How to ask questions in Japanese

How to ask questions in Japanese

find out now how to ask questions in japanese!

Asking questions in Japanese is as simple as asking questions in Portuguese. In previous articles, about the fundamental Japanese grammar, I talked a little about how to use the particle to ask questions in Japanese.

How to ask questions in Japanese

Because of that, I thought it would be interesting to write about the subject again, showing how to ask questions in Japanese more comprehensively and from a new perspective, broadening the word horizons for those who already know a little about this subject.

Nani, itsu, doko and dare – What, when, where and who

Let's start by using , which can be used to ask questions in Japanese about all kinds of things and subjects.

To ask questions in Japanese using , just replace the direct object of the sentence with  and add the particle  at the end of the sentence.

Examples:

何ですか。
Nan desu ka? ( what is it?)

これは何ですか?
Kore wa nan desu ka? (What is this?)
これは亀がいる。
Kore wa kame ga iru. (This is a turtle.)

何が食べたいの?
Nani ga tabetai no? (What do you want to eat?)
すしが食べたい。
sushi ga tabetai. (Eating sushi.)

それは何ですか?
Sore wa nan desu ka? (What is it?)
それはチーズです。
Sore wa chiizu desu. (This is cheese.)

Realize that the pronunciation of  changes according to her position in the sentence. To learn more about how to pronounce  correctly, I suggest you read the article “When to use nan or nani in Japanese“.

Moving forward, いつ and どこ are used in the same way as . So, just replace the object of the sentences by any of the words mentioned above.

Examples:

いつブラジルへ行ったか?
Itsu burajiru and itta ka? (When did you go to Brazil?)
去年、ブラジルへ行った。
Kyonen, burajiru and itta. (Last year, I went to Brazil.)

私の本がどこにありますか?
Watashi no hon ga doko ni arimasu ka? (Wheres my book?)
あなたの本がテーブルの上にあります。
Anata at the hon ga teeburu at the ue ni arimasu. (His book is on the table.)

誰がビールを飲んだの?
dare ga biiru wo nondano? (Who drank my beer?)
本田さんがビールを飲んだ。

誰がビールを飲んだの?
dare ga biiru wo nondano? (Who drank my beer?)
本田さんがビールを飲んだ。

誰がビールを飲んだの?
dare ga biiru wo nondano? (Who drank my beer?)
本田さんがビールを飲んだ。
Honda-san ga biiru wo nonda. (Mr. Honda drank the beer.)

Ikura and dorekurai – How much in Japanese

As far as I know, there are many variations of expressions for asking questions in Japanese using “how much” and “how much more”. The two most basic expressions are いくら and どれくらい.

Generally いくら is related to the amount of money, while どれくらい it is related to distances, widths, dimensions and so on.

Examples:

この本はいくらですか。
kono hon wa ikura desu ka? (How much does this book cost?)
この本は200円です。
kono hon wa nihyaku en desu. (This book costs two hundred yen.)

東京はどれくらいですか。
Toukyu wa dorekurai desu ka? (How far to Tokyo?)
何キロも遠いです。
nan kiro motooi desu. (A few kilometers.)

Another way to ask questions in Japanese regarding quantities is to use counters. I've already written about some of them in previous articles. If you want to review or get to know the counters, I suggest you read the article “Counters to count in Japanese“.

Examples:

本を何冊買いますか?
Hon wo nansatsu kaimasu ka? (How many books will you buy?)
四冊です。
Yonsatsu desu. (Four books.)

コンピュータを何台持っている?
Conpyuuta o nandai motte iru? (How many computers do you have?)
三台です。
Sandai desu (Three.)

An interesting thing is that when we don't know the correct counter for something, we can use the generalist accountant in Japanese. In this case, いくら will come いくつ, receiving the extension of the generalist accountant and making it possible to ask questions in Japanese for many different things.

Example:

柿をいくつ食べますか?
kaki o ikutsu tabemasuka? (How many persimmons will you eat?)
三つです。
mitsu desu (three.)

Doushite – because in Japanese

To know the reason for something in Japanese, we use the word どうして. The most common way to answer Japanese questions asked with どうして is adding から at the end of the answer.

So to answer a question asked with どうして, just create the answer phrase and add から at the end of it.

Example:

どうして日本に行きますか?
Doushite nihon ni ikimasu ka? (Why are you going to Japan?)
日本語を勉強したいから。
Nihon o benkyoushitai kara. (Because I want to learn Japanese.)

Image credits belong to oberazzi.

Kanji calligraphy exercise

Below are the Japanese ideographic symbols used in this article. Selecting the desired kanji and copy and paste them into Worksheet for Kana and Kanji Practice  clicking the Generate button will open a new window where you can see the file for printing. Then just print the symbols and try to write it yourself. Just print and practice!

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