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Japanese Lesson 38: Interrogative Sentences part 3


Why: Doushite: どうして (Why/ for what reason/ how/ in what way/ for what purpose/ what for)
Naze: なぜ (why/how)
Nande: なんで: 何で (Why/ what for/ how/ by what means)

Which: Docchi: どっち
Dochira: どちら (Which way, Which direction/ Which ((of two alternatives)))
Dore: どれ (Which ((of 3 or more)))

Where: Doko: どこ

In depth translations from Jisho.org

REMEMBER! whenever you come across multiple words that supposedly mean the same thing be sure to look it up to find out what the nuances for the words are. If you're using a Japanese-English English-Japanese dictionary if you look up a word on one side of the dictionary flip to the other side of the dictionary to make sure that's the nuance you want to use! This goes for any language, really.


No, why?
iie, nande desu ka?
いいえ、なんで です か。

Which shoe is yours?
Docchi ga anata no kutsu desu ka?
どっち が あなた の くつ です か。

Which shoe is yours?
Docchi no kutsu ga anata no mono desu ka?
どっち の くつ が あなた の もの です か。

Note: I translated the first "which shoe is yours" sentence, it was marked as correct but suggested the bottom sentence to me. Actually, how I put together the first sentence was by using an example sentence I picked up from Ouran. When the twins are playing the "Which is Kaoru" game they say "Docchi ga Hikaru ka? Docchi ga kaoru de? Wakaru?" So I used that as the base of my sentence. :(^ω^) This is why it's so important to pick up and memorize as many example sentences as possible from anywhere you can!!

#Grammar point!

When using "Docchi" "dore" and "Dochira" replace "wa" with "ga". I can't really give you a grammatical reason why we do this. Actually it's probably the same grammatical principle that changes noun classification when a verb is intransitive... but as we know I've made my own rule for that because I don't agree with the people who formed that rule and it's explanation.

In any case. When using "which" use "ga" not "wa"!!

<h1>back to sentences</h1>

Where is my white shirt?
Watashi no shiroi shatsu wa doko desu ka?
わたし の しろい シャツ は どこ です か。

Which is his dog?
Docchi ga kare no inu desu ka?
どっち が かれ の いぬ です か。
"Which (of 2) is his dog?"

Which is his dog?
Dore ga kare no inu desu ka?
どれ が かれ の いぬ です か。
"which (of 3 or more) is his dog?"

Where is your school?
Anata no gakkou wa doko desu ka?
あなた の がっこう は どこ です か。

Why and when?
Naze soshite itsu?
なぜ そして いつ?

Note: Not covered until next lesson set, but "Soshite" is the sentence connector "and"

Where are they?
Karera wa doko desu ka?
かれら は どこ です か。

Which is it?
Dore desu ka?
どれ です か。
Which (of 3 or more) is it?

I realize there weren't hardly any "why" examples in this. :/ there might be more further down the line though. We'll see.

In unrelated news. I changed my language bar to kana, what that means is that every key is it's own kana. For instance the letter t = か. I'm getting faster with it :3 it's pretty cool.

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January 10, 2016



Welcome back, Demon-Kiyomi! I love your lessons! :)


I like this lesson! :D Is your native language Japanese?


Thank you! And no, my native language is English. :)

[deactivated user]

    This is a cool lesson, im trying to teach myself Japanese, but sadly all i can remember are the lyrics to anime songs :P (p.s. Love your pic)


    That's a start! Just keep going. 6 Years ago I couldn't understand anything spoken, couldn't read Kanji, and struggled with Kana. :) Listen to your anime songs. Watch your anime. Read whatever you can get a hold of (even if you read slow and it's kind of tough). I find that I plateau for a long period of time not picking up ANYTHING new and then BAM overnight I go from everything sounding like gibberish to understanding full sentences.

    P.S. Thank you. :) I drew it!

    [deactivated user]

      You drew that? Your a pretty good artist! What do you do for a living?


      I'm a medical coder in a hospital. XD I just draw and teach Japanese is what little free time I can manage.


      I have a somewhat unrelated question. What dictates whether you use a self-referring word like "watashi/boku/ore" or just add the qualifier "desu"?

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