Same sentence, different question:

Well everyone, this vague white thing which has been called a river and has been called a trail of flowing milk, do you know what it really is ?

Literally I translate:

xがなにかご承知ですか as
"is there some knowledge of x" ->
"Does anyone know about x".

Is this correct? Is it a common way to ask a question? What other ways could you ask "does anyone know about x?"?


Xがほんとうはなにかご承知ですか literally translates to "Do you know what X really is?" Although ご承知ですか may be relatively less uncommon than ご存じですか (honorific "to know ~"), Xがなにか is a very common way to ask questions like this.

Xがなにか here forms an embedded question which can be literally translated as "what X is". Similarly, Xがだれか means "who X is", Xがいつだったか means "when X was", and so on. Details are explained in this question: Usage of か after a clause?

  • 分かりますか
  • 知っていますか
  • ご存知{ぞんじ}ですか・ご承知{しょうち}ですか

The last two are rather formal and are often used interchangeably.

ご存知の通り and ご承知の通り

There is one case I can think of though where they are not really fully interchangeable...

「承知いたしました!」 - "Understood!"

This makes sense if you think about the Kanji though, as 承知 is like saying「承{うけたまわ}って知る」, which carries the idea of receiving knowledge, whereas 存知 just indicates the presence of knowledge.

Here's a comparison with 了解 which has a similar meaning...

enter image description here


It is a perfectly normal way to elicit a response. my self I would take the meaning in as "Are you aware of x". We use this question at work all the time when bugs and system error are found. having said that. I would probably not use it while speaking with friend. But would use it if I were an old man telling a story to kids or a narrator of a documentary.

easy alternatives could be



なにかご存知ですか? (a little more on the polite side)

  • 2
    a reason for a down vote would be nice. – Mark Nov 17 '16 at 0:59

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