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Is it ever proper to end questions with だ? For instance:

誰だ?

どんな食べ物は好きだ?

I have been told it was correct and incorrect by many parties, but I've always learned to just raise the ending intonation to denote an inquiry.

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  • Yes. If you want to raise a discussion, it is proper. Proved. The rest is purely subjective and contextual.
    – macraf
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 23:22
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    どんな食べ物は好きだ? -> You'd use が, not は. どんな食べ物好きだ?Cf: 「何ありますか?」(not 何は~~) 「誰来たの?」(not 誰は~~)
    – chocolate
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 23:24

3 Answers 3

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Interrogative phrases ending in だ (with the exception of dialects) are used to demand information.

As in the following:

  • 誰だ!・何者だ! - "Who!", "Who goes there!"
  • どこだ! - "Where!", "Where is it!"
  • いつだ! - "When!", "When is it!"
  • 何だ! - "What!"
  • 何のつもりだ! - "What are you trying to do!", "What's your intention!"
  • おい!そこでなにしてるんだ! - "Hey! What are you doing over there!"
  • 誰に向かって物言ってるんだ! - "Who do you think you're talking to!"
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  • I somewhat understand you, but almost every question phrase "demands information", doesn't it? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Question Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 14:51
  • In a way I think it's a difference between a demand and a request. Like the difference between お名前はなんですか (I'm requesting you to provide your name) and 名前は何だ (I'm demanding that you tell me your name).
    – sazarando
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 1:59
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か is the usual way to ask a question, but it is quite acceptable to drop the か if you use a proper "questioning" intonation. You could just say "好き?" if you used the proper intonation.

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... 誰だ? -- could be a regular question.

... 誰だ? -- could be a [rhetorical question]. See Is a sentence ending with 誰だ but without か a question?

どんな食べ物が好きだ? -- is typical of an adult speaking to a child.

Kind-of like (in English) : [Do you like this cake?] --vs.-- [You like this cake?]
[Is this good?] --vs.-- [This is good?]

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