For some reason, I have had the impression that か at the end of a sentence marks some kind of question that is being asked. However, in these examples from 日本語総まとめ 文法:


(I'm not at all pleased. I am not in a good situation.)


(My digital camera is not working. I wish I knew how to fix the problem.)

It appears to not be an adequate or translation of the grammatical forms. The first example doesn't seem to explain the existence of any question (if one exists). The second one might be better translated as:

"My digital camera is broken. I wonder if something cannot be done to fix it."

I thought this conveys the idea of something being questionable. How would the first example be better explained/translated so that whatever is questionable is not lost?

2 Answers 2


The first one is a rhetorical question.

Would I be pleased at all (in this situation)?
Implication: I am not pleased.

The second one is a question unto oneself.

Wouldn't there be some way for it to get fixed?


In the second example, the grammatical form is the ない form of a verb followed by ものか or だろうか. It indicates a desire for, or hope of, something.

So I think the example translation is more accurate because it shows the speaker's wish that it can be fixed.

A couple more examples:



Source: 耳から覚える日本語能力試験文法トレーニングN2, pg. 11

  • While it may indicate hope or desire for something, the example translation would not leave room for a response because the question has not been conveyed.
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:42
  • I'd bet one of the reasons our books have this grammar point is because I don't think it's a question. At least, I don't think any of our examples are questions that seek an answer. Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 23:46

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