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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:  

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What

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.

Example:

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

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

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

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


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When

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

Example:

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

  • いつにほんにきますか?
    (いつ日本に来ますか?)
    (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?
    (アキラさんの誕生日はいつですか?)
    (Akira-san no tanjoubi ha itsu desu ka?
    When is Akira’s birthday?


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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.

Example:

  • 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?
    (なんでそんな事を言ったの?)
    (Nande sonna koto wo itta no?)
    Why did you say that?

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


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Where

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.

Example:

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

  • どこにも
    (doko nimo)
    Nowhere

  • どこでも
    (doko demo)
    Anywhere

  • どこか
    (doko ka)
    Somewhere

  • 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?
    (あなたの出身はどこですか?)
    (Anata no shusshin ha doko desu ka?)
    Where do you come from?  


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Who

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.

Example:

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

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

  • だれも
    (誰も)
    (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。
    (私のパーティーには誰も来ませんでした。)
    (Watashi no pa-ti- ha daremo kimasen deshita.)
    No one came to my party. 


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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

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