Skip to main content

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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
  • 15.4k
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
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
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
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
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
  • 2,712
19 votes
2 answers
37k views

When asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'?

As per the title, when asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'? For example, we are taught this: おしごとは。 'What is your job?' But I don't understand why it isn't ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 435
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
  • 2,233
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
  • 24.3k
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
  • 1,734
15 votes
4 answers
13k views

To not have: 持っていません or ありません?

Whenever I go to the Life supermarket near my house, they ask me at the check out: ライフカードを持っていますか? (Do you have a Life [members] card?) I always respond with something like: いいえ、持っていません。 ...
Questioner's user avatar
  • 24.8k
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can だ ever be used in a question?

I learned in Tae Kim's Grammar Guide that だ cannot be used when asking a question. But in the book Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication by Taeko Kamiya, I found several example ...
Miguel's user avatar
  • 2,448
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

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
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
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
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
  • 1,734
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
  • 30.3k
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
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
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
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
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Ending Questions with だ

Is it ever proper to end questions with だ? For instance: 誰だ? どんな食べ物は好きだ? I have been told it was correct and incorrect by many parties, but I've always learned to just raise the ending intonation to ...
user18349's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Meaning of 何が悲しくて

当番委員のペアが決まった日なのよ?他のみんなはお祝いしてるのに、何が悲しくて、そんな、さびれ果てたとこへ行かなきゃならないの? What does 何が悲しくて mean here? It seems to mean "What's so sad that we have to go there?" but I feel like I'm missing something.
Axe's user avatar
  • 3,366
7 votes
1 answer
27k views

How to ask someone to do something for you

I'd like to know how to politely ask someone (as a question, not a statement) to do something for me in Japanese. I'm already aware of the basic "___をください" and "___をおねがいします" patterns, but I don't want ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 73
7 votes
1 answer
265 views

About the coupling of ーてもらう and ーなさい

I often hear my old calligraphy teacher (and so far only her) use something like the following: 何々。。。書いてもらいなさい(?) 何々。。。やってもらいなさい(?) and so on. The question mark in parenthesis indicates that, ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 7,926
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can you use 誰(だれ) with animals?

Can you ask a pet's name in this way? For example, この犬は誰ですか。 Who is this dog?
Mac's user avatar
  • 1,081
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
6 votes
2 answers
5k views

"Also..." interjection in Japanese; appending an additional request or afterthought

In Japanese, how would one go about appending an additional request or afterthought? For example: 1: お水【みず】をお願【ねが】いします。 "Water please." 2: あっ、(・・・)、氷【こおり】を入【い】れていただけませんか。 "..Ah also, could ...
seafood258's user avatar
  • 1,979
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does どれだけ seem to mean the opposite of どれ + だけ?

The other day I read the word どれだけ which means how long; how much; to what extent. I've read several example sentences, and I that's all well and good, but I cannot shake the feeling that it's really ...
silvermaple's user avatar
  • 7,305
6 votes
1 answer
9k views

What's the difference between どうして and どうやって?

I've read on Stack Exchange that どうやって can be used to mean "what did you do in order to x" どうやってお医者になったか? — What did you do in order to become a doctor? This definition makes a lot of sense to me,...
Daniel Safari's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
590 views

Asking somebody of higher social status whether they made a mistake

I am exchanging an email with someone of higher social status than me after noticing a possible mistake on their part. I want to say I'm wondering if a mistake has been made My first thought was ...
Iceandele's user avatar
  • 163
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
6 votes
1 answer
274 views

The difference between 明日何をしますか and 明日どうしますか

What is the difference between 明日何をしますか and 明日どうしますか? I have come across the following question and answer: 明日どうしますか。 傘を箱の中に入れます。 So, I wonder if I can say 明日何をしますか instead.
Enguroo's user avatar
  • 2,275
6 votes
2 answers
998 views

Why is 何が used to mean “sorry for what?” instead of 何で?

I was watching an anime where character A apologizes to character B after trying to kiss her: A: ごめん!I’m sorry! B: 何が?言ってみて!For what? Just try to say it! My question is why was が used after ...
lightweaver's user avatar
  • 1,511
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to ask "Do you want to be ...?" question?

I'm going through my elementary Japanese learning book and another question came to mind. So, 欲しい{ほしい} means "want" and 居る{いる} means "to be", "to have" or "to exist" How does one combine the two to ...
CuriousOne's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
663 views

What's the connection between a spoon (匕) and the old age (⺹)? (Kanji: 老)

I was studying some radicals and I found this: ⺹ (old, old-age) and this: 匕. But why this: 老 (old + spoon) means "old man, old age, grow old"?? Do Japaneses think a spoon can make you older in a ...
Francesco Beati's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
627 views

What does で mean when asked as a question?

I've come across several instances in manga where the simple question of "で?" is used. What could it mean? I'm guessing it means something like "Is that so?," but I'm not sure.
Bizkit's user avatar
  • 271
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
5 votes
1 answer
278 views

〜か知らない or 〜か不安だ

I came across the following sentence in an exercise: インターネットで注文したセーターは、実際に着てみるまでサイズが_____が、ちょうどよかった。 Although only B and D make sense to me, here are the four propositions: A. 合わなかった B. ...
Right leg's user avatar
  • 1,096
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Politely asking to stay at someone's home? お邪魔させてもらう、泊めてもらう、or 滞在させてもらう?

Which of the following is the most polite? Is any of them incorrect? Is there a more standard way to ask someone if you could stay with them while in town? ~ 8日から9日まで、あなたのお宅にお邪魔させてもらえませんか。 ~ ...
seijitsu's user avatar
  • 2,153
5 votes
1 answer
226 views

んです for asking for permission

いいんですか。 いいですか。 Both sentences translate to "Is is OK?" (context: It is OK if I take this umbrella?) According to my textbook, んです is used for explanations. But in this context someone is ...
Enguroo's user avatar
  • 2,275
5 votes
1 answer
528 views

What does verb + 損 mean?

ただの殺され損ではないか I'm stumbled on this meaning here. By context I can gather it seems to be akin as "Being killed is just a disadvantage, isn't it?" but why 殺され損?
Kawase_K's user avatar
  • 995
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
2 answers
2k views

Why wa in Karaoke wa suki desu ka?

I recently came across an example in a text book カラオケは好きですか。 and was not sure why wa was used here instead of ga?
Ignas's user avatar
  • 153
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
5 votes
1 answer
566 views

Use of question particles in plain speech

I'm becoming increasingly confused about the correct way to form questions in informal speech. I originally learned that I should replace か with の. Then I learned that that was a bit girly. Then I ...
user3856370's user avatar
  • 30.3k
5 votes
2 answers
273 views

Explanatory の/ん in questions with interrogatives: Two conflicting rules

I'm working through this grammar book, which goes into a lot of detail about the grammar of questions and when the explanatory の/ん needs to be included. On pg. 284, the book says that a question must ...
Hikonyan's user avatar
  • 2,202
5 votes
1 answer
130 views

When should an embedded question take と?

From this article: NHKは6月〜7月、18歳と19歳の人に平和についてどう考えているか(*)聞きました。 Between June and July NHK asked 18 and 19 year olds what they thought about peace. この日を知っているかと聞くと、... When they were asked if ...
user3856370's user avatar
  • 30.3k

1
2 3 4 5