"Which one?"


June 3, 2017



Since there is a verb here, wouldn't this be more "Which one is it?" Could one say simply "Dore ka?"

June 3, 2017


The problem with どれか? which the other comments seem to have missed is that it has its own different meaning.

It actually follows a pattern all question words (to my knowledge) use in Japanese. These examples are a bit easier to understand intuitively:

・何 = "what thing", 何か = "something"

・どこ = "where", どこか = "somewhere"

・いつ = "when", いつか = "some time"

In the same vein, どれか means "one (of them)" and is not a question word "which". When you say "dore ka?", it sounds like you're confirming you heard them correctly telling you to choose one.

July 25, 2017


So in some cases, か makes something not a question?

August 17, 2017


Yes, when you attach it to question words strangely enough. To make my previous point a bit clearer, let me illustrate the difference between どこ and どこか:

どこに行きますか?」= where are you going? (Open-ended question)

どこかに行きますか?」= are you going somewhere? (Yes/no question)

There are many other situations where adding か doesn't make it a question (for example, it can be used as a particle to mean "or" in lists), but in most cases, putting か at the end of the sentence will make it a question.

August 19, 2017


Sounds just like the use of "what", "where" and "how" in "wherever", "whatever", "however",etc. Or "anyhow", "anywhere"...

December 21, 2017


Excellent explenation, thank you

November 26, 2017


That kind of grammar is so similar to many indian languages.

January 21, 2019


I like your explanation! If か comes at the end of the sentence; that's a question. ですか is for politeness; plain か is for casual conversation.

April 1, 2019


Oh wait "someone" would be 何人nanijin

December 17, 2018


Good try! "Someone" is actually だれか because だれ means "who".

To answer your other question, どれか means "some one (of them)" because どれ means "which one (of them)".

December 18, 2018


You might be able to use どれか, as long as you recognize that the か basically takes the place of the question mark in the English translation. I don't hear this often, though.

If you're more concerned with speaking than with formalities, then simply saying どれ? would suffice. Or my normal personal choice, even if it's technically not right, is どっち?This is also used fairly often. Both are pretty informal, the latter more so.

June 5, 2017


A couple others have commne ted on it, but a large part of the "desu" is a formality thing. Like someone suggested, just saying dore? Shoukd be fine, but dont just cut out the desu. It can seem very rude/impolite.

Politness is a huge part of japanese culture, so being careful when choosing polite form or casual form is v imortant. A lot of the time the way you speak identifies "who" you are. Like if youre a yakuza member...

June 22, 2017


For nouns it would usually be どれだ?or どれですか

October 11, 2017


Technically, desu is a verb.

June 9, 2017


Yes, as I said, so since there is a verb in Japanese, I would usually translate this as a sentence with a verb in English: "Which one is it?"

June 9, 2017


I think that's okay, but don't try to translate word for word, as it won't work everytime. Japanese is quite a different language!

June 9, 2017


Absolutely, but a sentence with a verb is quite different from an exclamation of some sort without. If there is one thing Japanese does much more thoroughly than English, it is mark levels of politeness, and here there is a polite form of the verb to be. I really think, therefore, that a complete, at least neutrally polite, English sentence, rather than some sort of brusque outburst, should be an accepted translation.

November 26, 2017


It's like "to be (something)" right?

August 20, 2018


You can also (informal) drop the 'ka' and just say 'dore'

March 28, 2018


Why isn't it どれをですか

June 11, 2017


What helps me is thinking of Wo as "As for... (topic I just said previously)". In this case you would have said: "As for which, is it?"

Correct use of wo: Kuruma wo dore desu ka? As for the car, which is it?

June 23, 2017


You're thinking of は, which more closely means "As for X..." を indicates direct object.

In this case, you can't use どれをですか because です is intransitive (same with "to be" in English), so there is no direct object.

August 5, 2018


why is there no particle?

June 11, 2017


I think it has to do with the nature of です as a copula, like "is"/"am" in English, and as a kind of intransitive verb.

As a copula, its function is to simply connect the object back to the subject. In our case, the subject is implied, by the absence of は, to be "the one that you want". です connects the object, in this case どれ or "which", to that implied subject, i.e. "as for the one that you want, which is it?" (what です adds)

As for why there isn't a particle between どれ and です, since です behaves like an intransitive verb, it doesn't work with a direct object particle, and you can't put in は or が because they both specify the subject thus removing the object for です to work on.

July 22, 2017


I think it is because dore is a question, not a noun, but im just an amateur

June 24, 2017


I thought it was DORE GA DESU KA? was it a bad construction? And why?

June 17, 2017


This is what I get for being in Kansai and being around folks who drop です all the time

June 13, 2017


I have the same issue. That kansai informality right

June 3, 2018


What i put was "gohan desu ka" it counted it as right, but it seems weird to me. Could I just said "dore ka?" (Since "ka" is a wuestion marker) Or just "Dore?"

July 7, 2017


Sorry for the typos. I'm using the android app.

July 7, 2017


would どれですか also be correct?

July 13, 2017


What is the difference between どれにする and どれですか?

February 28, 2018


どれにする means "which one will you have/do" and indicates the listener having an independent choice of which to do. Also, する is a plain form verb, and thus less formal/polite than です.

On the other hand, どれですか means "which one (is it)" and indicates that the listener can only identify the equivalence between the implied topic and the actual thing.

That probably doesn't make much sense though, so consider this example:

You walk up to the counter of a fast food restaurant, and the cashier tells you they only have two items on their menu, Lunch Set A and Lunch Set B.

"Which one do you want?" = どれにしますか? (lit. "Which one will you do", note: します is the polite form of する)

Unhelpfully, they don't have pictures on their menu, and your Japanese reading ability is limited, so you want to clarify before you order:

"Which one has a hamburger?" = ハンバーガーのはどれですか? (lit. "Hamburger's (one) is which one")

March 7, 2018


Joshua, can you help me to understand a little bit more about using "のは" in the sentence, please?

February 18, 2019


Is the reason there is no particle because the sentence is not designating a specific subject? Feel like I'm finally understanding this

July 30, 2018


I'm confused about each part and what it means literally :(

June 29, 2017


どれ (dore, 'which') です (desu, 'is') か (ka, makes the statement into a question) So, literally translated: 'Which is?' Correctly translated: 'Which one?/Which is it?/Which one is it?' I hope that's the explanation you were looking for.

July 22, 2017


Honestly this website isnt even teaching me it just asks me questions I havent learned then corrects me when i say 'IDK"

October 25, 2017


When you first learn something, any new words should be underlined in yellow (unless you're testing). Click on a word to see its meaning.

February 17, 2019


I tried typing 「どっちが?」but it didn't accept it and instead corrected it to 「どっちの?」? Wouldn't docchino mean which one's?

January 25, 2018


You're right, どっちの shouldn't be a correct answer for this. Furthermore, どっちが? should be acceptable. Go ahead and report it for the course developers to fix :)

February 11, 2018


What is the difference between どれですか and どれにする? Duo accepts both of them here.

May 6, 2018


They're both acceptable, but they're used in different contexts.

どれですか is more like "which one (is the correct one)?" or "which one (is the one you were referring to)?"

On the other hand, どれにする is more like "which one (will you decide on)?" This is a relatively casual way of speaking; the polite/formal version is どれにしますか. The verb, する and します, means " to do", so you can also think of it as "which one (will you do)?"

June 7, 2018


Can you say どち?

July 5, 2018


Nope, it's either どちら (formal) or どっち (casual).

September 13, 2018


On my screen, there is no English sentence given for me to translate. This question is bugged.

August 21, 2018


What is the difference between どれ、どちら、 and どち?

March 30, 2019


So, どちら and どっち (not どち) both mean the same thing; they are just the polite and casual version, respectively.

Typically, どれ is used when there is a choice of three or more options, whereas どちら/どっち is used when there are two options.

April 9, 2019


nothing showed up

April 5, 2019


What's the difference between どれですか and どちらですか

April 8, 2019


Typically, どれ is used when there is a choice of three or more options, whereas どちら is used when there are two options.

April 9, 2019


How to read this sentence? Thanks

April 27, 2019
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