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  5. "あれをください。"


Translation:That one, please.

June 5, 2017



This is more like "please give me that" instead of "can I get that", if you ask me.


I said「水をください」to a Japanese flight attendant when she asked me if I wanted anything. ください was all I knew, and I felt pretty proud after saying that and receiving my water :) However, I don't remember whether my perception was accurate or is accurate now, or whether she was busy thinking, but she seemed the slightest bit miffed when she went to get my water. I was a young teenager at the time. Was this likely offensive? Should I have used some type of more polite speech?


Perfectly polite. Kudasai is the correct thing to say. It means please may I have. You should be proud. I'm not sure about airline ettiqutte in particular, but it was probably not the content of your words that made her seem miffed. Maybe it was the timing, or another customer or something. What you said was correct!


What does "wo" mean?


Is a particle for a direct object


In this case, を is actually pronounced as "o" since it is a particle just like how は is pronounced "wa". を is not easily translated but always follows the direct object. http://www.punipunijapan.com/grammar-lesson-7-particle-を-o/


You already got some great answers, but I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in too.

I agree with the others that 「水をください」is an appropriately polite phrase to use, but what no one has yet mentioned is that it's basically the baseline level of politeness. As far as I can recall, anything less that that is considered rude, but there are many more levels of politeness above it.

So, as polite as it is, I think it's basically the same level as "not being a dick". ┐('~`;)┌ which can understandably be mildly frustrating if you're getting that from 50 people at once.

Also, in Japan, social status and age are huge parts of the collective consiousness, and I can imagine those two creating opposing forces in this scenario.

In terms of social status, you're the customer, who should be treated with respect and deference and sonkeigo all the time. However, you mentioned you were a teenager at the time, so would have been younger than her. Youngester are expected to be quiet and humble around their elders, so it's possible that perhaps, despite being in a lower social position and treating you with deference, she was expecting some level of respect in return.

But still, I second everyone else's sentiments congratulating you! It's really nerve-racking speaking Japanese to an actual Japanese person!


I really doubt this. Hmm, how to put this...I have to assume that a Japanese person would assume, upon seeing a foreigner, that they aren't all that familiar with the culture, and are struggling with learning the language, and wouldn't expect the same level of interaction they would get from a native member of their society. That would be unfair, and unreasonable. For example, if I were a store clerk, and a Japanese tourist came in and simply said 'water?' - I would assume they can't really speak English, and that's about the best they can muster, so I wouldn't be expecting any 'thank you, have a nice day' at the end of the transaction, doesn't mean I think they're being rude, it just means there's a language and culture barrier. We have to stop pushing all this 'be careful what you say, be mindful of all the politeness levels' nonsense. Japanese people are human too, they aren't going to be expecting all that from a foreigner. Sure, be mindful of all that once you're getting the hang of things, and have a pretty good language repertoire, it's probably your responsibility to do so, but they aren't going to expect a lot from a learner, so a learner shouldn't stress, else we'd all be nervous wrecks that we're going to offend someone.


Ok, I hear what you're saying and I recognize that almost everything I wrote in my previous comment is well beyond the scope of the course offered here by Duo. As you say, it's unfair to expect that level of understanding from a beginner, and even having a reasonable grasp of the language and culture doesn't stop me from the occasional gaijin-smash (being so blatantly foreign and "oblivious" in a social situation, typically to one's own benefit).

However, if you read my comment carefully, you'll realize that there isn't any "be careful what you say, be mindful of all the politeness levels" nonsense, as you put it. @nihongo_papi was looking for an explanation for a Japanese person's behavior in response to a specific Japanese phrase. So, I explained what could be going through a Japanese person's mind in that scenario. At no point did I say anything remotely close to "you, the beginner, should have thought of these things before trying to speak Japanese".

Nor did I say that the flight attendant was right to feel offended. If you were having a bad day in that store, and a Japanese tourist simply said "water?" you might not think they are being rude, but it won't exactly improve your mood either, will it? As a flight attendant on an international route, she must have to deal with foreigners all the time, but there must be a limit to how understanding of cultural faffs you can be.

Also, this is kind of a tangent, but what exactly does "a foreigner" look like to you? What do you think "a foreigner" looks like to a Japanese person? If someone doesn't fit that image, does it mean they have to be familiar with Japanese culture and language, on par with a native speaker? What about Japanese people who look like "a foreigner"? American or European by blood, but born and raised in Japan; is it fair to expect that they are "struggling with the language"?

Sorry for getting rant-y, but I find it irksome that people who are able hide behind the "I look like a foreigner" defense forget that not all of us can. I had practally zero speaking ability before I went to Japan, but since (I've been told by many Japanese people) I look Japanese despite being Australian with Chinese-Filipino heritage, I picked it up really quickly. I had to. Being stressed out about whether you used the right politeness level helps you to internalize things, much more than if you just wave it away with your foreign-ness.

Lastly, I don't appreciate you saying "I really doubt this", as if none of what I said in my comment was valid. You went on to clarify that you think the depth I went into is unnecessary for beginners (which I semi-agree with), but just because a beginner doesn't need to think about those considerations, it doesn't make them incorrect.



Just getting the easy one out of the way first: Duo doesn't accept "this one, please" because あれ means "that one" ;) That format (~をください = "~, please") should be an acceptable translation though, and should be reported if it isn't; this course is still in Beta after all.

As for which sentence @nihongo_papi should have used... there isn't really one right answer. As the others and I have mentioned, 水をください is a perfectly acceptable level of politeness for the situation.

That said, options for making it more polite include:

  • using お水 instead of just 水
  • using a question such as ~をもらえますか ("am I able to receive ~") or ~を頼 (たの) んでいいですか ("is it okay to request ~") instead of the polite command ください
  • using the more humble お願いします instead of ください

However, it's very difficult, for me at least, to rank all these alternatives in terms of politeness and even harder still to say which one wiuld match the situation best, though all of them would work too. In large part because, just like any human interaction, politeness relies a lot on nonverbal communication like tone, eye contact, body language, etc.

Side note: there are still even politer alternatives to the ones I illustrated here, but they stray into the realm of "too polite that it seems weird in the situation" in my opinion. If you, or anyone, is curious, let me know and I'll be happy do a quick rundown of some more.


I am following this interesting debate, but I believe that a thing is missing: which was the sentence, for the second level of courtesy, that the young man should have to use? (And, for the proposed DL sentence, why "This one, please" is not enough?) Pasasalamat


I know this conversation is 1.5 years old, but it's usually easy to tell if someone doesn't speak the language natively, at least as far as English goes. I'm sure English-speaking people learning Japanese tend to have a noticeable accent to Japanese-speaking people. That said, you don't have to look foreign to sound foreign. The opposite is true too; you can look foreign but speak the native language perfectly fluently.

I'm not sure I have a main point in particular to drive home here, I just felt like sharing my thoughts, haha. I guess if there has to be one, it'd be in response to the main start of the conversation in that maybe the slight mood shift was a result of "Ahh, this person is foreign, maybe I should speak just a tad differently" or something, if it wasn't simply an imaginary shift.


Turns out she was Korean, lol


im curious as well as to whether it is considered rude to say this or not


As far as I've learned, this is definitely polite. But of course, the tone of your voice (in any language) can turn something normally polite, into something sounding rude. Take sarcasm for example.


Yes directly translated it means that but it's not considered rude in Japanese. If you go into a store and ask for something that is the exact phrase you would use. ください is formal so that keeps it from being rude.


I agree, please give me that that seems more correct


In English though, please give me that.. Isn't the politest way you could put that. Even with the please. Please may I have that, is a much nicer way to translate that into English and would better reflect the politeness of the Japanese sentence. Naturally, Duolingo or at least the person who added it to duo.. Doesn't understand that and so, for those of us who try translating that in a sentence, we get it wrong.


Just wanted to point out the reason "Please, may I have that?" is more polite than "Please give me that" relies on the fact that it's a question, rather than a demand.

Also the sentence sounds a bit more natural (at least in American English) as: "May I please have that [please]?"


これ Kore=This, in front of me それ Sore=that, Next to you あれ Are=That, over there


In romance languages, there are also those three words. In Portuguese they are, respectively: "Isto," "Isso," "Aquilo."


I am portuguese and here people don't use the correct meaning of "isto", "isso" and "aquilo". People get confused with "isto" and "isso" often.


What does the を doing in this sentence?


It indicates the thing being enacted upon. Kudasai means please give. Wo indicates what is to be given. Note that wo is pronounced o when used as a particle as it is here.


So what is the difference between:

  • それを下さい

  • あれを下さい


Sore is close to listener and are is far away from both listener and speaker.

Remember ko-so-a-do Koko is here(kore-this) Soko is there(sore that) Asoko is over there(are-that over there) Doko is where


Is there a dore?


Yes! It means "which thing"


それ is close to the listener. あれ is neither close to the speaker nor the listener.


それ refers to "that" while あれ is "that over there" further from the speaker. これ is the closest to the speaker and means "this"


それ - refers to something closer to the person you are asking than yourself. あれ - is more of a 'that one over there' rather than 'that one' as it refers to something far from both speakers. :)


So I know this had been discussed quite thoroughly in the comments, but for what it's worth, I just came back from a vacation to Japan where I was taught by a local that requesting an object with ください is the effective equivalent of saying "Gimme that". She taught me that while ください is perfectly polite when asking someone to perform an action, you should use おねがいします when asking for an object. Of course, Japanese people appreciate pretty much any degree of attempted Japanese from foreigners based on my experience, so it's not like you're going to be yelled at for using ください.


Why is the English in question form, when 水をください isnt a question?

It's more like "give me water please" Its more a command-request statemant, and NOT a question.


That is true but we do the same thing in English. When you go to the store and want something you don't say "Give me that" (which is what the sentence actually translate to), instead you say "Can I get that?" which is a question, yes, but not one that is answered other than the other person actually getting that thing for you. It's in question form to make it seem nicer which is true since this is a commonly used legit sentence in Japanese. We also put it in the form of a question to make it sound nicer/more formal.


Well, we usually do answer "Can I have that?" with a "no problem" or a "sure", from my experiences as a native English speaker. Anyway, I don't see how turning it into a question makes it seem nicer. You can say "please give me some water" in English while being very respectful, hence the use of the word 'please'. Of course, you can say the same exact thing while being very rude too. It just depends on the tone of your voice.

But nicer or not, I feel that the translations should be more accurate to what's actually being said. Like- Duo could make a note somewhere to tell learners that this is in fact polite, in Japanese, so they know, without distracting from the actual meaning of the sentence. I'm not sure how many others share my plea, or viewpoint, or whatever, but when learning a language, I'd like to know what it literally means, what each part of the word means, how it's used, and the connotations it has, and when translating it, I prefer to use the closest literal translation. (unless of course the phrase in question is more abstract than we have English words for, and needs heavy explanation.)


Japanese actually has the same form of softening requests by turning them into questions as English does. お水をくださいーおみずをくださいませんか? the later being literally "can you please give me water?" in MEANING, but much more polite in terms of register.

Translation is a judgement call and one of the difficult parts of japanese translation is matching its very clearly demarcated politeness registers to english and its very fuzzy ones. Changing the sentence to a question is superficially different but doesn't change the meaning and tries to match what many people will say when requesting water in English.


Doesn't this literally translate as "I'd like that one over there, please?" Duolingo did not approve of my translation.


You should flag it, because I think your answer should be accepted.

However, "I'd like that one over there, please?" is not a literal translation. The literal translation would be something like "That (object) give" which is why we should stop thinking about literal translations as being "more correct".

Also, we add "over there" for あれ in learning exercises to help us differentiate it from それ but it isn't strictly necessary because "that" covers both scenarios in English.


I put "that over there, please" which I think should be accepted. It's a more literal translation, perhaps, but still correct I think?


I agree, you should report it.


I believe I correctly translated this to: May I have that one over there please? Otherwise if the person you were requesting something from would be as close to what you wanted as you were - and you would say それをください。


I think it should be accepted; flag it for the course developers to fix if it wasn't.

Also, we add "over there" for あれ in learning exercises to help us differentiate it from それ but it isn't strictly necessary because "that" covers both scenarios in English.


So "are" is for more distant objects compared to "sore" and "kore" is like English "this"?


Japanese breaks it down based on distance (could be referring to physical distance or conversational/cognitive distance) from the speaker and the listener.

  • これ = near the speaker (typically within arms' reach)
  • それ = near the listener (not near the speaker)
  • あれ = not near the listener or the speaker

For あれ, the object isn't necessarily "more distant", though that is generally the case. It could just be a few meters away from you and the listener, then the listener walks over to pick it up, and it becomes それ (for you).


I thought this would be more like "That one over there please"
"are" as something farther away than using kore or sore


Yes, you could say that, but in situations that あれ is used, an English speaker could just say "that" and in English, this is enough to convey meaning. In Japanese, there's an extra layer of separation which is necessary to correctly convey meaning. English doesn't have this (any more), so it's confusing at first to learn that それ = "that" and also あれ = "that", and that's why we add the crutch of "that over there".


How do I know if this means "can I get that one ?(question)" or "please give me that(demanding)" ??


Mostly depends on your tone, but ください is a polite request (i.e. demand) so I think "please give me that" is a closer translation. The implication of ください in most cases is that you, the speaker, know you are entitled to something, and while "can I get that one?" is an acceptable translation, the implication of that could be that you, the speaker, are not sure whether you can have it or not.


What would be an even more polite form of this? For example, how would one say "I'd like this one, please" to their boss?


There are many different levels of politeness above this, and unfortunately (not being a Japanese native speaker) I'm not fully versed in the area of 敬語 (keigo, honorific language). I would suggest あれをいただきたいんですけれども as a more polite alternative, though I'm not sure whether it's the appropriate level of politeness for one's boss (could be too polite).

Also, note that in this question, we're saying あれ which means "that (over there)", not "this" (which would be これ).


For anyone wondering, それ=that & あれ=yonder.


This has happened several times. Using the words provided, I answered "Can I get that one?" However, it is marked wrong, with the "correct" answer given as "Can you give me that?" The problem is that the words "give" and "me" were not options - I could only use the word "get." This is getting very frustrating.


You should report/flag things like that for the course developers (who don't necessarily read these comments) to fix.


I wrote あれを下さい and it was not accepted. Said I should write あれを下さいよ, can anyone explain why is that?


Is ください another form of saying おねがいします?


Let's see...

I get that "o" is a particle indicating the object taking the action, but what about the topic? Because the subject would be the person giving me the "o", isn't it? I am assuming that the subject is different from the topic from threads before, but I'm not sure at all... ^^u

Thanks for your help!


The subject marker is が. Not to be confused with the topic marker, which is は (pronounced "wa" when used as a particle in this way).

The topic marker establishes a topic to be discussed, and is not related to the transitivity of verbs, unlike the subject marker.

The subject marker が establishes the subject (first argument) of a predication, the object marker を establishes the object (second argument) of a predication, and the entire predication says something regarding the topic marked by は.

Topic wa (subject ga) object wo verb. = Regarding topic, (subject) verbs object. (The subject is likely to be dropped in both speech and writing)

If English worked like this, we might have something sort of like: "Being sick wa, I ga hate it o" (as for being sick, I hate it). In this pseudo example, "I hate it" is a predication that says something about the topic "being sick". The predication contains a subject and an object, but the topic contains neither. There's a lot of redundancy in there by Japanese standards, though, and a Japanese sentence would not likely contain all of these parts, because the "it" part is wholly unnecessary after the establishment of the topic, and Japanese likes to drop subjects. Unfortunately, this is the best example I could come up with off the top of my head, so I hope it'll suffice.


Their correct answer didn't even include Please, even though it was in the original sentence. Also, thought それ was that one, and あれ was that one over there (further away).


What would change if instead you used は instead of を?


Why is "wo" not in front of "are" in this one?


Hi. Is "Can i get that one over there" wrong? :)


No, that should be accepted; if not, flag it :)

However, you should note that we add "over there" for あれ in learning exercises to help us differentiate it from それ but it isn't strictly necessary because "that" covers both scenarios in English.


Exactly wyh4l84 ! It is : That one over there please. Shouldn't it include "ka" to ask permission?


If you mean to reply to someone, try using the Reply button under the post you would like to reply to. Otherwise, your post won't be next to the post you're replying to and no one (including the post you want to reply to) will be able to tell which post you're referring to.

But to answer your question (even though you can read about this from the top posts already) the sentence isn't a question. In a (English) conversation this could be used like this:

Person 1 : "Which one would you like?"

Person 2 : "That one, please."

While this manner of speaking may not be used as much as "May I have that one, please?" -> "Sure!" it still follows the same idea of someone asking a question, and the other person responding with an answer. Hope that makes sense.


'あれ' doesn't exactly translate to 'that'. 'That' is translated to 'それ' typically. あれ is used for things that are far away. So this should be "Can I get that one over there, please." I had to redo this problem a few times because when I see あれ I automatically think of over there.


あれ doesn't exactly translate to "that over there" either. "That over there" simply helps us English speakers grasp a word we don't have a direct equivalent for.

In situations that あれ is used, an English speaker could just say "that" and in English, this is enough to convey meaning. In Japanese, there's an extra layer of separation which is necessary to correctly convey meaning. English doesn't have this (any more), so it's confusing at first to learn that それ = "that" and also あれ = "that", and that's why we add the crutch of "that over there".


Are "are" and "sore" interchangeable? Or is one indicative of a greater distance from the speaker?


Please try to read the other comments first before posting. This has been addressed a number of times already.

Japanese breaks it down based on distance (could be referring to physical distance or conversational/cognitive distance) from the speaker and the listener.

  • これ = near the speaker (typically within arms' reach)
  • それ = near the listener (not near the speaker)
  • あれ = not near the listener or the speaker


Are they using を in this sentence because the water is being given to the person?


No, please read the other comments for a complete breakdown of this sentence. を is being used because あれ is the grammatical "object".


あれ: That one over there これ: This one (near) をれ: Take that? Is this correct ore what does をれ means? Translate says "take"


をれ is nonsense Japanese; it doesn't mean anything. おれ ore can mean "me", in a rough masculine way, but it's completely unrelated to これ, それ amd あれ.

*Side note: "Translate says", as in Google Translate? Google Translate is notoriously unreliable for JP-EN translations.


Please , that one . ← How is it ?


It doesn't sound like a natural English sentence. Perhaps in a specific situation where "Please" is being used to confirm something, like if someone asked if you want to try a sample, in which case, the usage doesn't match the original Japanese sentence.


I understand. Thank you very much.


Just a general question: I am confused when to use "を" should it become after a noun, and how else is it supposed to be used?


を is the (direct) object particle. Remember, a particle in Japanese indicates the grammatical role of the thing that came before it, so を comes after some word or phrase that describes the direct object of the sentence.

For example, in the sentence "I throw a ball", "throw" is the verb, "I" is the subject (i.e. the agent doing the verb), and "a ball" is the object (i.e. the thing that the verb is done to). In Japanese, this would be ボール投げます【わたしはぼーるをなげます】

In this exercise, the verb ください is a polite imperative verb meaning "(please) give (me)", and the を indicates that あれ is the object. So the translation is "Please give me that" or "Can I get that please", or some functionally equivalent phrase.

There is another similar use for を, but if you're curious, check out Tae Kim's discussion of it.


Does anyone else get questions wrong because they end up typing the English translation of what they hear instead of the Japanese? >.< I would love to see listening-and-translate questions in this course!


could this be asked with "ano" instead of "are"? (no japanese keyboard here, sorry ^^) Ano o kudasai sounds wrong to me but I'd like to know why it is, if it is.


あれ is a noun, while あの is an adjective, which is why it's incorrect. Both mean "that (over there)", but あれ is used for "can I have that?" and あの is used for "can I have that object?"


What is the difference between areo kudasai and soreo kudasai...both means "that one please" ri8?


I'll have THAT plane over there, thanks.


You could use itadakimasu for "please may I have."

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