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日本人は外来語なしで話ができるものなんでしょうか?

how would it change if just said できますか or できるんでしょうか?

what does the もの imply here?

1 Answer 1

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This is "ものだ for general tendency/fact" but in a question form. It adds a sense of "Is it generally the case that...?" or "Is it how things normally work...?"

  1. …できますか: a plain question
  2. …できるのですか: seeking explanation
  3. …できるものなのですか: seeking explanation as a general fact

In your case, since the subject of the sentence is explicitly 日本人 in general, the difference between 2 and 3 is small. But when the subject is not present, the implied subject may change due to this ものだ/ものか.

  • え、寿司を手で食べるんですか?
    Oh, are you eating sushi with your hands?
  • え、寿司を手で食べるものなんですか?
    Oh, do people (in general) eat sushi with their hands?

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