something else?

Additionally, why is it that the か is dropped when asking these questions? Do the phrases mean the same WITH か ?


  • Can you explain how you came up with these two choices?
    – user1478
    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:31
  • The first one came from a quick google search, the second came from a dictionary. I know that there's a lot of other choices, but these were the two I came across. :)
    – Kitty
    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:33
  • 2
    いかばかり is a phrase Shakespeare would use :) Apr 21, 2016 at 18:30
  • @broccoliforest Oh! I had no idea :P
    – Kitty
    Apr 22, 2016 at 4:39

1 Answer 1


If you are using it during conversation and the other person can identify which object you are referring, you can use:


If you want to make it more respectful or more formal, you can ask:


If you are talking on phone, or there are so many things you can talk about, it will be confusing for that person what exactly you re asking about. In that case, you can use:



Out of the very basic greetings:

  • O-genki desuka : お元気{げんき}ですか
  • O-kage sama de genki desu : おかげさまで元気{げんき}です
  • O-yasumi nasai : おやすみなさい
  • O-namae wa nan desuka : お名前{なまえ}は何ですか
  • O-tanjyoubi omedetou gozaimasu : お誕生日{たんじょうび}おめでとうございます。

All these greetings are used to greet another person, and thus the respect word, O is added in all these sentences.

  • May I ask.. how do you pronounce the 'お' in 'おいくらですか'? Is it 'OI', 'OH', or something different? I'm guessing it's the first one, but I'm not sure. :P
    – Kitty
    Apr 21, 2016 at 8:30
  • 1
    @BakaNeko forvo.com/word/%E3%81%8A/#ja
    – user1478
    Apr 21, 2016 at 8:32
  • 1
    Its simple "O-ikura desuka", asme as "O-genki desuka".... The "O" adds the respect to the statement.
    – Dhaval
    Apr 21, 2016 at 8:34
  • Thank you very much! If it's not too much trouble, are there any other examples or notable phrases where adding 'O-' would make more respectful? I can't imagine it working for everything. :)
    – Kitty
    Apr 21, 2016 at 8:39
  • 1
    baka-neko, edited the answer to answer your comment...pls check..
    – Dhaval
    Apr 21, 2016 at 8:52

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