Is there any difference in meaning between these three structures? I think they all roughly mean "whether or not" but are they interchangable? Examples below:






  • Are you missing the in the second example sentence? (...来る*か*来ない*か*...) Or was the sentence intentionally composed this way?
    – ajsmart
    Jan 25, 2018 at 17:16
  • 1
    @ajsmart There should be no issue with this usage. Leaving the か out is acceptable. するしない is considered an viable alternative to するかしないか in dialogue.
    – BJCUAI
    Jan 25, 2018 at 19:39
  • @user27280 Of course, but I only asked because it appeared in the OP's title in the question, since it seemed that he wanted to use か in the sentence in question.
    – ajsmart
    Jan 25, 2018 at 21:24
  • @ajsmart Sorry, I ordered the examples incorrectly. They should now match the order I used in the title. 来る来ない matches the V | V-neg in the title and is exactly as I found it in a sentence. Jan 26, 2018 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


All of the forms that you have listed have the same effective meaning and are interchangeable, so long as they follow the proper context. Cross-searching these examples on Weblio, they are pretty much all listed as synonyms, with some seemingly trivial usage differences that I do not think will actually dissuade most speakers from using them interchangeably.

するかしないか standard colloquial

するしない casual colloquial

するかどうか standard (spoken or written)

するか否{いな}か formal (usually written); somewhat pedantic

To use as an example some advice once given by Master Yoda:

「やる」か、「やらない」かだけだ → OK

「やる」、「やらない」だけだ → OK

「やる」かどうかだけだ → a little strange (not quite casual enough)

「やる」か否かだけだ → strange (mixing formal with casual)

Finally, 「するのかしないのか、」or 「するのしないの、」 could be used to carry a separate nuance; one of impatience and frustration; e.g. ‘So, are you going to do it or not!?’.

If someone has another take I will be happy to consider editing.

  • 2
    I believe the reading of 否 in か否か is 「いな」, not 「ひ」.
    – istrasci
    Jan 25, 2018 at 22:40

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