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  5. "マリアといいます。"


Translation:My name is Maria.

June 5, 2017



Hint- if there's no honorific (san, kun, etc) and it's a formal sentence then they're probbaly talking about themselves.


SAN KUN is used to refer to another person with respect, don't we use that with yourself.


Damn, I can't believe you got downvoted to heck for a simple question! From what I've seen you don't use honorifics when referring to yourself. It generally seen as disrespectful or arrogant, although it can be done as a joke / sarcasm etc Hope that answers your question!


From what I understand sarcasm is very hard to express in Japanese so be careful as you will more often than not come off as bratty/whiny unless you make it SUPER obvious with your behaviour and only with close friends who know you and how you act already.


KUN is not respectful. It's used to refer to friends or someone younger than you


Super helpful, thank you!


Why is it not watashi nonamaeha Maria desu?


Its actually more like "call me Maria". "Wastasi no namae wa maria desu" is literally "my name is maria". Also, write "wa" not "ha" as its pronounced "namae wa...".


W a s t a s i


The character "shi" can also be written in romanji as "si", because there is no other si in hiragana/katakana.


Just a small counter to your last point: I have always disliked this convention of writing "wa". By the logic that it is pronounced "wa", you might just as well criticize the use of 「は」 for this particle in Japanese, yet people don't seem to do so. If Japanese are fine writing 'ha' and reading/hearing 'wa', I don't see why people using romaji should not be.

But it is true that the convention is to write "wa" in romaji. And the broader point that it is pronounced "wa" to begin with and people should be aware of/pay attention to that is well received.


Rōmaji is phonetic. The idea is to allow someone who can't read Japanese to read Japanese text. Writing "ha" when it's pronounced "wa" defeats the whole purpose of the romanization system.


マリアは言いますmaria wa iimasu would mean maria will speak of something while on the other hand,マリアと言います maria to iimasu is a common phrase to tell others how you are called, this is under the usage of the とto particle, well of course there are different ways to tell others your name, like 1.私の名前はマリアです。watashi no namae ha maria desu. 2.私はマリアです。watashi ha maria desu. 3.マリアです。maria desu. the given example above is very polite one, and there is also a very very polite one which would be マリアと申します。maria to moushimasu. i think you just need to remember these.


I have been living in Japan for 23 years never once heard this way of someone introducing oneself. I agree though it is very formal.


Thank you for your explanation. It makes more sense now.


Was wondering that myself. Havent come across this format of saying what your name is before. Maybe it is emphasising (correcting someone) MARIA is my name. Rather than MY NAME is Maria ???


Something you'll notice very quickly is that no one actually uses this way of introduction even though it is always the first thing taught to learners.


Thanks, I was just wondering why this sounded so unfamiliar


If I want to say "her name is Maria", how would the sentence change ?


her name is Maria.      

かのじょ の なまえ は マリア です 。    

彼女 の 名前 は マリア です。


Heck I knew the Jo from Jousei I never put it together that it was the second half of kanojo


Kanji is really cool and interesting like that, once you've built up knowledge of some common kanji.

By the way, 女性 is josei, not jousei ;) small difference, but it's the difference between saying 女性 "woman" and 上製 "superior manufacturing". (Some might argue they're not all that different :P)


kanajo no namae wa maria des. is that correct?


if you want to follow the lesson pattern you could also say かのじょ は マリア  と いいます。


what does the ''to '' and ii stand for here ?


From one of my earlier comments: と is often considered as a quoting particle.

For example, 「日本語は難しいと思う」(nihongo wa muzukashii to omou) means "I think that Japanese is difficult." 思う means "to think", so と identifies the bit before it as "the stuff that I think." I hope that makes sense.

いいます (言います) is the polite form of いう (言う), which means "to say" or "to call/be named".

いい in the context is what's known as the verb stem because it joins onto ます. This is different from the adjective いい (良い) which is the adjective "good".


That is so cool, I had never thought of that particle as a "quoting particle"! That helps a lot! Arigatou gozaimashita! :)



What about this example? Is と working as a quoting particle?


Yes, it's exactly the same. In fact, 申します is really just the humble version of 言います which makes it even more polite (keigo is an extra level of politeness consideration that exists in Japanese, which this falls under).


Great explanation. Thank you


かのじょ means?


It means "her", "she", or "girlfriend" so it's meant for a female person. The context decides which translation you use


It means 'her' 'she' or (off the top of my head) 'they (referring to a female group)'

I'm not 100% sure on 'they'


"They" is 彼ら(かれら)or 彼女達(かのじょたち)(if the group only consists of women).

彼(かれ) is "he" or "boyfriend" while ら and たち are plural marker.


Girl i believe?


girl is しょうじょ



In Rosetta Stone they taught me 彼女 is woman and 彼女の子 is girl and that 男 is man and 男の子 is boy now I'm confused


マリアと言います。 Much easier to understand with the Kanji, note how 「言」 looks like words, and the bottom, the square, is the character for "mouth". It makes sense.


oh, jeez, i thought this was 良い since it was written with hiragana, that makes a lot more sense


良います doesn't make any sense in Japanese though ;)

Also, although they mean the same thing, 良い is typically pronounced よい; if the いい pronunciation was intended, then it would be written in hiragana.


What about "わたしのなまえはマリアです。"?


Yes, what is the difference between いいます, and なまえは?


いいます is the polite form of 言う 「いう」 which means to say. Therefore マリアといいます would roughly be "They say/call her as Maria."

名前 「なまえ」means name. So using this would be a more direct translation of "One's name is..." 「私の名前はジェイソンです。」 の is possession marker similar to "'s" in English. :)


Which one is more used?


Never heard と言います in Japan so I would say the second one. :p


Another thing learned, so what is that "to" in the front then? Some classifier?


と is often considered as a quoting particle.

For example, 「日本語は難しいと思う」(nihongo wa muzukashii to omou) means "I think that Japanese is difficult." 思う means "to think", so と identifies the bit before it as "the stuff that I think." I hope that makes sense.


@french_cartoon This might make it more confusing, but you can say マリアはいいます, only it will mean something different and you would used it in a different situation.

Particles in Japanese play a really important role, so I recommend doing a bit of research and try to find out what they can do.

As for more examples, there are too many to fully list, but と is commonly used in this way with "thinking" verbs like 思う (omou) "to think", 考える (kangaeru) "to consider", 感じる (kanjiru) "to feel", or 願う (negau) "to wish", and also "speech" verbs like 叫ぶ (sakebu) "to yell", 教える (oshieru) "to teach/inform", or 伝える (tsutaeru) "to convey".


Thank you, Joshua, for including the romaji. It makes it easier when I see unfamiliar vocabulary.


so I can't say マリアはいいます, right? is there are more examples of cases like that? still can't get it enough(


After browsing for a while, according to https://nihongoichiban.com/home/japanese-grammar-particles/ the phrase と言う is a fixed expression to state how one call something. :)


So マリアと言う is also correct?


I translated it as "Call me Maria" and it was wrong. That sentence isn't that rare in English. Isn't that a correct translation?


It totally correct. You use Maria with the quotation particle "to"and 言います (iimasu), which is here best translated with: "to name, to call."


I would say it's an acceptable translation, but it isn't "totally correct". Technically, "Call me Maria" has the verb in an imperative form, so the Japanese equivalent should use 呼んで (よんで), the て-form of 呼ぶ meaning "to call (out)".


Only if your name is Ishmael.


How would "call me Maria" be correct if your name was Ishmael? Then it should be "call me Ishmael."


と can also mean 'and' correct? but not in this sentence?


That's exactly right.


What is the difference between desu and masu?


です:roughly equal to English "be"; ます:not used independently, we add it to the verb stem to form a polite sentence. In other words, ます is used for all verbs except "be" in English. Examples: 私は 田中 です。I am tanaka. / 私は すしを 食(た)べ-ます。 I eat sushi.


Desu doesn't have an actual English counterpart but it's roughly translated to "to be" or "it is", it also can be used to make sentences more polite when a verb form doesn't have a polite form. So saying watashi wa(your name)desu, in English can kind of translate to, "My name it is (your name)".

Masu is a polite non-past verb form. If you wanted to say I go to school politely you would say, gakkou ni ikimasu. But, if I want to politely say I WANT to go to the school I'd say, gakkou ni ikitai desu. When using the -tai stem there is no polite form, so you can add desu to make it a more polite phrase. Hope this helped.


OK, I typed: マリアと言います and Duolingo told me it was wrong. Now I'm REALLY confused. How can I possibly know when I should use いい instead of 言い.


same here. seems to just be an error? but と言います is definitely correct

edit: sorry for the necro


Couldn't I also say "Maria is my name"?


You could, but it's not very common to say it like that in English.


私の名前はマリアです。like that


That would be マリアは私の名前です。「マリアはわたしのなまえです。」


Do you pronounce only the s in "su"? because i can't hear the u in the audio.


It's common in Japanese omit vowel sounds. Example: "shite" is often pronounced as "shteh", though I believe what sounds are omitted is dialectic.


Yes the U is barely audible is Desu. This is correct how you would hear it in normal japanese conversation. Same with Masu (Mas)


It is the i's and the u's that are ommited for example: suki (verb: like) is pronounced ski. Desu pronounced des. Gozaimasu. Pronounced without the u. For i's shite is one example


They are technically voiceless rather than omitted, but native English speakers typically can't hear that, because we don't really have voiceless vowels in English. To me it feels a bit like forming the vowel without putting sound through it. It still takes up a unit of time. Some Italian speakers seem to use voiceless vowels at the end of a word, which again makes the vowel sound dropped and the last consonant overpronounced to English ears.


Japanese pronunciation is almost the same here in Brazil I think that's why the biggest population (besides Japan ofcourse) resides here. Portuguese isn't really that hard.


Took a semi educated guess when answering this, I typed "She is Maria" and it was labelled as correct.

This seems incorrect, it looks like the correct translation should only be referring to oneself, especially since there is no honorific at the end.

Could this phrase be used in response to a question (who is she?) or is Duolingo wrong?


This is an interesting point. The lack of honorific doesn't immediately mean this is only referring to oneself, because of the concept of 内外 (uchi soto or "in and out groups") in Japanese culture. I'm not exactly an expert at it, but the general gist goes like this. When you are talking about someone within your group (i.e. your co-worker) or their actions to someone outside your group (i.e. clients/customers), you're expected to use humble language and keep honorifics to a minimum. So, with this sentence, you could be introducing your co-worker Maria to someone, whether in response to a question or not.

The other thing is that いいます is simply 丁寧語 (teineigo) or "polite language", and not 謙譲語 (kenjougo) or "humble language". So even if 内外 isn't a factor in the situation, it's acceptable to use it to refer to others.


Sugoi, Joshua! Arigatou!!! I was wondering if it would sound natural in any of the situations you described to say something like "Kanojou wa Maria to iimasu" or "Kanojou wa Maria desu". Is that pronoun used in that kind of context (introducing someone)?

And if I may, just one more question. I saw somewhere else that kind of sentence ("MARIA to iimasu", for example, when introducing oneself) in this form:

MARIA to moushimasu. Hajimete o me ni kakarimasu.

Is this kind of thing even used anymore? If it is, in what kind of situation? Would it be an example of kenjougo? I remember a few years ago I used "Hajimemashite! Douso yoroshiku onegai shimasu!" to introduce myself to a couple of Japanese girls and they thought it was funny that I was being so incredibly polite. Maybe they just thought that because the situation wasn't a particularly formal one (we were among friends), so I probably didn't have to use such "polite language". But anyways, I think the phrase above ("...kakarimasu") is even more polite, so I was just wondering if it could ever come in handy... Maybe you or someone else here can help me understand all of that? :)


Yes, both of those would work, though the pronoun "she" is spelled かのじょ kanojo, not kanojou ;) Also, you have to be a little bit careful because かのじょ can also mean "girlfriend", so it may sound like you're introducing that person as your girlfriend, Maria. For example, there's no ambiguity in this scenario:

  • A: (pointing or indicating at someone) かのじょは、だれですか? "Who is she?"
  • B: かのじょはマリアといいます。/かのじょはマリアです。 "She is Maria"

But if you walked up to someone with Maria and said: はじめまして、ペドロです。かのじょはマリアです。 It could be interpreted as "Nice to meet you, I'm Pedro. She is Maria" but also as "Nice to meet you, I'm Pedro. This is my girlfriend, Maria."

To answer your extra question, those phrases, ~ともうします and お目(め)にかかります, are both still frequently used in modern Japanese, more so the former than the latter, but are considered very formal and typically reserved for business meetings, or meeting your future in-laws for the first time for example. And you're exactly right; both phrases are forms of 謙譲語.

The situation you described is as you thought, the language you used was probably a little too polite/formal for the situation, but I had the same thing happen to me multiple times in Japan, even when I used appropriately polite language. I think, to some extent, it's surprising (and therefore, funny/entertaining) for Japanese people to see a foreigner speaking correct Japanese. It's not malevolent; it's probably quite rare for the majority of Japanese people to have much meaningful contact with foreigners, and the image of foreigners in the media is always exaggerated (to both extremes of being completely incompetent at Japanese, and being so good that they seem to know more about Japanese culture than the average Japanese person) that a normal foreigner speaking normal Japanese is something unexpected.

Sorry that last bit was a bit tangential; I hope I answered your questions anyway.


noob here. what is the difference between this and "Maria to moshimasu"??


"Maria to moshimasu" is much more polite. For example, it is used in a job interview.


Adding what @Thkgk said, マリアともうします is much more polite because it is using the humble (謙譲語 kenjougo) form of the verb いいます instead. It's considered polite in Japanese because you're putting your own position below that of the listener.


Don't Japanese Usually say (私は)マリアです?


There isn't really a "usually". Both マリアです and マリアといいます are about as common as each other, but it depends on the situation Japanese people find themselves in and their individual personalities.


Because Japanese is contextual, it's common for a native Japanese speaker to leave out the subject when speaking. In a lot of situations, you're expected to understand what the subject is. 私 can easily be dropped, because it should be obvious when introducing yourself that you're speaking about yourself. To continuously repeat the subject can sound obnoxious or annoying in Japanese.


I was confused when I should use です versus ます. Online the answer has to do something with verbs (ます) or nouns/adjectives (です), but I think you can also use them interchangeably?

For example, わたしは田中ます and わたしは田中です both translate to "I am Tanaka."


You can't use them interchangeably; わたしは田中ます is nonsensical. ます is, as you probably discovered online, is used to conjugate verbs to polite non-past forms. As such, it's always attached to something called the verb stem.

The verb "to be (is/am/are)" is an irregular verb, and its polite form is です. As such, です can be used without being attached to anything in particular.

So, for sentences like "it IS a car" or "it IS red", です is used (車です and 赤いです, respectively). But for sentences with verbs other than "is/am/are", the relevant verb (attached to ます) is used.

In this exercise, the verb is いいます; the verb stem is いい-, from the root verb いう. The verb いう means "to say" or "to be called (by a name)", so literally マリアといいます means "Maria is what is said (about me)" or "Maria is what I am called". Duo chose to translate it into more natural English as "My name is Maria", which causes confusion since "is" suggests です should be used, but there isn't really a better alternative.


I know this is probably a dumb question, but how common is it in Japanese to blend hiragana and katakana (not to mention kanji) in their sentence structure? I'm finding this confusing and and it seems to me unnecessarily complicated.


100% of the time you will see Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana used together. Technically, you don't need to use Kanji and can use Hiragana for everything. However, Katakana is used for any non-Japanese word like your name, and loan words like ハンバーグ(translation of hamburger), and sometimes similar to the way italics or full caps is used in English. Jack and snack are not Japanese, so in Japan you would write "ジャキスナキ". Once you have learned Kanji, it will make it 10 times easier to learn new words bacause the Kanji all mean something, and the meaning doesn't change. For example, 火 is fire and 花 is flower. Imagine you are living before the Mario Era, and ファイヤフラワー(the fire flower) isn't a thing. You need a word that describes the flash when hitting a rock with a piece of stone (spark). It's a fire that looks kind of like a flower, so you use 火花(hibana). Then someone invents gun powder, and now there are flowers made of fire(in English we call them fireworks) can you gues the word? 花火(hanabi). There are also a gagillion homophones, like いる and いる. I can't tell the difference in Hiragana. However, in Kanji the difference between 居る(to exist/have, for living things) and 炒る(to roast) are easy to see.

Now try to read this: はなびはよるのそらにとぶひばなたちです。The kanji are (fireworks)花火, (night)夜, (sky)空, (to fly)飛ぶ, and (spark)火花. Now try to read this:花火は夜の空に飛ぶ火花たちです。The grammar is probably really bad bacause I'm still learning too, but it should mean, "Fireworks are many sparks that fly in the night sky."


You shoud be a teacher. It 火花led a 火 on me while reading your text and recalling everything I've learnt so far. どもありがとうございます。


I've been scrolling through the comments for a while but could not find an answer. Is と言います or 私のなまえは more common in modern Japanese?


I was a Japanese tutor in college and ts for my Japanese professor who was native Japanese and the phrase といいます never came up. It was always 私の名前は・・・ 「わたしのなまえは」 I think if といいます was common it would have come up. I can't say for sure not being from Japan and not ever having been there, but I gave what I know from my experience.


"It is also okay to say Maria" is basically the lit. translation. Japanese is a contextual language, so putting it into English they give us words that we will recognize so that when we are speaking Japanese to a native you don't sound poetically formal (ie: using なぜ or 愛して/恋して) or just plain weird. マリアと呼んでください is "please call me maria" which might be why translating this particular sentence to that may be marked incorrectly. Contextually, they mean the same, but lit. They are different.


"といいます" does this mean "my name is"


What is "my" in this sentence?


There is no 'my.' Although it translates to 'my name is Maria' the 'my' is implied rather than spoken.

Directly translated it means something like: 'Maria it's called'


Wouldn't 私はマリアです also mean I am called Maria?


Yes, although 私はマリアです is more like 'I am maria' where as マリアといいます is more like 'my name is Maria'.


Is it really incorrect if I put a space between マリア and といいます? Shouldn't they really show the answer as one line and say "another solution" etc. ?


What is this place?


Shouldn't it be watashi wa Maria desu?


Just like we have "My name is...", "I'm...", or "Call me..." in English, there are also different ways to introduce yourself in Japanese.


Why not desu? I’ve heard people say ( name ) desu.


Just like we have "My name is...", "I'm...", or "Call me..." in English, there are also different ways to introduce yourself in Japanese.


I know for a fact that "私のなまえは田中です" means "My name is Tanaka". But I'm confused about what "田中といいます" literally translates to? 田中 is the surname, what about the rest of the sentence?


といいます (言う). So it translates to like "I'm called Tanaka" another word for similar meaning is よぶ (呼ぶ)and you use it like 田中とよんでください "Please call me Tanaka". Not sure if the actual Kanji are commonly used to for these things or if they usually stay in hiragana.


Isn't this misspelled? I think it's supposed to be います (one い)


This is not misspell.

います and いいます are different two words.

言います。 (いいます。)


Thank you, I understand.


どういたしまして! you are welcome!


What about "to moushimas desu"?


"To moushimasu desu" is ungrammatical in Japanese. You generally have only one main verb, either です or -ます.

If you had just "to moushimasu", I would have referred you to earlier comments on this discussion page, which explained that: マリアともうします is much more polite because it is using the humble (謙譲語 kenjougo) form of the verb いいます instead. It's considered polite in Japanese because you're putting your own position below that of the listener


Does tge sentwncw literally mean "Maria is fine.", As in "calling me maria is fine"?


No, いい here does not mean "good" or "fine". It represents the pronunciation of 言います, which is is the verb meaning "to say" or "to call (by a name)". So, literally, this sentence is "as for me (=私は), Maria (=マリア) is what (=と) I'm called (=いいます)".


So the sentence structure ia backwards?


It's not that simple. Although many beginners find it helpful to think of it that way, I think it becomes a more and more unhelpful approach the further one progresses.

This website (https://8020japanese.com/japanese-sentence-structure/) has a great, comprehensive explanation of Japanese sentence structure aimed at beginners, and a very intuitive and useful diagram right at the top of the page.


Could anyone please break down the different levels of formality between the different ways of introducing yourself?


This is by no means a complete or definitive list, in order of increasing formality (Disclaimer: I'm not a native Japanese speaker, though I checked it with my partner who is)

  • あたし、マリア: least formal, not polite, strictly feminine (おれ is the masculine equivalent of あたし), adversarial/flippant
  • マリアだよ: not formal, not polite, informative
  • マリアです: average formality between strangers perceived to be roughly equal social status, polite
  • 私の名前はマリアです【私=わたし、名前=なまえ】: most "standard", average formality, polite
  • マリアといいます: polite, slightly higher formality than です
  • マリアと申します【申します=もうします】: very polite (humble), slightly higher formality than です
  • マリアという者ですが【者=もの】: polite, significantly more formal than です (typically reserved for business situations)
  • マリアでございますが: most formal, very polite (respectful/deferential)


How does 僕 「ぼく」compare with 俺「おれ」?


Boku is less rude than Ore and places you on equal foot or below the listener. Ore is used mainly in casual speech with close friends, or with people under you like students in the year below (or more), with children in general,...


what does "iimasu" means? Is it a verb?


Yes, it comes from いう, and it means "to say". This sentence basically means "[some unknown 3rd party] says Maria". This is kind of an indirect way of saying "people call me Maria", or more colloquially "my name is Maria".

Another example of いう: せんせいは「べんきょうしてください」といいました = The teacher said "please study".

Whenever you make quotes in Japanese, instead of using quotation marks, quotation brackets are used 「」.


Ohhh so interesting thank you so much!!!


What would be a word-by-word/particle-by-particle translation and definitions of "(name) to moushimasu?"


I know there a lot of comments here already, but I would encourage you to read (or at least skim) through them and try to figure it out for yourself. I'm sure I've written comments here that would answer your question, and the process of trying to understand this sentence is infinitely more useful than memorizing word-by-word translations.

But I'll probably get downvoted out of existence for suggesting that someone should use their own brain when they're trying to learn something, so here you go:

  • マリア = "Maria"
  • と = quoting particle, denotes that マリア is content being transferred by the verb
  • いいます = "to say, to be called"
  • 申します【もうします】 = (humble) "to say, to be called"


So, "My name is Maria" or "Maria is my name" is correct either ways as there's no subject/topic indicator (wa/ga)?


Yes, and no. "Effectively" both are the same, since the same meaning gets across.

However, technically, nothing in the Japanese sentence refers to "my name" and the verb いいます means "to say" or "to be called".

So, if you want to be pedantic, because there is no subject/topic indicator (ga/wa, respectively), "My name is Maria" is correct; BUT NOT "Maria is my name" because "Maria" does have an indicator (/particle), と which precludes it from becoming the subject/topic.


what's the difference between ます and です


ます is combined with a verb to make it polite.

But what's being used here is います. It is used to express "is" or the state of existing for living things that aren't plants.

です is a polite "is" verb that means "am, is, are, was, were, etc."

いう is the plain form of the main verb "to call/name." When combining it with います, the verb becomes いいます.

マリアです is also suitable to identify yourself as long as someone didn't just walk through the door as you say it. This sentence doesn't really demonstrate the difference between います and です.


That's a pretty good answer, but いいます is not related to います at all.

The plain form of the verb is いう, as you correctly stated, but the polite form of this verb is いいます; it's not combined with います at all.

When conjugating 五段【ごだん】verbs, such as いう, into their polite forms, the last kana is replaced with the "i" kana in that consonant row before adding ます. For example:

  • 歩く【あるく】"to walk" - く becomes き, then you add ます -> 歩きます
  • 飛ぶ【とぶ】"to jump"/"to fly" - ぶ becomes び, then you add ます -> 飛びます
  • 立つ【たつ】"to stand" - つ becomes ち (because たちつてと is the "t" row), then you add ます -> 立ちます
  • 言う【いう】"to say"/"to call/name" -> う becomes い, then you add ます -> 言います【いいます】


lol, got it wrong for saying マリアと言います。instead of マリアといいます。Duolingo hates kanji? :(


Wtah does to iimasu literally means?


could someone please tell me when its proper to use と言います


We can also say : watashino namaewa maria desu


I clicked on is but the to came up


this lesson is confusing me by switching between wanting me to type "といいます" and "と言います" I really don't get the difference, or how it expects me to figure the difference based on audio.


There is no way to figure out the difference based on audio because there is no difference between them; 言います is pronounced いいます, so if you haven't learned the kanji yet, you can use the kana version instead.

I believe it's a known issue with the listening exercises that they are only able to accept one answer, which means this listening exercise can only accept either the kanji version or the kana version. The course was recently updated too, so the accepted answer may have changed from kanji to kana, or vice versa.


Is there any difference between マリアといいます and マリアどもうします?


It should be マリアもうします, but this is the more humble (and therefore respectful and polite) version.


Ambiguous answer for an ambiguous question.

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