The following is an excerpt from NHK Easy news article: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10012922471000/k10012922471000.html


I just wanted to know if this か applies to the nested clauses also. I ask this because DeepL translates the sentence as:

In France, we are trying to find out how strong this virus is to spread, how serious the illness may be, and how far the virus has spread.

Basically, it has applied the question quality of か (in addition to the clause it is directly attached to) to the preceding 2 sentences - is this because や has loosely connected all 3 sentences (listing a non-exhaustive list)?

1 Answer 1


No, it doesn't. か is the question tag in Japanese and of those three clauses, only the last one is a question.

If you want to be strict with the translation, it would be

In France, we are researching the strength of the virus, the possibility of the disease being serious, and how much the virus has spread, etc.

But in English, it sounds more natural if the clauses have the same structure. So DeepL translated it that way.

  • 2
    The sentence sounds very unnatural even to a native speaker of Japanese. So I rewrite it like this. フランスでは、このウイルスがうつる力の強さ(や)、病気が重くなる可能性(や)、ウイルスが広がる範囲を調べています。
    – samhana
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 11:24

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