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Japanese Lessons

Lesson 9 - Interrogatives

All question sentences are formed when you add a "-ka" at the end of the sentence. The "-ka" is used when the sentence is a yes/no question or a what, when, where, who, how, ect. Question. That word order still stays the same.

An affirmative sentence would be…
Kono hon wa omoshiroi desu. - This book is interesting.

A yes/no question would be…
Kono hon wa omoshiroi desu ka. - Is this book interesting?

A what, when, where, who, how question would be…
Kono hon wa ikura desu ka. - How much is this book?

All the questions have a rising intonation. Even though some people accept it, some formal papers will avoid a question mark. When it is used, it will be the same as the English ?.

Some of the following questions, as above, can be answered like the answers below.

Kono hon wa omoshiroi desu ka. - Is this book interesting?

--Hai, omoshiroi desu. - Yes, it is.
--Iie, omoshiroku arimasen. - No, it is not.

For "Yes" - "Hai" has a more casual connotation.
For "No" - "Iya" is is usually used instead of "Iie."

Kono hon wa ikura desu ka. - How much is this book?
-- 1000 en desu. - It is 1000 yen.

When you have made a question, or, have answered them, the things that are understand from the text is more or less omitted.

Dare desu ka. - Who is it?( Literally, who are you?)

In this question, "Anata wa" - you, is not said, because, it is obvious that the speaker knows they are talking to you and the listener knows that too, and he/she wants to know more about the topic.


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