Skip to main content

How to ask questions in Japanese?

How to ask questions in Japanese?

The most common interrogative words are What, When, Why, Where, and Who. These five interrogative words are sometimes called WH-words. It is also called Five Ws and if ‘How’ is included, it is called Five Ws and How.

How can we express ourselves by asking questions in Japanese?

Let’s check it below:  



What’ in Japanese is なになん (NaniNan). Its Kanji is , read either as なに or なん in Kun-Yomi while (ka) is its On-Yomi reading.


  • なんですか?
    (Nan desu ka? )
    What is it?

  • これはなに?
    (Kore ha nani?)
    What is this?

  • なにがあったの?
    (Nani ga atta no?)
    What happened?

  • なんだろうな?
    (Nan darou na?)
    I wonder what it is?



When’ in Japanese is いつ (itsu). As far as I know, いつ if used as ‘When’ does not have a Kanji equivalent.


  • いつに?
    (Itsu ni?)
    When is it?

  • いつにほんにきますか?
    (Itsu Nihon ni kimasu ka?)
    When are you coming to Japan?

  • アキラさんのたんじょうびはいつですか?
    (Akira-san no tanjoubi ha itsu desu ka?
    When is Akira’s birthday?


Why (How)

The Japanese for ‘Why’ is quite confusing. But in most textbooks、 ‘Why’ in Japanese is なぜ (Naze). It can also be translated to ‘How’. なぜ is both used for why and how.
どう (dou) is also ‘Why’ and ‘How’ in Japanese.
なんで (何で) (Nande) is also ‘Why’ in Japanese.


  • なぜここにいますか?
    (Naze koko ni imasu ka?)
    Why are you here?

    (Note: どうして and なんで can also be used in this example. The meaning is the same.)

  • なんでそんなことをいったの?
    (Nande sonna koto wo itta no?)
    Why did you say that?

  • どうですか?
    (Dou desu ka?)
    How is it?



どこ (Doko) is translated as ‘Where’ in Japanese. If どこ is added with Japanese particles, the meaning will also be change. This is the same when a particle is added to other interrogative words.


  • どこですか?
    (Doko desu ka?)
    Where is it?  (Where?)

  • どこにも
    (doko nimo)

  • どこでも
    (doko demo)

  • どこか
    (doko ka)

  • トイレはどこですか?
    (toire ha doko desu ka?)
    Where is the toilet?

  • あなたのしゅっしんはどこですか?
    (Anata no shusshin ha doko desu ka?)
    Where do you come from?  



The Japanese of ‘Who’ is だれ () (Dare). だれ is more direct and considered casual or if used when talking to older persons、 it is considered as not polite (informal). どなた (Donata) is the formal way of asking ‘Who’ in Japanese.
どなた is mostly written in Hiragana but its kanji is 何方.


  • だれですか?
    (Dare desu ka?)
    Who is it?

  • どなたさまですか?
    (Donata sama desu ka?)
    Who are you?

  • だれも
    (Dare mo)
    No one.

  • わたしのパーティーにはだれもきませんでした。
    (Watashi no pa-ti- ha daremo kimasen deshita.)
    No one came to my party. 


If you want to check my previous post, you can check it through the link below:
>> Japanese House >> Let's talk about Nature For Hiragana and Katakana page, please check the link below:
>> The Hiragana Character >> The Katakana Character For Word of the Week page, please check the link below:
>> Word of the week 7 >> Word of the week 2 For YouTube Videos:
>> Japanese Words| Hiragana | I-adjectives PART 4 >> Japanese Words| Hiragana | I-adjectives For my Spanish lessons that I am still not fluent and need more effort to study, you can check the link below:
>> 【SPANISH LESSON #4】THE VERB “TO BE” >> 【Spanish Lesson #3】Vocabularies You can also my personal website where I write stories and blog about things I like: >> Write and Sleep


Popular posts from this blog

How to say your age in Japanese?

  How to say your age in Japanese?  The counter for age in Japanese is さい (sai).    In the previous blog, I’ve already discussed how to count in Japanese, so it is easy to tell your age in Japanese. So, if someone asks your age, you can say the number and put さい after it.    Example:                 60 years old – ろくじゅっさい (rokujussai)                33 years old – さんじゅうさん さい (sanjuusan sai)                20 years old – はたち (hatachi)           15 years old – じゅうごさい (juugo sai)                  8 years old – はっさい                  1-year-old – いっさい (issai)     For 1, 8 and 20 years old, the Japanese age is read differently from the other numbers. Instead of いちさい for 1 year old, it is いっさい while for 8 years old, it is はっさい instead of はちさい . F or 20 years old, instead of saying にじゅうさい , use はたち without putting さい .      なんさいですか ? (nansai desu ka?) – how old are you? おいくつですか ? (o ikutsu desu ka?) – how old are you? (Formal way of asking someone’s age)   とし (toshi) – Japanese word

Ten-Ten (“) and Maru (˚) (Japanese Character)

  The small dashes (“) is called Ten-Ten. While the small circle is called Maru ( ˚ ). Not all Hiragana and Katakana characters have Ten-Ten or Maru. There are only 20 characters that have changes in pronunciation when Ten-Ten and Maru are added. For Ten-ten:                              K”      à      G                        S”       à      Z                        T”      à      D                        H”      à      B For Maru:                             H ˚      à      B Don’t get confused with the change of pronunciation with H. Just remember that if H has Ten-Ten, it will be read as B while if H has Maru, the pronunciation is B.                                    Hiragana and Katakana Characters with Ten-Ten and Maru が ( ガ ) ga ぎ ( ギ ) gi ぐ ( グ ) gu げ ( ゲ ) ge ご ( ゴ ) go ざ ( ザ ) za じ ( ジ ) ji ず ( ズ ) zu ぜ ( ゼ ) ze ぞ (

Japanese Pronouns

Japanese Pronouns   What is Pronoun? According to, Pronoun is a pronoun used to refer to a speaker or the people/things that a speaker is referring to. It replaces a noun in a sentence. There are seven types of pronouns namely: the personal pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun, the interrogative pronoun, the relative pronoun, the indefinite pronoun, the reflexive pronoun, and the intensive pronoun. But today, I will only talk about personal pronouns.   In Japan, pronouns can be omitted in a sentence if both speaker and the person the speaker is referring to know the context of the sentence. Also, pronouns give importance to hierarchy, like respect for elders, seniority, or social order. It denotes the characteristics of the speaker or the person talking to like age, gender, and their relationships.   Pronoun in Japanese is だ い め い し (代名詞) read as Da i me i shi . Our focus for today’s blog is: I You  He  She We  They Personal Pronoun I Watas