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Questions tagged [questions]

疑問文. Concerning the asking of questions in the Japanese language as opposed to making plain statements. Includes the various words and particles used in questions.

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1 answer
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Meaning of "でも" in "食事でもどうですか?"

I've found this sentence on alc.co.jp 食事でもどうですか and I am puzzled as to meaning this でも conveys. How does it differ from 食事はどうですか This would be my first choice but which, according to Google, is ...
Maximilian Muneyoshi's user avatar
57 votes
5 answers
143k views

What exactly is "なの" (nano)?

I asked a female Japanese friend to translate a sentence for me and it ends in "nano" which I took to be either an alternative question particle to -ne or -ka; or possibly two particles I ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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44 votes
3 answers
46k views

Is ending question sentences with の really feminine?

In What differences should I look out for between male vs female speech?, a lot of answers explicitly mention that ending question sentences with の is feminine. However, this makes very little sense ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
21k views

Usage of nan desu?

In a few songs I've heard recently I've noticed that なんです(nan desu) (without the か) has been used in what seems to be maybe a declarative or emphatic sense (not really sure), is this possible? I'm not ...
mattb's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
451 views

Embedded question followed by と

What is the grammar behind the use of the quote marker と in this sentence? 雨がいつ降るかと大変楽しみにしていましたが、なかなか雨が降りません。 He was looking forward to when the rain would come, but... Can I also write ...
user3856370's user avatar
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25 votes
5 answers
47k views

What is the meaning of のか and how does it differ from か?

What is the meaning of のか in the following sentences? Does it have the same meaning as のですか? 漢字はどう正しく書くのか、どう正しく読むのか、彼らは時々迷います。 参加するのか、参加しないのか、ここではっきり返事しなさい。 Also, I have found sentences of the same ...
Misaka's user avatar
  • 487
23 votes
1 answer
6k views

What does どうした mean and how does it differ from 何をした?

I've never really understood how どうした works and hope someone can explain or point me towards further reading. For example, in my textbook, the following question is asked in relation to a short ...
pyrmont's user avatar
  • 475
4 votes
1 answer
608 views

The usage of という in questions

My question is about the differences when using という in a question compared to without. Take for example the 4 questions below 何があったというのだ? 何があったのだ? 何かが始まるというの? 何かが始まるの? The two questions ...
dankster420's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
19k views

In what situation can I use ~かい (for interrogative question)?

One day, I asked my japanese friend how I could invite some friends to eat. He said "一緒に食べに行くかい?" I know that we could also say: 行きましょうか(行こうか)? 行きませんか(行かない)? 行きますか(行くの)? but I got interested ...
daniel tomio's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
39k views

What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
Nathan's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
6k views

Difference between どこですか and どこにいますか/どこにありますか?

(1) 本はどこですか。 (2) 本はどこにありますか。 Unless I'm mistaken, both those sentences mean something like "where is the book", what's the difference between using です and あります to indicate position? I ...
Teleporting Goat's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Understanding どうしたら

On the 100th anniversary of the first anime 東京国立近代美術館フィルムセンター said: どうしたらこのアニメがこれから100年残っていくか考えてほしいと思います ??? We want you think about how these anime will be here 100 years from now. My ...
user3856370's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
483 views

Are possessive particles implied in a conversation?

Today, in my Japanese class, my sensei presented a conversation which went as the following: Person A: Bさんのせんこうはなんですか。 Person B: コンピューターかがくです。 Person A: わたしもコンピューターかがくです。 My confusion comes on the ...
Veer Singh's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
2k views

Use of ~のか (~んですか) in questions not seeking a yes/no answer

I would like to know if there is a shift in nuance in questions such as these: 誰が参加したんですか。 vs. 誰が参加しましたか。 いつ着いたんですか。 vs. いつ着きましたか。 I wish to limit discussion to only non-yes/no questions (so ...
Derek Schaab's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Meaning of trailing の in a question

I've been running into this trailing の particle quite often and can't seem to understand what exactly it means. Is it replacing か, or does it mean something else? For example: まだ生{い}きているの?
Julian's user avatar
  • 969
15 votes
2 answers
4k views

どうしますか vs 何をしますか

I always interpreted 何 as "what" and "どう" as more of a "How or How about?" and thus was under the impression that if one wanted to ask "What will you do?" or "What did you do?" you would say 何をしますか ...
mattb's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
519 views

Meaning of かな for asking questions

I'm reading Yotsubato to learn Japanese. On page 98 of Tome 1, Asagi asks Yotsuba: クーラーって 知ってるかなー? I understand she's asking if Yotsuba knows what an air conditioner is, but I'm unsure about the ...
Asik's user avatar
  • 769
9 votes
3 answers
10k views

どこでも vs. どこにでも vs. どこも

What is the the difference between どこでも vs. どこにでも vs. どこも? I thought どこでも was anywhere, どこにでも was everywhere, and どこも was also everywhere... but then I didn't know what the difference would be between ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
21k views

Asking a question with "da" and "datta"

We use "desu" and "deshita" to make the polite form and "ka" to make it a question, for example: Tokyo ga suki desu ka? (Do you like Tokyo?) Tokyo ga suki deshita ka? (Did you like Tokyo?) How can I ...
Oskar K.'s user avatar
  • 685
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it grammatical to have more than one "WH question" words in a sentence?

In English it would be strange to have more than one "WH question" word in a sentence, For example: Tomorrow, where are we meeting, at what time and to do what ? It sounds like it's grammatical ...
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 12k
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

The difference between [noun phrase]+[?・なの?・ですか?・なんですか?]

Prompted by a comment thread, I was curious if my understanding of the semantic differences between [nominal phrase]? [nominal phrase]なの? [nominal phrase]ですか? [nominal phrase]なんですか? is ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
363 views

How do I write out a multiple choice question in Japanese?

This is more for formal written email than spoken in person. For example, if I was to ask: Which of the following do you enjoy: (A) Coffee (B) Tea (C) The java in me I would also like to know ...
Tamachan87's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

chart for interrogative words

I have been looking for a comprehensive chart for interrogative words and their altered forms. But unfortunately I haven't been able to find one yet. So I thought maybe someone may have already come ...
user5392's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
938 views

Does a question using じゃないんじゃない exist?

For verbs: 授業があるんじゃない(ですか) 授業がないんじゃない(ですか) For -i adjectives: その映画が面白いんじゃない(ですか) その映画が面白くないんじゃない(ですか) For nouns and -na adjectives, the negative is 「じゃない」: 彼は学生なんじゃない(ですか) So if ...
Dekiru's user avatar
  • 2,702
2 votes
4 answers
854 views

What is the most commonly used way to apologize in Japanese?

Also, would you say something different whether that person is someone you know or not?
Mari Bæ's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
52 views

What is the use of ものでしょうか in this context? 「今から治療して間に合うものでしょうか?」

Upon being asked why she didn't bring her child to the hospital back then she replies: 今から治療して間に合うものでしょうか!? My understanding from context is that she's saying time passed since the incident and ...
Kawase_K's user avatar
  • 995
2 votes
2 answers
579 views

Comparison of 4 different ways to ask something

I'd like to understand the nuance differences between the following three ways to ask a question. Let's say I am with a friend and thinking of going of the beach. I can ask the following 4 ways. ...
Locksleyu's user avatar
  • 6,012
1 vote
1 answer
184 views

かれはまどをあけますか — How to convert it to "Why did he open the window?"

I am a beginner. I know Did he open the window? かれはまどをあけましたか。 I just don't know where to insert the "why" in the sentence. Update: I forgot it is あけました because of "did". I can construct simple ...
Arada Blancaflor's user avatar
25 votes
4 answers
6k views

Questions with ~か or without: how to choose?

Studying Japanese on my own, I've learned that in order to make a question, you usually add the particle "~か", like this: 今何時ですか。 It's also true that a question can be asked without it, using the ...
Alenanno's user avatar
  • 3,109
13 votes
1 answer
10k views

Meaning of のだろう?

I'm not sure when should I use particle の in front of だろう/でしょう? Is のだろう used when the speaker wonders about something to himself? For example, what would be the translation of these sentences: 日本は、...
laiman's user avatar
  • 131
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's the difference between なんと and どう

I'm having a lot of trouble working out the difference between なんと and どう。 どう is "How" e.g. これはどう書きますか "How do you write this?" and is easy for me to understand. The problem is なんと、the dictionaries ...
edwinbradford's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

When to use Dono or Nan?

I am learning Japanese using "learn Japanese in the car". It has the following sentences: Which seat is it? / Dono seki desu ka. Which train car is it? / Nan gosha desu ka. Why does one use Dono ...
big_smile's user avatar
  • 1,163
6 votes
3 answers
395 views

Why is it that the っけ suffix can only be attached to a question-sentence

Why is it that the っけ suffix / け particle (indicating that the speaker is trying to recall some information) can only be attached to a sentence when the sentence itself is a question-sentence? ...
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 12k
5 votes
3 answers
331 views

The real meaning of の when asking a question

It seems to be the season for asking questions about questions, and with every question and answer I read I get more confused. What is the difference between: 1) どこに行く 2) どこに行くの I'm assuming 1) ...
user3856370's user avatar
  • 30.3k
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

What does 「なにしてたん?」mean?

I've been talking with a Japanese exchange student at my college. For 4 years I've been studying Japanese and we get along just fine most of the time but sometimes even I get a bit lost. He's from ...
Lychee's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

Understanding んじゃないでしょうか

A teacher was too nice, lost control of her class and then slapped one of them. Another teacher is trying to comfort her: 私も少し甘やかしすぎる方だから、子供たちにはいいクスリになったんじゃないでしょうか。 Because I also spoil them too ...
user3856370's user avatar
  • 30.3k
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Understanding 行ってどうすんだ

「ねー、つれてってよ。七夕だよ」 Hey, take me along. It's Tanabata. 「七夕なんて行ってどうすんだよ。毎年同じような飾りばっかりじゃねェか。今年はいいにしろ」 Go to Tanabata and do what? It's just the same decorations every year. Even if they're good this ...
user3856370's user avatar
  • 30.3k
3 votes
2 answers
443 views

When I ask a simple question should I ask it in negative form?

My textbook is prompting me to ask questions: "Don't you want to see a movie?" eiga o mimasen ka? "Don't you want to eat dinner?" bangohan o tabemasen ka? I'm wondering if I ...
josie's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is んじゃないの rhetorical? And other conversation nuances

B: says that no one ever became ill just because they didn't ask for good health on a tanzaku. And then: A: 「じゃあ、たんざくに書いたくらいで金持ちになる人もいないんじゃないの」 A: Well, no one ever became rich just by writing on ...
user3856370's user avatar
  • 30.3k
2 votes
2 answers
508 views

What is the difference between 「何を...ましょうか」, 「何を...ますか」 and 「何を...ませんか」?

What are the differences in meaning between these three sentences? えいがはなにをみましょうか。 えいがはなにをみますか。 えいがはなにをみませんか。 Does the last sentence even make sense?
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
218 views

Omitting ようだ at the end of a sentence

父はデジタルカメラの講習を受けに行ったが、あまりの難しさにびっくりしたようだ。 So this sentence is saying, "my dad went to take a short course on digital cameras, but it was difficult to the point of surprising him." Could you say ...
russjohnson09's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
242 views

Negated questions

I am not sure what the response to the following question would be. 今のオリンピックは勝ち負けを気にするあまり、スポーツマンシップという大切なものをなくしているのではないか。 I am thinking it might be はい、なくしている。 but then again with the sentence ...
russjohnson09's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
230 views

Indirect questions nested inside phrases

Trying to use interrogative words in nested (indirect ?) questions has been troublesome for me. First came things like: 先生が何を言ったか知らない Which I guess means "I don´t know what the teacher said". So ...
Vitor Arruda's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

The use of なんというお名前ですか?

Basically, I've been corrected on Lang-8 that [あなたの名前はですか] should be changed to [なんというお名前ですか], or [あなたの名前何といいますか]. After a quick search around, I found that なんという means how as in [how [beautiful]]. I ...
idiot.py's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
235 views

The meaning of を in あなたは何をしていますか?

What is the function of を in the sentence: あなたは何をしていますか? Why can't it be written without it, like: あなたは何していますか?
scdmb's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

how would a native ask the question "Where are you going later?"

After reading the 2 threads: How to use へ (-e), に (-ni), まで (made) and の方 (no-hō) with destination and direction? and When going somewhere, is there any difference between e (へ) and ni (に)? I would ...
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 12k
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

How does あるのですか work in this gramatically?

A Japanese friend wrote to me: なぜsomethingsomethingに興味あるのですか。 Shouldn't she have used が before ある? Could you just say ありますか instead of あるのですか?
user1255410's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
215 views

What is the right pronunciation of 「何にみえますか」

What is the right pronunciation of 「何にみえますか」? Is pronounced 「なんにみえますか」or 「なににみえますか」? Why?
marcosprins's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
629 views

わからなくなってしまう Im confused

発音は全部「んー」ですね。でも、書くときにわからなくなってしまうので「うん」、「ううん」、「うーん」と書きます。 What does わからなくなってしまう mean?
Omokaato's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
398 views

It it correct / normal to use か after だ?

I've heard 'ですか' all too often in textbook Japanese. I've personally never heard だ and か used together - only 'の' or a rising intonation. Eg: なまえはなんですか? vs なまえはなんだか? Is it normal/natural in ...
Kitty's user avatar
  • 363