There is a sentence on IMABI:


Which translates to:

Why do you think it is you got fat?

Why is it you think? If I were to translate it, it would be I really wonder why you got fat? (really comes from , which as I think has emphasis purposes after なぜ)

Where have I got it wrong? Or can this sentence be translated either way?


1 Answer 1


Here's a very simplified explanation: because the か makes it a question.

  • And here I thought there is some greater magic happens : ) Is it safe to assume that whenever sentence is a question, it always points to you, if subject isn't clearly specified?
    – Nexen
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 13:28
  • 1
    @Nexen Context would generally make it clear, but I believe most unspecified questions would indeed be second person.
    – Angelos
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 13:51
  • The main confusion I had with this was which is assertive and it's rude to say others thought with certainity. It was also pointed in related question - japanese.stackexchange.com/a/56908/9205 . Is なぜ (and maybe others: who/what/which) a special word and therefore it's okay to use ?
    – Nexen
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 14:18
  • 2
    @Nexen Using だ right at the end of a sentence sounds assertive and rude. With と思う you have to use だ after a noun or na-adjective. (Also だね, だよ, and the like don't quite sound as aggressive as だ) Also, while you generally use 思っている for other people, because this is a question, it's perfectly to use 思う.
    – Angelos
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 14:24

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