"どれを食べますか?"

Translation:Which one will you eat?

June 5, 2017

87 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DannyJoelS

Based on the content, you don't need to use 私(watashi) or any other pronouns. The reason why they are odmited is politness so using them unless is realy necesary, would put you on the wrong spot. If you asked the queation and it has been cleared that it was from your point of view, then the pronoun is not needed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nihongo_papi

Yep. Common mistake. Don't make Japanese conform to an English way of thinking. The results can be really bad...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToadFish2

Can you give an example of when it becomes bad?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaroSensei

It is not that is is wrong, but it sounds redundant. If you can ommit the subject (あなた in this case), then do it. It would be like in English "I eat fish and drink tea", rather than "I eat fish and I drink tea". You will be surprised how many things Japanese ommit in a sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S3prh

It seems like it's this:

It's Christmas morning. Your parents give you a present with your name on it and they say it's from them. You open it, to reveal an Iron Man toy. Immediately after you open it, your parents ask "Do you like the Iron Man toy that we got you for Christmas?" 'It' would've made the sentence shorter and less of a burden to say. That's my understanding of omitting pronouns; like the old saying goes: why use many words when few do trick?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexOsheter

Still trying to figure out sentence structure, since Duolingo for Android doesn't explain this.

どれ (which) を (indicating subject - in this case 食べ?) 食べ (eat) ま(eat.. Again?) です (copula) か (question).

Now, why is ま there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewDWhitaker

The sentence structure is like this: どれ (which) を (indicating OBJECT - In this case どれ) 食べます (verb meaning "to eat") か (indicates question).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

食べます is the polite form of 食べる. Just like です for nouns, we use ます for verbs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quirkybeeper

This is [mostly] incorrect, 食べる is the dictionary form of the verb, in English, it would be "to eat." 食べます is the conjugated form of the verb (at this level of learning, politeness doesn't really have anything to do with it). 食べます indicates the present or future conjugation of the verb, in other words "eat" or "will eat" in English. 食べません is the negative form, "do not eat" or "will not eat." (This is oversimplified, there's a bit more to it, but this is the basic idea.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ewpettus

You're going to really confuse people when they learn the short form.

Keith Wong is correct, but let's just think of it like this: for this lesson, Duo is teaching you the polite not-past form, which is that ます endings (for example, たべます or 食べます) mean "eat" or "will eat."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mivtilo

Wait... 食べる and 食べます are basically the same thing, just one forme politier than another?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sundaymars

Hopefully Duolingo will be able to go into more details about how Japanese verbs function. You answer your question, 食べる is the familiar version while たべます is the polite version. In other words, words ending in - る or -う are the plain, familiar, or dictionary form and verbs ending in -ます are the formal versions. Like I mentioned, there are so many ways to discuss how this system work and I'm sure that Duolingo will provide a great way of describing this once the desktop version of Japanese Duolingo is released.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sundaymars

correction To answer your question...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harvey284547

U are right.食べますshould be more polite than 食べる.They are just the same thing.どれを食べる is also right,but the かhere should be omitted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milanista1982

Where does the pronoun "you" come in with all this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trevorist90

Unless I'm mistaken, 'you' is understood by the context. All other pronouns should work here too depending on context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaeril

It's like in spanish, you frequently just drop it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pedrom.9

Basically in japanese the subject is assumed from the text. Usually the phrase refers to yourself therefore: omizu wo nomi masu ( [I] drink water). However while making questions it is assumed to be to the person you are talking to. So "どれを食べますか?" will be: which one will [you] eat?.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nithinkumarsha

My question is where is this you here. Its just which one to eat. There is no i or you or someone else defined there in sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

Answer is literally just above your comment!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BalzsSzilg10

And what if I wanted to ask "which one can/may I eat?"? How would that question look like?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

So, I'm going to be that guy and insist on the pedantic distinction between "can" and "may", because it's actually quite important for this translation.

If you take "can" to mean "physically/conceptually possible to do", then you would change the verb 食べます into its potential form: 食べられます. Since we're now talking about being able to eat something, rather than about actually eating it, we can't use を as the particle; we use が instead. (NounをVerb means the verb is done to the noun, e.g. "I eat the apple"; NounがVerb means the noun does the verb, e.g. "The apple is able to be eaten.") So, the sentence would look like this : どれが食べられますか?

On the other hand, if you use "may" to mean "have permission to do", you would have to use a different grammar structure: て-form + いい. The て-form of a verb has a few different grammatical roles, but in this case, it's sort of like "and" for verbs so you can think of 食べていい as "eat and it's good/OK", which becomes "it's okay to eat it" in normal English.

It's also common to add も in here as well 食べてもいい, to emphasize your request for permission and make it sound more deferential. も means "too, also" but it can also mean "even" as in: "it's even okay to eat it."

So, the sentence would look like this: どれを食べて(も)いいですか?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jan.Kapa

tabe is the root word, tabemasu is the full verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeonMarkov

How is the future tense marked here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/polyluxus

Japanese had no future tense. It's implied from context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ishana92

what context? there is nothing else. Cant this be "Which one are you eating?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanDale3

That would use 食べています instead, of 食べます.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Because that's how Japanese conjugates their verbs.

食べます (non-past) = eat/will eat

食べています (present progressive) = is/am eating


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dendrocitta

〜ている refers to an action in progress


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aki-kun

The context with this sentence being a question asking "which one" to the listener. Generally speaking, it could also refer to the habit of what you eat in general but because of どれ that is quite unlikely, except for a few scenarios. And as pointed out by other comments, it cannot be "present progressive" in this form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CraigLeade

I think that would be present progresive, not non-past which this sentence is in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YeayYeay

Is を for verbs and は for describing things?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jcalado

を is for the direct object of the sentence and は is the topic particle (which is omitted in this sentence)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jan.Kapa

Yes, like [neko wa kuroi] (the cat is black), [omae o shinjiru] (believe in yourself).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim60867

Does this really mean "WHAT do you want to eat?" Because it sounds funny to use the word Which in that question. Maybe if you were presented a box of chocolates, sure, but I'd like to know for certain on the what/which meaning here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I think that's precisely the point of this exercise.

In Japanese, どれ is used when you have a finite selection to choose from, whereas 何 is used in more broad and general situations where the possible answers are unbounded by what is in front of you.

You're exactly right that, in particular situations, they could be used interchangeably for what/which, but generally speaking, "which" tends to better convey the idea behind どれ, and "what" is better for 何


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xirx

So, どれを食べますか for which of these (dishes, or menu items) do you want to eat, and 何が食べますか for what (do you feel like for dinner) do you want to eat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aki-kun

It would be 何たべますか。Aside from that, this is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EleanorNew3

So i said "which one am i eating" instead of "which one are you eating", and it was wrong. How do i know which is which?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephanieI927065

I'm still learning, but I think "ing" verbs are usually treated differently. Like "eating" =/= "eat" or "will eat." Aren't "ing" verbs usually expressed in Japanese using て form + いる? Again, still learning...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Generally speaking, you're right. Present progressive tense in Japanese is expressed using て-form + いる, but in English, "ing" verbs are used in other ways too.

The main usage which is different from Japanese is that "ing" verbs are used to show future tense in English. For example, "we're eating chicken for dinner tonight" would not use ている because it doesn't express what we are currently doing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/niewo-VA

I typed "which one will we eat?" and it was correct. I think it doesn't matter as long as it's more than one person. Duolingo tends to count "I" incorrect if "Watashi" is not used in the sentence. In the real world, it would depend on what was said earlier to know the definite meaning of the sentence. I think you're techinically also correct, but I'm not a native speaker so I can't be entirely sure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomas.linper

How do we know if its you or me or someone else from that phrase?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

It is from context. If there is no context, most probably "you" if it is a question, and "I" if it is a plain sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MohammadGh370451

I answer "which one you eat" and was wrong! Why? Where is "will" in the sentence????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

To form a complete sentence in English, either "which one do you eat" or "which one will you eat." Japanese simple tense can mean present or future tense depending on context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleuu

Isn't the word "which" supposed to be docchi [どっち], and not dore [どれ] ? Someone please explain..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

"Which" itself is どの and it is followed by a noun, e.g. どの本= which book. (この/その/あの/どの this/that/which something)

"Which one" is どれ (これ/それ/あれ/どれ this/that/which one)

Which direction is どっち or どちら (こちら/そちら/あちら/どちら this/that/which direction) This is also used as a polite substitution of どれ, so you can say どちらをたべますか


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guimo87

Why do they use the 食 kanji for た? What's the point of the kanji if it's only one syllable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yoo-na3

Why using を instead of が?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

が is for subjects, and を is for objects.

I am a boy. Subject: I, object: a boy, verb: am

Which one will you eat. Subject: you, object: which one, verb: will eat


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dankules

Does japanese make a distinction between present and future tense? I would have translated it as "which one are you eating?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kumakon

In Japanese language, they don't usually have a distinction between present and future tense like English. It's often distinguished with the words which shows the time such as きょう (today)、こんしゅう (this week)、らいしゅう (next week)、らいねん (next year), etc.

[Example] Future: らいしゅう、学校へ行きます。 Present: きょう、学校へ行きます。

As you see, the verb tenses are the same. The present tense verbs for the future, the event is more certain and for sure. If you are not sure, you can use "...と思います" (I think....).

[Example] 1. あした、がっこうにいきます。(I'm going to school tomorrow. (...for sure!) 2. あした、がっこうにいくとおもいます。(I think I'm going to school tomorrow....(most likely....?)

Also, especially at the weather forecast, they usually use ...でしょう, that is future tense in Japanese. This でしょう is used when the speaker says something he or she has not confirmed. You will hear でしょう when the speaker is talking about something but NOT about them, like weather forecast and/ or fortune telling.

Also, the one you said, "Which one are you eating?" can be a present continuous (present progressive.). In Japanese, it will be 「どれをたべていますか」, that is, "Which one are you eating (right now)?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JEM1961

Why is it in future tense? I would think which do you eat or which are you eating. They have not yet introduced future tense, or explained if this is only when talking about food. I need the rules, please! Duolingo, you fail miserably at explaining the rules!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Japanese does not distinguish between present and future. 「~ます」form is non-past, meaning it is used for both simple present/habitual and future tense. So 食べます means both "eat" as well as "will eat"
ご飯を食べます - "I eat rice" (habitually) or "I will eat rice" (future)

Continuous/progressive "-ing" tense takes a different conjugation, 「~ている」 食べている・食べています - "Eating"
ご飯を食べています - "I am eating rice" (ongoing)

どれを食べますか - "Which one do you eat?" or "Which one will you eat?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stavros683346

How do you say: what will you eat? Meaning: what do you want (to eat) in general? Cause this seems to me like you are presented with different choices in front of you and you have to make a choice (which one will you eat)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielaSnail777

Why not どれはたべますか or  どれがたべますか ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

は marks known information so it can't be used with a question word which is inherently an unknown.

が marks the do-er or be-er of an action and would change the meaning of the sentence to "Which one eats?" as in which one is the subject doing the eating.

を is the direct object particle and marks the thing the verb is acting on. This marks "which one" as the unknown thing being eaten. "Which one will (you) eat?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FlapJack_28

Where is "one" here? Wewwww


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

どれ is which one among a group of things


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MWichtel

Could it mean which one will I eat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Yes, it could, though without context it's a bit of a strange question to ask so may not be in the list of acceptable answers. Duo usually assumes a conversation with a speaker and a listener, so statements would be about the speaker "I" and questions directed at the listener "you" since that would be the most natural context.
If you were asking this question to yourself it sounds a bit strange to be using the polite form, and asking someone else about what you will do is also just a strange thing to ask.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NiaJustNia

I did "Which will you eat?" Rather than "Which ONE will you eat?" I just feel like in an actual speaking context, surely you wouldn't need to specify "one"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miyunerre

Whats the difference of Dore and Dochi? Both means 'Which ' right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

どれ is which one from a group of similar items.

どっち(どちら} is which direction (where) or which one between two choices.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JshMaggi

Can't this sentence also read: 'Which one to eat?' I don't understand how 'you' comes in. Why couldn't it be regarded as: 'Which one will I eat?' instead of 'Which one will you eat?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zgm64

Does をbasically denote accusative case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CassieAsakura

Why not "Which one do you eat"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moonshade8

Why is "what will you eat?" marked as wrong? In english i would never say "which one will you eat" because it sounds odd, but the meaning is the same either way so why doesnt "what" work here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

That would be 何を食べますか
何 - what
どれ - which one
"What" is far more open-ended, whereas "which one" indicates that there is a specific set of options provided and you must choose one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.Cazier

Is this really how they ask for your order? I suspect they would something that translates to "what do you want to eat"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

Common forms are

何になさいますか - what would you choose?

ご注文はいかがなさいますか - what would you like to order?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BaNzY_

So we need to put 'will' . Okayy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithWong9

"Which one you eat" is not grammatical. You need a "do" or "will" - "Which one do you eat" or "Which one will you eat."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Reno420

somrone explain to me how these ppl pick n choose what typos and misspellings are "correct" and "wrong" cuz it seems arbatrary AF


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

It's an automated system. It will generally accept a single typo as long as that typo doesn't create a new word with a new meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rbkyee

I am curious if contextual-based sentences like this are used in literary forms. I was thinking that this is only valid for casual or conversational way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RcQuintino

Could this be translated to "Will will you eat that one?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

どれ is the question word "Which one?"
どれを食べますか - Which one will you eat?
You do not know which thing will be eaten.

"That one" would be either the pronoun それ (near the listener) or あれ (far from speaker and listener)
それを食べますか "Will you eat that?"
You do not know if that specific known one will be eaten.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UUill

If I were to say the same sentence but masENka (along with replacing wo with wa), would that mean which one will you not eat?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deebojones

See, i read this as Which one will i eat? As in I'm asking someone which one i should eat, not asking them which one they want to eat. So, would it be the same question? Or is there a clear way here to tell that i was asking some which they'd like, or would i have said it differently if i was referring to myself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deebojones

Upon further reading, the only hint would be the ます instead of です, cause its probably weird to be polite to yourself?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Himenov

Why does it use を not が ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

が marks the do-er or be-er of the verb, the grammatical subject
を marks the thing the verb is acting on, the direct object

魚が食べます "The fish eats"
魚を食べます "I eat fish"

どれが食べますか "Which one eats?" - You want to know what does the eating
どれを食べますか ”Which one will you eat?" - You want to know what will be eaten

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