what is the difference between these two sentences:

  1. Nanika shitaidesuka/ Nanika shitai n desuka

  2. Nani o shimasuka.

  • The shimasu/shitai change is a the "desire" verb formation. You can find it described in nearly every textbook or online guide to Japanese. Seriously consider one of the online courses or at least textbooks from our resources list.
    – jkerian
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


When you use the "tai" form of a verb, it expresses the desire to do something.


Nanika shitai desuka

Do you want to do something?


Nani o shimasuka

What (you/we) (do/will do)?


〜たい (…tai) means want. It expresses desire.

Nanika shitaidesuka/ Nanika shitai n desuka

These means "Do you want to do something?" Even if the sentence has n in between shitai and desuka, its meaning are changeless.

nani o shimasuka

This means "what you do?" That is why it does not has ...tai, it does not express desire.

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