While reading a child's fairy book, I came across with the following sentence:


I googled and found someone saying there's no difference as in https://hinative.com/ja/questions/13674821 and someone saying that どこからか、が自然です。 as in https://hinative.com/ja/questions/1530368. And also someone says there's a difference between the two.

I want to know under what circumstances will we say the following sentences:

  1. どこかから鈴の音が聞こえてくる。
  2. どこからか鈴の音が聞こえてくる。
  3. 物音が、どこかから聞こえる。
  4. 物音が、どこからか聞こえる。
  5. どこかから良い匂いが漂ってくる。
  6. どこからか良い匂いが漂ってくる。
  7. どこかから蚊が入ってくる。
  8. どこからか蚊が入ってくる。
  • 2
    @istrasci you may want to check the edit you just made to the title :-) Oct 22, 2020 at 18:24
  • Oops. Somehow I read the title as ...difference between 「どこか」 and 「どこかから」?
    – istrasci
    Oct 22, 2020 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


どこからか and どこかから are interchangeable in your examples, and they are almost always so. But since どこからか is a set phrase, it tends to be used by itself, modified by nothing:

  • 日本のどこかから来た人 (natural)
  • 日本のどこからか来た人 (a little questionable to me; see the hit counts below)

In addition, どこからか sounds a little more literary to me.

Here are the numbers of examples from BCCWJ:

  • どこかから: 122
  • のどこかから: 24
  • どこからか: 290
  • のどこからか: 8

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