0

What's the difference between using のか and か in asking a question. From what I know, の and か really turns the sentence into a question, the latter being the polite version. So what's the point really in using both の and か

それは魚じゃないのか それは魚じゃないか

2

Simplified answer for now: 「それは魚じゃないのか」 feels to me like 'Wait, that's not a fish?' or 'So it wasn't a fish after all.' 「それは魚じゃないか」feels to me more like 'That's obviously a fish!' (maybe someone said they'd bring chicken for dinner and brought fish instead).

EDIT: Okay, asking a question with のか often indicates that something is contrary to what you originally thought. Maybe you thought dolphins were fish, and somebody tells you they're mammals - you might say 「魚じゃないのか?」 then. Or your spouse told you yesterday you were having fish tomorrow, but today they say they're going to get beef - that's another situation in which you might say it.

Meanwhile, じゃないか, a lot of the time, isn't so much a question as a strong assertion. Somebody asks you if sharks are mammals - 「いや、魚じゃないか!」And, of course, relating to my previous examples, your spouse told you before they went shopping that they'd get some chicken, and they come back with fish instead - 「魚じゃないか」. I feel like this also inidcates a bit of surprise, but maybe I'm wrong on that.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks. Sounds to me like じゃないか and just a か also means a different thing. Because I think か really just ask a question without any assumptions made – Newbie Jun 18 at 13:41

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.