If a child were to casually ask their teacher, "do you have [some object]," which would they say?

  1. 先生、「何か」はあるの? (Sensei, [nanika] ha aru no?)

  2. 先生、「何か」があるの? (Sensei, [nanika] ga aru no?)

I think I've heard a child say the second on one occasion, but a friend of mine says the first is correct. Which is it? What's the difference?

  • 1
    Given it is child speech, I am not sure whether there is a "correct" answer here.
    – user40476
    Nov 22, 2020 at 23:04
  • 1
    Or no particle at all: 先生、[何か]ある? Nov 23, 2020 at 4:56
  • I guess I'm looking for which is more likely for a child to use or say.
    – F.D.
    Nov 24, 2020 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


What you might want is 先生、[何か]ある?.

の is used to confirm what you observed, not for simple questions.

何かはある? is an expression to point out that the other person said s/he doesn't have something but not necessarily anything.

edit; [何か]はある? 1. asks if it's normally available, if not immediately, 2. confirms it for the listener to make sure to have it. 3. shifts focus to another topic after you asks about one. If the answer to the previous question is negative, it conveys compromising nuance.

先生、何かがある? is weird.(edit; 先生、[何か]がある? is mostly weird too)

edit; [何か]がある? implies that you would be more or less surprised if the answer is actually yes.

  • 3
    I interpreted the use of 何か as not literally being spoken, but as a filler for something. Like, what would normally be ほにゃらら. 先生、[ほにゃらら]がある? is not strange. This was based on how they used the English [some object].
    – Leebo
    Nov 23, 2020 at 9:59
  • 1
    Yes, the 何か is used as filler for a given object
    – F.D.
    Nov 24, 2020 at 2:33

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