1

どの seems to be most frequently glossed as “which (X)”. And I understand that くらい has the sense of “approximately”. But when I read

ここからホテルまでどのくらいかかりますか,

rather than “about which”, どのくらい has the sense of something like “about how far”. どの seems to be covering a lot of semantic ground.

Am I confronting 2 different words?

Is there a more-encompassing way of understanding どの ?

3

The ど in どの is actually part of the so-called ko-so-a-do (こそあど) group of words, known as demonstratives. They connect with other morphemes to make words such as これ・それ・あれ・どれ, ここ・そこ・あそこ・どこ, and also your example, この・その・あの・どの, among others. The ど is the interrogative of the group, always asking a question like 'which', 'where', etc.

どの on its own means 'which (of more than two)'. It can be combined with other words to express various things. In your example, どのくらい means 'how much' (the literal meaning would be something like 'which extent').

Have a look at this article for some more info (in Japanese).

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you, that’s very helpful. So, in the phrase どのくらい, どの actually has something close to its core meaning whereas, rather than approximation, くらい expresses the "degree of a state" (Makino & Tsutsui). The state in my example would be the distance (in whatever terms) betweenここ and ホテル . – justerman Jul 30 at 6:25
  • In this case, the verb かかる means ‘to take time’ so どのくらいかかりますか means ‘how long will it take’? (How much time will it take). – kandyman Jul 30 at 8:08

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.