I just learned the word 大学 and wanted to try to put it into a sentence. My reasoning is that nani means what, namae means name, kimi no means your and daigaku means university, although im not so sure that this is how I would ask it or if it is even correct. Could someone please help me with this? I'd like to know 1. If i used the particles correctly and 2. If the question makes sense, if not could you please show me how to say it and explain it? Thank you for your help c:

  • 2
    This sentence would probably be understood, but it sounds utterly bizarre.
    – Angelos
    Jun 20, 2017 at 0:02
  • What would sound better? Jun 20, 2017 at 0:02
  • 「君の大学の名前は何」or something like that.
    – Angelos
    Jun 20, 2017 at 0:14
  • it is said that particles are the thing that make such bizarre sentences still be understood, is it correct? Jun 20, 2017 at 0:45

3 Answers 3



is the way to say it. It is short for: 君の大学の名前は何ですか


While in English we rearrange entire sentences to make them questions, in Japanese you typically put the question word where the answer would go and add the question particle か. So, for example, "My university's name is Harvard" would be


And so to make the question "What is your university's name?" we swap 僕 for 君 (i.e. "me" for "you") and ハーバード for 何 ("Harvard" for "what"), and add the particle at the end to get


Although in most contexts we can probably just ask "What is your university?", or


And if we're being super casual and the context is already understood, then it can be shortened all the way to "Your university is ...?"


EDIT: As Chocolate points out, even my suggested option is not really what you'd say in Japanese. It's more likely that you'd ask where the person's university is:


or even


since in context you don't even need to use the pronoun 君. And it's probably more likely that you'd ask something along the lines of "Which university do you go to", i.e. you'd use a sentence like one of the following:


But, I would guess that the grammar in those sentences is a little past what you're studying at the moment, so for now I think it's fair enough to say that most of the above would be understood by a Japanese speaker, but some of them sound more natural than others.

  • 2
    君の大学は何ですか。 なんて言いませんよね。普通は「大学はどこ?」とか「どこの大学に行ってるんですか?」とか「なんていう大学に行ってるの?」‌​とか。。
    – chocolate
    Jun 20, 2017 at 5:53
  • そうですね。「何」より「どこ」のほうがいいです。
    – ConMan
    Jun 20, 2017 at 6:36
  • FWIW, I was also taught that we should use どこ over 何 in this case Jun 22, 2017 at 0:35

This is a compliment to previous answers:

Please remember that while English operates on the Subject-Verb-Object sentence structure order, Japanese operates on the Subject-Object-Verb order. This changes in which order you organize a sentence. See the following examples:

English, Subject-Verb-Object order:

The name of my university is Tokyo University.

Japanese, Subject-Object-Verb order:


English has a tendency of rewriting the SVO general form when phrasing questions to an OVS form:

"The name of your university is what?" becomes
"What is the name of your university?"

Just something to be aware of when arranging sentences. :)

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