The Japanese particle か

The Japanese particle .


Many will say that the particle , read as ‘ka’, is a question marker. When I started studying the Japanese language, the particle was introduced to me as a question marker but then as I went further into studying the Japanese language, I found out that is used in different ways. It is not just a question marker, but it can be used to make choices, or it can be an indefinite pronoun.


Let’s start with as a question marker.
When used as a question marker, is located at the end of the sentence. In an English sentence, the question mark indicates that the sentence is interrogative sentence but in a Japanese sentence, the question mark is not written at the end of the sentence. It is the job of the particle to indicate it as an interrogative sentence. Though, nowadays question mark can be seen at the end of each Japanese sentence.  

Example:


おなまえはなんですか。
(お名前は何ですか。)
(Onamae ha nan desu ka.)
What is your name?

キラさんのたんじょうびはいつですか。
(キラさんの誕生日はいつですか。)
(Kira-san no tanjoubi ha itsu desu ka.)

When is your birthday Ms. Kira?

にほんごをべんきょうしていますか。
(日本語を勉強していますか。)
(Nihongo wo benkyou shiteimasu ka.)

Are you studying Japanese?

Let’s check how the particle is used to make choices.
The particle is written within the sentence, not at the end.

Example:

リンゴかマンゴーか、どっちにすき。
(リンゴかマンゴーか、どっちに好き。)
(Ringo ka mango- ka, docchi ni suki.)
Which do you like, Apple or Mango?

できるかできないか、きめてください。
(出来るか出来ないか、決めてください。)
(Dekiru ka dekinai ka, kimete kudasai.)
Please decide whether you can do it or not.

 
あしたのかいぎにいくかどうかわかりません。
(明日の会議に行くかどうか分かりません。)
(Ashita no kaigi ni iku ka douka wakarimasen.)

I don’t know if I will go or not to tomorrow’s meeting.


Now, lets it as an indefinite pronoun.

だれか
(誰か)
(Dareka)
Someone

なにか
(何か)
(Nanika)
Something

いつか
(Itsuka)
Sometime

どこか

(Dokoka)
Somewhere


だれかがここにいるとおもいます。
(誰かがここにいると思います。)
(Dareka ga koko ni iru to omoimasu.)
I think someone is here.

なにかほしいですか。
(何か欲しいですか。)
(Nanika hoshii desu ka.)
Do you want something?

らいねんいつかにほんにいきます。
(来年いつか日本に行きます。)
(Rainen itsuka nihon ni ikimasu.)
I will go to Japan sometime next year.

どこか、どういうわけか、わたしはあなたをみつけます。
(どこか、どういうわけか、私はあなたを見つけます。)
(Dokoka, dou iu wake ka, watashi ha anata wo mitsukemasu.)
Somewhere, somehow, I will find you.

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You can check the list of Vocabulary for this post.

Japanese Vocabulary: Age in JapaneseConversation

 

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For a better image, you can check the picture library in the link: 

Pictures: The Japanese particle


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>> Sports in Japanese

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>> Examples of Katakana

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>> Kanji: 田

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