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Example:

やっぱり初心者か

I'm confused how a sentence can have both:

  • やっぱり, which IIUC suggests that in the end, the speaker found that the things are just as expected
  • か which indicates that the speaker isn't certain yet

The two words would seem to correspond to rather incompatible nuances:

  • Ah so she really is a newbie, just like I thought!
  • Ah I guess she must be a newbie?

1 Answer 1

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か is not just a question marker but also is a sentence-end particle used to confirm something with a bit of exclamatory feeling. This type of か is pronounced without a rising intonation. If your example sentence was pronounced without a rising intonation, it means the speaker is now certain that she is a newbie.

Examples:

  • そうか。
    I see. / Oh is that so. / Alright.
  • そうか?⤴ (with rising intonation)
    Is that so? / Really?
  • 君か!
    Oh it's you!
  • 大きくなったじゃないか!
    You've grown up, haven't you!
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  • Is it related to the role of かしら in a sentence "よかったら手伝ってくれるかしら" ? よかったら makes the sentence a request, so かしら seems out of place if it expresses doubt.
    – max
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 9:42

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