Sooner or later, you’re going to need to master just how to ask a question in Japanese. After all, discovering just how to ask “What” in Japanese — as in “What’s this?” — is a lifesaver once you initially start finding out the language.

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Besides that, inquiries are exactly how you construct meaningful conversations through others. If you can’t ask inquiries about them, exactly how can you get to recognize them?

So not only am I going to cover the basic Who/What/When/Where/Why/How words in Japanese, however I’m likewise going to provide you examples of how to use them in common sentences. Plus, I’ll share some of the the majority of prevalent Japanese question phrases you’ll have to understand.

So, let’s job-related on building your conversation skills in addition to this list of Japanese question words!

Asking a Question in Japanese

First, let’s understand also how to ask and create a question in Japanese.

“Question” in Japanese is 質問 (shitsumon). You deserve to say 質問があります (shitsumon ga arimasu), which suggests “I have a question.” Or, politely ask “May I ask a question” with: 質問していいですか? (Shitsumon shite ii desu ka?).

The verb, “to ask” have the right to be shelp a few different methods. You deserve to use 質問する (shitsumon suru), 尋ねる (tazuneru), or 聞く (kiku). These are supplied in slightly different ways, though.

質問する is offered more choose “to make a question.” 尋ねる implies “to ask” and it’s more on the formal side. 聞く, on the various other hand also, is the one you’ll hear the a lot of for “to ask.”

But any type of sentence have the right to be turned right into a question simply by adding the ppost か to the end!

勉強していますか。Benkyou shite imasu ka“Are you studying?”

A quick note below. Since か is the “?” at the finish of the sentence, you don’t actually require a question note. You can still use one, however it’s a lot more common and correct to use the Japanese maru 。

You usage the question mark in writing once you are talking casually, and also it’s usually a word you would say on its very own via a raised intocountry to note the question.

Here’s the last thing to recognize as soon as developing a sentence in Japanese. Many question words are connected via the particle が (ga) prior to them. So the grammar framework is (noun or noun phrase) + が + (question word) + (verb) + か.

An example: スマホがどこですか。(Sumaho ga doko desu ka) That means “Wbelow is my smartphone?” Sumaho is the noun + pwrite-up ga + question word doko + verb desu + question pwrite-up ka.


Japanese Inquiry Words: The Basics

Here are the basic and a lot of common Japanese question words you’ll hear. These will certainly be inhelpful to memorize, so you have the right to ask exactly how to say points, where somepoint is, and also once to satisfy someone.

What in Japanese – 何

“What” in Japanese is 何, read both “nan” and also “nani.” Here are some examples:

お名前は何ですか。Onamae wa nan desu ka.“What’s your name?”

何?聞けなった。Nani? Kikenatta.“What? I didn’t hear you.”

You can also affix particles to 何 to make other common, valuable terms. 何か (nanika) means “something” while 何も (nanimo) implies “nothing.” You can additionally usage でも to make 何でも for “anything.” Super useful!

Who in Japanese – 誰

To ask “who,” you usage the question word 誰 (dare). You can likewise simply say 誰? to ask “Who are you?” in Japanese… But that’s informal and also not extremely polite.

Here are some means to use it:

誰ですか。Dare desu ka“Who is it?”

誰と話していたの?Dare to hanashite ita no?“Who were you talking to?”

Like 何, you can also incorporate 誰 with the pwrite-ups も, でも, and also か to make new words:

誰も (daremo) – “everybody”, or “nobody” as soon as used with an adverse statement誰でも (daredemo) – “anybody”誰か (dareka) – “somebody”

Why in Japanese – どうして

There are actually 3 ways to ask “why” in Japanese, however they all expect virtually the very same point.

First, どうして (doushite). This suggests “why” and is the a lot of traditional. It’s neither formal or informal, so it’s perfect for a lot of instances.

なぜ means “why” or “how come.” The nuance here is it’s used in more formal instances, or in creating.

なんで is the many casual and also provided between friends and family. It implies “why” or “for what reason.” It’s also offered as a conversation filler for once you forget the word, sort of prefer “Ah, what is it again…”

Here are some examples via each:どうしてとても眠いですか。Doushite totemo nemui desu ka“Why are you so sleepy?”

なんでめっちゃ可愛いの❣Nande meccha kawaii no“Why is it so cute??”

なぜですか。Naze desu ka“Why is that?” (Polite)

There are likewise some variations of どうして with pposts, however it alters the interpretation rather a little bit. They are:

どうしても (doushitemo) – “No issue what”どうしてか (doushiteka) – “For some reason”どうしてかな (doushite kana) – “I wonder why”

When in Japanese – いつ

いつ (itsu) is “when” in Japanese. When you attach the pshort article も, it becomes いつも (itsumo), meaning “always.”

You can likewise usage いつでも (itsudemo) for “anytime” and also いつか (itsuka) for “sometimes.”

誕生日はいつですか。Tanjoubi wa itsu desu ka“When is your birthday?”

Where in Japanese – どこ

Need directions? Lost something and also wondering where it went? Use どこ (doko) to ask “where” in Japanese.

Let"s take a look at the question word + pshort article combos here:

どこも (dokomo) – “everywhere”, or “nowhere” once provided in an adverse sentenceどこでも (dokodemo) – “anywhere”どこか (dokoka) – “somewhere”

駅がどこですか。Eki ga doko desu ka“Where is the train station?”

How in Japanese – どう

どう (dou) is “how” in Japanese.

You can add on to this one, too. どうか (douka) is “somehow” and どうでも is “anyhow” or “no matter what.” But since there’s no such point as “everyhow”, adding the も pwrite-up to this one would rotate it into “thanks” — どうも (doumo).

どうすればよいですか。Dou sureba yoi desu ka“How do I carry out this?”

Which in Japanese – どちら

You can usage どちら (dochira) to ask “which” or “which way” to go. But, to ask “which one”, you would usage the word どれ (dore).

And with the particles:

どちらも (dochiramo) – “both”どちらでも (dochirademo) – “either”どちらか (dochiraka) – “which one” or “one way” once picking between two options

どちらを選びますか。Dochira wo erabimasu ka“Which will you choose?”

Hopetotally, you see how the pshort articles adjust each question word. Adding -も renders it the excessive – “every” or “always.” -でも makes it “any.” And -か transforms it into “some.”

Japanese Questions Words List through Common Questions

Now let’s cover some common concerns you might be wondering exactly how to ask!

“What is this?” In Japanese

これは何ですか (kore wa nan desu ka) is among the most beneficial phrases you could learn. If you don’t understand just how to say something in Japanese, ask using that expression to ask what it is.

Similarly, you deserve to say それは何ですか (sore wa nan desu ka) to ask “What’s that?” or “What is it?” in Japanese. The just distinction is これ indicates “this” and それ suggests “that.”

These two phrases are likewise useful:これは日本語で何と言いますか。Kore wa nihongo de nan to iimasu ka“How do you say this in Japanese?”

日本語では何ですか。*Nihongo de _ wa nan desu ka*“What is __ in Japanese?”

“How much?” in Japanese

To ask the price of something, you have the right to usage いくら (ikura) for “exactly how much?” For “just how many” you use いくつ (ikutsu).

いくら必要ですか。Ikura hitsuyou desu ka“How much execute you need?”

いくつ持っていますか。Ikutsu motte imasu ka“How many kind of execute you have?”

“Wbelow are you?” in Japanese

Looking for someone in a crowd? Call them on their スマホ (sumaho, “smartphone”) and ask どこにいますか (doko ni imasu ka). Which implies, “Wright here are you?”

You might likewise ask questions like:

どこに住んでいますか (doko ni sunde imasu ka) – “Where perform you live?”どこで働いていますか (doko de hataraite imasu ka) – “Wright here perform you work?”トイレがどこですか (toire ga doko desu ka) – “Where is the bathroom?”

“Where are you from?” in Japanese

出身がどちらですか (shusshin ga dochira desu ka) implies “Where are you from?” in Japanese, or “Which is your hometown?” It sounds a bit odd translated directly right into English, yet many type of people regularly ask where you’re originally from. Even in Japan, because so many civilization move to Tokyo from all over the country.

Some other inquiries you deserve to ask to get to know others:

趣味は何ですか (Shumi wa nan desu ka) – “What are your hobbies?”何歳ですか (Nansai desu ka) – “How old are you?”仕事は何ですか (Shigoto wa nan desu ka) – “Where perform you work?”

“How are you?” In Japanese

“How are you?” in Japanese is お元気ですか (o-genki desu ka). It literally suggests “Are you well?” There’s an additional expression you’ll occasionally hear, too: いかがですか (ikaga desu ka). It still indicates “How are you?” yet deserve to also suppose “How’s it going?” and also be applied to various other topics, choose a job-related task. Both phrases are on the formal side.

You deserve to ask “How was your day” with the expression 今日はどうでしたか (kyou wa dou deshita ka).

One point to note, though, is that it’s not widespread to ask お元気ですか like it is in English. Japanese civilization use this phrase only when it’s been a while since they’ve watched the other person. And in that case, they say it in previous tense: お元気でしたか (o-genki deshita ka).

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“Are you…” in Japanese

A standard sentence pattern for asking questions is _ ですか (_ desu ka). You have the right to ask “Are you…” in Japanese via this expression. Like:

日本人ですか (Nihonjin desu ka) – “Are you Japanese?”大丈夫ですか (Daijoubu desu ka) – “Are you okay?”作家ですか (Sakka desu ka) – “Are you a writer?”

This just works via nouns, because verbs conjugate on their own. But it’s a very useful, simple pattern!

Ask All the Questions in Japanese!

Now you’ve learned many ways to ask questions, and also the grammar and also standard Japanese concerns words. So go out, accomplish some new Japanese friends, and also begin asking away!

Make sure to additionally learn all the core Japanese words to kick off your vocabulary skills. And, the vital Japanese phrases to start speaking appropriate currently.