In Japanese, when speaking casually, if I want to say I wonder if that computer was expensive, I believe, I would say


But how do you say "I wonder if that computer was expensive" more politely?

  • 1
    – Jimmy Yang
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 22:23
  • 1
    Is it supposed to be an implicit question? What kind of situation do you have in mind?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 2:01
  • If it was meant to be an implicit question, the casual version (そのコンピューターは高かったかな) doesn't sound right. It rather sounds more introspective, like you (the speaker) are saying you are already supposed to know the answer. Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 3:15
  • I mean it as in, (Thinking to myself) "I'm curious about whether or not the computer was expensive. It being expensive or inexpensive both seem possible to me". Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 9:53
  • 1
    If you are thinking to yourself, why would you have to be polite?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 10:15

3 Answers 3


The basic strategy of phrasing a straight question as a non-question (or an implicit question) to make it polite works in Japanese, too, by making it less pressing for an answer.

  • そのコンピューターはきっと高かったのでしょうね。
  • そのコンピューターはきっと高かったでしょうね。
  • そのコンピューターはきっと高かったでしょう。

A falling tone would make it sound even less like a question. A rising tone does not necessarily make it less polite, however. I think it depends more on whether you actually want an answer or not.


How about saying 「~(の/ん)でしょうか(ね)」, such as in:



In a polite way, そのコンピューターが高かったか定かではありません。

In another way, そのコンピューターが高かったかははっきり覚えていません。


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