11 votes
Accepted

Using 何を with intransitive verbs (eg 何をにやついているの?)

あまり詳しい説明ではないのですが、明鏡国語辞典によりますと・・・ なに【何】 🈩〘代〙 ❸《「ーを・・・か?」「ーを・・・のだ!」など、疑問・反語・詰問などを表す自動詞文で》不審の気持ちで、事態成立の基盤を問う。また、その不当性を非難する。どんな理由で。なぜに。なんで。 「何を泣いているのか?」「何をためらうことがあろうか」「何をぐずぐずしてるんだ!」 (語法)他動詞の場合は、~...
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  • 60k
11 votes
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Seemingly non-interrogative use of sentence-ending か

This function of this か is not purely phonetic, but rather serves to make the sentence less of a outward statement and more of a self-directed or self-reflecting one. It makes the information value ...
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7 votes
Accepted

誰も used in a positive sentence

Since most of Japanese Question + も patterns ("any- (... not)") are, as you know, only allowed to be used with negative predicates, we usually make some workarounds to express the "every-" idea. ...
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6 votes
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Confusion between 誰でも and 誰か

Be careful when translating to/from English because there is some overlap with certain words like these. 誰でも means "anyone" in the sense of "whoever". マラソンに参加する人は誰でもTシャツをもらう → Anyone who/...
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  • 42.4k
5 votes
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What is the difference between 何 and どれ?

The user17907's answer gives great examples, so I briefly show you the meanings of each phrase: どれか: one/some of the choices (with no preference) ex: あなたは本をたくさん持っていますね。どれか貸してください。 You have a ...
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  • 5,338
5 votes
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What is the use of か in 売り始めるか〜

This か is the same as the particle we see all the time at the end of an interrogative sentence. It's also used in a noun clause like so: いつ車を売りますか? When do they sell the cars? いつ車を売るか (noun ...
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  • 267k
4 votes
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What does 「かけようかどうしようか」 mean?

かける here would literally mean something like "to cast", but 声をかける is an expression in Japanese to mean "to greet someone", "to say something (to someone)", or even "to invite someone (to something)" ...
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4 votes

Subtle differences between だれ and どなた?

どなた is much more polite and should mostly be used to ask a person directly who they are. だれ can be used when asking someone about someone else indirectly, but would be very rude to ask someone ...
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  • 5,601
4 votes
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Unsure about this usage of か

Your explanation is right. The speaker is not quite sure if that's the right explanation (something like, "The blood has hardened, perhaps because a lot of time has passed"). The grammar you are ...
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4 votes

Using 何を with intransitive verbs (eg 何をにやついているの?)

(Adding my own answer for those who may run into this problem in the future) @Shoko's answer confirmed my hypothesis. You can use 何を with intransitive verbs, and it actually means "why", &...
4 votes

Different nuances of interrogative phrases

Although both sentences could be translated as, "What is X?", a fuller explication reveals the differences. 何【なに】    が   X です  か。 what [SUBJ] X [is] [QUESTION] Grammatically, the "...
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4 votes
Accepted

What does this sentence with いつ mean?

I think this is a strange mixture of the ~とも/とは限らない construction and the interrogative + とも + ない construction. Although perfectly understandable, I feel this sentence is not well-formed. It should ...
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  • 267k
3 votes

どんな危険 vs どんな危険も Confusion

I think you are comparing the wrong things. As you pointed out, どんな危険 is indeed a question. But どんな危険も no longer has anything to do with a question. Explaining the usage of も is really difficult as ...
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3 votes
Accepted

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

Given the context: a man was borrowing an umbrella at a station, and was asking a station worker how and when he could return it. どうしますか is absolutely better than 何をしますか, because in this situation,...
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3 votes

Subtle differences between だれ and どなた?

どなた is very polite. 尊敬語. You should say どなたでしょうか? when talking to a person of higher status. 誰 is not polite. It can be used when talking to people of the same or lower status (friends, family etc. ...
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  • 1,474
3 votes
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Is nominalization necessary in 「彼が戻るのか知らないんです。」?

This の is not the nominalizing の, it's the explanatory の, as in 「ちょっと話{はな}したいことがあるのですが。」"There is something I would like to talk to you about (explanatory tone)." When used in a question, it takes the ...
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  • 280
3 votes

Is nominalization necessary in 「彼が戻るのか知らないんです。」?

No, you don't need it unless the sentence has どうして or なぜ. (Incidentally, わからない is better rather than 知らない here.)
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  • 16.2k
3 votes
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In the interrogative お元気ですか, how does the meaning change if the か is removed?

元気 means "fine" and お before 元気 describes politeness (to the listener = "you"). です is "be" and か makes it a question. You may notice that there is no subject, but it can be inferred to be "you", ...
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  • 5,338
3 votes

What is the difference between 何 and どれ?

I'm Japanese. I try to help you. (My English is not good,so i explain briefly.) 何 is used when choices aren't shown. どれ is used when choices are shown. But,何 can be used when choices are shown. (1)何 ...
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  • 96
3 votes
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Is どんな in this context a question?

There are various "WH" words in Japanese -- the question words, like the English "who, what, where, when, why, how" -- that shift in meaning when used together with the inclusive particle も. も in ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Should interrogative pronouns come in the subject or in the predicate?

These so called こそあど言{こと}葉{ば} (ko-so-a-do words) are demonstratives (or 指示語{しじご} in Japanese), and you can think of them as placeholders for things that are common knowledge between the speaker and ...
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  • 1,225
3 votes

だれでも楽しむ corrected to だれもが楽しむ. Why?

I think you are an advanced learner of Japanese. This will be the reason why your teacher corrected 「日本の文化はだれでも楽しむものじゃないか?」to 「日本の文化はだれもが楽しむものじゃないか?」. It seems to me that even if the former sentence ...
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  • 1,229
3 votes

だれでも楽しむ corrected to だれもが楽しむ. Why?

~でも in だれでも should be equated to であっても "even to be", so だれでも = だれであっても = "no matter who (s/he) is". Translating it as "anyone" is indeed a clever way, as it puts stress ...
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3 votes
Accepted

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

They indeed seem to contradict each other. However, the rules described in the preceding pages should not be taken too literally. The book itself offers the following caveat in p286. 本来「のだ」が必要とされる文で「...
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  • 12.5k
2 votes
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What is the meaning of doreka, doremo, and doredemo which is taken from dore?

どれか is similar to 何か (something) or 誰か (somebody). どれか means one among several options. Example: この中のどれか、頂戴できましょうか. Can you give me one of these? どれも is similar to いつも (always) or どこも (everywhere). ...
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  • 3,499
2 votes

Combining なに with a noun

It's worth separating the two examples as examples of different constructions to ask the same type of question. It will make more sense if you comprehend the following: X が (adjective/verb) か。 (X ...
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  • 4,308
2 votes

What does "gentle interrogative" mean?

It's a way to ask questions in a polite and gentle way, traditionally you might imagine a polite lady of a certain age using this speech form. The article https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/80375/...
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  • 886
2 votes
Accepted

How to say "What the f**k am I doing here?"

ここ means "this place" and it needs a locative marker で to mean "here" when it's combined with the predicate やっている. You can't use the form of a non-noda form followed with よ for interrogative sentences ...
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  • 16.2k
2 votes

What does "gentle interrogative" mean?

This definition of こと corresponds to the 3rd definition under 明鏡国語辞典's entry for こと as a sentence-final particle (終助詞): こと 〘終助〙 ➌ 軽く問いかける気持ちを表す。 「お変わりありませんこと?」 And from 新明解国語辞典: こと ...
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