I have a simple question:

If I want to say "Are you awake?" is it better to translate it as [目]{め}を[覚]{さ}まして or 起きてますか? It has to be intended as Hey, you're walking... but are you really awake?

Thank you.

2 Answers 2


"目を覚まして" is a request "Wake up!", because it ends with the te-form. It's not a question. To say "Are you awake?", you can form a question with the same set phrase, like "目は覚めてる?" or "目は覚めてますか?" (覚ます is transitive, 覚める is intransitive)

Likewise, "起きて!" is "Wake up!", whereas "起きてる?" or "起きてますか?" is "Are you awake?" In a casual conversation, "起きてる?" is the easiest expression.

  • And if I'd like to say "Have you awake?" as a common morning question
    – User1990
    Commented May 6, 2018 at 8:14
  • I think you mean "Have you woken up yet?" ... In Japanese you might say that as "Mada okitemasen ka?" まだ起きてませんか? which literally translates to "Aren't you awake yet?" ... but in Japanese, such negative questions are fairly common. Commented May 6, 2018 at 9:46

目を覚ましたか。 This expression means: “Did you wake up?”. And is only used to mean as such.

起きましたか。 literally means: “Did you get up?” This is asking about the action of getting out of bed.

  • 2
    But.. 起きましたか can also mean "Did you wake up?"... 起きる can mean "get up" and "wake up(目が覚める/目を覚ます)"... like 寝る can mean "go to bed" and "sleep(眠る)"
    – chocolate
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 10:49
  • Ah but that’s never it’s meaning. People translate it like that because if you get up you had to wake up first Commented May 8, 2018 at 10:50
  • 2
    音を立てて、寝てた人の目を覚ましてしまったら、「あ、ごめん、起こしちゃった?」て言うでしょう? 辞書(明鏡)にも「起きる ② 眠っていた人が目を覚ます。また、目を覚まして意識を働かせている状態にある。『大声を出すと赤ちゃんが起きるよ。』⇔眠る」、大辞泉にも「起きる 3 寝ないでいる。目をさましている。『明け方まで―・きていた』」って載ってます。
    – chocolate
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 10:58

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