I thought that 誰 meant 'who', such as in:

彼は誰ですか。'Who is he?'

Then, why in this sentence it is 誰か ('someone') which is used and not 誰?

彼女が誰か知っていますか。'Do you know who she is ?'

  • 1
    Okay, just wanted to make sure if it was you or someone else who analyzed it as 誰か rather than 誰+か. Does this answer your question? Usage of か after a clause?
    – Leebo
    Aug 30, 2021 at 12:48
  • It does, thanks. To be sure, here (ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E8%AA%B0%E3%81%8B) you have the definition ('someone') for 誰か. So it's two different things?
    – Starckman
    Aug 30, 2021 at 13:07
  • 4
    Yes, you would need to identify which it is by the overall grammar of the sentence.
    – Leebo
    Aug 30, 2021 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


In this context, you can think of 誰か as a contraction of 誰なのか which stands for who it is.

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