"どれを食べますか?"

Translation:Which one will you eat?

June 5, 2017

122 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisBanci

i hate how duolingo doesnt explain the grammar rules

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nihongo_papi

You have a point - there will need to be a lot of explanation for grammar in this course... You should remember, though, that this course is still being fleshed out. It has only recently been put out for beta testing.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mari.tori

I agree, but I do think it's pretty awesome for something that's completely free :)

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lethal_gnome

You should take a look at Tae Kim's guide. It's what I've been using for grammar so far.

October 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/M.Pratcher

This comment here!!! I use Tae Kim's guide (pdf), Genki textbook (book and pdf), Genki workbook (pdf), and apps for studying JPLT N5 (planning on working myself up)...

Just for anyone looking for suggestions...

December 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/dpatkat

I agree in part, knowing team will improve it with our feedback. On the other hand, these quirks make it interestingly similar to how we humans learn: a game challenge, putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

September 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nihongo_papi

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

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ToadFish2

Can you give an example of when it becomes bad?

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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).

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FelipeKail.an

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

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sundaymars

correction To answer your question...

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.)

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/percuriosus

ます indicates distal style, not politeness. A polite version would be おたべします for honorific, and いただきます for humble politeness.

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

What is "distal style"? First time I have heard of it.

Three types of politeness in Japanese language, defined by the target to show politeness:

  • Politeness to the speaker - Teinei-go 丁寧語 (です/ます e.g. 食べます)and Bika-go 美化語(お/ご e.g. お寿司/ご飯)
  • Politeness to the subject of the sentence - sonkei-go 尊敬語(お/ご…になる e.g. お待ちになる)
  • Humbleness to the subject in order to show respect to another party in the conversation - kenjō-go 謙譲語(お/ご…する e.g. お待ちする)

e.g. To tell my wife that my company's CEO is going to meet a client coming from the US, I will use sonkei-go on the client, kenjō-go on the CEO but no teinei-go on my wife.

お客様(きゃくさま)がアメリカからいらっしゃったんで、うちの社長(しゃちょう)が伺(うかが)っておるよ。

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

@percuriosus

What you described matches with the first type I listed - Teinei-go 丁寧語 (e.g. 食べる→食べます, 元気だ→元気です, いただく→いただきます). This is classified as one of the three polite forms (keigo honorifics 敬語) in Japanese language.

Reference:

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/percuriosus

Wonderful. I am glad we found the common ground. Here follow your link and you will find the term "distal": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorific_speech_in_Japanese#Expressing_politeness

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/percuriosus

Distal/direct style is not related to the politeness types you listed. You can differentiate between plain and polite forms within distal as well as within direct styles. Distal/direct: tabemasu/taberu. Plain/humbling: tabemasu/idakimasu. Does it make sense?

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/milanista1982

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

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/trevorist90

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

July 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FWrEd

It would be nice if it included watashi or anata so I know which one I have to translate "which one do I/you eat?"

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/percuriosus

Anata is rarely used, it's considered impolite. If you speak about yourself, you would use a tentative or humble form, which is not covered here. Plain distal style 食べます about yourself would have sounded strange.

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gabi_Marchetti

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

October 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?.

March 14, 2019

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

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

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/quirkybeeper

食べる (taberu) is the full verb, 食べます (tabemasu) is the conjugated form of the verb.

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/aguilerasvoice

wait, i thought tabemasu was the polite form of taberu. am i wrong?

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

たべる is the dictionary form (辞書形 or 終止形) and たべます is the polite form(丁寧形). た is the root (語幹)and べる is the inflection(語尾). たべ is the renyou form(連用形) and たべます is たべ+auxillary verb ます

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NeonMarkov

How is the future tense marked here?

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/polyluxus

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

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ishana92

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

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanDale3

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

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jbinero

Why?

August 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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

August 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CraigLeade

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

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/YeayYeay

Is を for verbs and は for describing things?

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jcalado

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

June 11, 2017

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

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

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

October 15, 2017

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

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

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Pikachu025

Perfect, thanks!

August 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/dpatkat

Dore..for the known. Nani...for the unkown.

September 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AdityaBK01

Imho, we could say like an anxious person: "どれを食べるね~" Japanese is a contextual language I think, regardless the subject but knowing the context.

June 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

June 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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...

September 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

September 10, 2017

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

Good point, I hadn't considered yet.

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sitak

I guess japanese people have other ways to question themselves. Like in english you won't really say "What am I eating?" but rather ask yourself or someone else "What is that?"

June 20, 2017

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

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

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoeriMarce1

Why is the shoku symbol not pronounced?

September 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

It is pronounced. In the verb 食べます, 食 is pronounced as た. Since the kanji is part of a word which has okurigana (meaning hiragana or katakana which is a necessary part of the word), it uses its kun'yomi た, instead of its on'yomi しょく.

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/yatimu

If this asks which you'll eat. how do i ask, which ill eat

June 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Skis5

By making yourself the subject on the sentence. I.e., (Watashi/Boku wa) dore o tabemasu ka? This sentence assumed it was being asked of someone, so context meant the "Which one to eat?" Turned into "Which one will you eat?" Which, fully wrote out, I believe is anata wa dore o tabemasu ka?

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tonkotsuLover

How is "will you" implied here?

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

Either "do you" or "will you." Japanese simple tense is either English simple present tense or simple future tense.

June 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bethbeez

Why can't I use "which to eat?" Whenever I read/hear this sentence that is what I see as the meaning. That is literally what it says. Or at least "which one to eat?" Or "which one should I eat?" Why are we automatically assuming I'm talking to another person here? I understand that there is not a lot of pronouns used in Japanese but these inferences we have to make that are based on no info are getting annoying. And I'm a fluent English speaker and "which to eat" is perfectly fine to me, it's not quite proper but it's valid.

July 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Yes, I can understand your frustration. Unfortunately because this course doesn't seem to be fully finished yet, there isn't any good explanation of a lot of the unspoken things in Japanese. The problem is that a huge part of Japanese language is tied up with Japanese culture.

The reason we can assume you are not asking a question to yourself is because the sentence uses ます. ます, and です for that matter, are forms used to show politeness and showing politeness to yourself is considered incredibly self-absorbed and somewhat faux pa in Japanese culture. Also due to this politeness factor, "which to eat" or "which one to eat" are, while not incorrect, not good translations.

Also, "which one should I eat" has a slightly different meaning, even in English, from "which one will I eat" and likewise has a different translation.

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kenan741014

I am having a lot of trouble distinguishing the difference between drink and eat. Can anybody help?

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

食(た)べる=eat 飲(の)む=drink

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JGfresh13

Can this sentence also mean What do you want to eat?

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

No. どれ is a question word where the speaker is asking the listener to choose one of the several choices. Therefore "which one" is a more appropriate translation over "what."

Edit: To say "want to eat," it would be 食べたいです

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DaniaKhali9

"Which one do I eat ?"Is the correction I got after writing "Which one I eat? "but when I opened the discussion I read "which one will you eat ?" for the same phrase.You are confusing meeeee!!!!

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

The simple form 食べる/食べます means eat or will eat depending on context. It has been answered in this thread before.

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RaidTheMel

Does japanese use thr question mark? i thought that questions ends with か instead

January 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Yes, it's very common, although it's generally avoided in formal writing. As you pointed out, か is used to indicate a question, but in my opinion, it does this mainly grammatically. From my experience, the question mark is used to show question-like intonation, particularly in informal writing, where using か can sound blunt or harsh.

January 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TabithaLookofsky

Isn't this more like Which one do you want to eat? or What do you want to eat?

February 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

That's usually the intention behind saying this sentence, but it doesn't actually mean that.

Compare this sentence with a simpler yes/no question version, for example ごはんを食べますか? which means "Do you eat rice?" or "Will you eat rice?" The former asks about whether rice is eaten, as a general principle or a habit, and the latter asks about whether rice will be eaten, at some unspecified time in the future. Neither of these ask about whether eating rice is a preference or a desire, which is what "want" refers to.

Sure, "Will you eat rice?" usually has the implication of "because I will make it for you, if you want", but that implication is not the same as actually saying "Do you want rice?"

Exactly the same rules apply to the case of どれを食べますか? which becomes either "Which (one) do you eat?" (as a habit or on general principle) or "Which (one) will you eat?" (whether you want to or not).

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BielMat

Could it be "Which one are you going to eat?"?

March 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Yes, it can. As has been mentioned many times before, 食べます can mean "eat" or "will eat", so since "going to eat" in this case is synonymous with "will eat", it should be fine.

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sian2306

What would be a basic response to this? I.e. "this one" or "i will choose this one"

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

これ (this one)

or

これを食べます (I will eat this one)

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/oRll6

What about "which would you like to eat" does it work for this sentence?

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Lahav862043

Can someone please explain to me how can i form the past, the present and the future tense? It seems like the rules aren't completely obvious...

September 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulaJimen173502

How do you know if they are referring to future or present

November 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Context. Japanese relies heavily on context for many things.

November 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TyReid4

Can someone explain why 食 is pronounced "ta-" when paired with べ instead of as "shoku" as it is pronounced alone? Or so the app is making it seem.

November 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TsukuyoGintoki

I understand everything except why 'you' is in the sentence.

I understand it's based on context but there is nothing to indicate they are referring to the other person.

December 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Agnjosrel

Is it actually "Which one will you eat ?" or also/rather "Which one are you eating ?" If that's not the case, how should we say the latter ?

January 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

It depends on the situation. We often use "are eating" when we actually mean "are going to eat." In this case, this is similar to "will eat" and we use 食べます or 食べるつもりです. If we mean "already eating," then the correct form is 食べています.

January 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Reonan404

I cant tell what rules i should apply when choosing to use を or は

February 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

は is used for promoting a part of a sentence to the topic. を is for indicating a noun is the direct object of a verb.

All question words cannot be promoted to a topic, so it is wrong to use は in this sentence.

February 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Scot_Survivor

Hey this question in ‘food’ is a little screwed I can’t enter the correct ‘?’ Mark and it’s telling me I’m wrong

March 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cleuu

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

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/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

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cleuu

Thank you very much for your reply !

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/nataniel16

Add me on fb nerds and find happiness

April 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LeonardoDo971611

How I can say Which one I will eat? Or them or us or we or she or him or it?

April 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

It is the same sentence どれを食べますか and you can add the optional subject into the sentence to clarify e.g. 彼はどれを食べますか "Which one does/will he eat?"

April 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LeonardoDo971611

How can I say which one I ill eat?

April 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach_Factor

Do Japanese people normally use the kanji for "ta" in the word "tabemasu"?

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/percuriosus

yes

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/milaqt

Why is どれ the object and not 食べ? As in 水を何ですか?

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/VicBal

食べ is a verb. The question would be 水は何ですか

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MohammadGh370451

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

July 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SML13

I put "Do you eat that?" Why is this incorrect?

July 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

It is asking for which one (どれ) and not a yes/no question.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sierra892391

I cant hear 食 in the pronounciation :(

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

It's in there for me. In this sentence, 食 is pronounced ta as part of the verb 食べます tabemasu

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sara607545

What is the difference between What do you want to eat and What do you prefer to eat?

November 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

In English? "Want to eat" has more of a sense of immediacy, whereas "prefer to eat" feels more general.

To convey that nuance in Japanese is a bit beyond the scope of this course I think, but "What do you want to eat" would be 何を食べたいですか? and "What do you prefer to eat" would be 食べるのは何が好きですか?

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Keinekotsu

Why can't it be "What will you eat? "

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

Because "what" is different from "which one." "Which one" implies that there are several choices to choose from. In Japanese, "what" is 何(なに) and "which one" is どれ. Please refer to the other comment in this thread as well as it has already been answered.

December 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/justsayin12

"what can I eat" is not correct?

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Yes, it's incorrect, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, どれ means "which", not "what". In certain situations, what/which could be used interchangeably, but generally speaking, "which" tends to better convey the idea behind どれ, and "what" is better for 何, so I can appreciate why Duo keeps the translation strict in these learning exercises.

Secondly, and more importantly, "can eat" has a vastly different meaning from "will eat". In your suggestion, the speaker is asking either what things are edible/able to be eaten or what things are permitted to be eaten. Both of these differ from the actual meaning of which things do you intend to eat, and accordingly have different verb conjugations associated with them.

February 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ThasTa0

wtf is which will you eat ive never heard of that sentence in english before

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ImmortalKC

Yes you have. If you were at a bakery and got some donuts with your friend to share and you sit down to eat them then your friend could say "Which one will you eat?" It is correct English grammar and keep in mind that it is almost always impossible to compare English grammar/structure to Japanese.

June 17, 2017
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