5

I was practicing and tried to write the following sentence in Japanese: Anyone playing games on PS4 or Switch?

誰でもPS4でゲームをやっていますか。スイッチでゲームをやっていますか。

A few minutes later my sentence was corrected to

誰かPS4でゲームをやっていますか。スイッチでゲームをやっていますか。

Why was using 誰でも wrong here? I thought 誰でも meant anyone and 誰か meant someone.

Unfortunately the person who corrected me, presumably a native speaker, couldn't explain it very well when asking the same question. It sounds like they were trying to say I could only use 誰でも when presented with multiple options. So now I'm just overall super confused

6

Be careful when translating to/from English because there is some overlap with certain words like these.

誰でも means "anyone" in the sense of "whoever".

誰か means "anyone" in the sense of "someone".

  • (暗い部屋に入ってひやひやと呼びかけて)誰かいる(の)? → (Entering a dark room, calling out in fear) Is anyonesomeone) here?
  • 誰か助けて! → Somebody help me!
  • (落とした財布を拾いながら)誰かのものかな、これ… → (Picking up a dropped wallet) This must belong to someone (as opposed to being trash)...

So if you use these definitions, you can see your sentence is essentially the same as my first example of 誰か; "whoever" doesn't make sense because that's not what you're asking.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.