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  5. "Um, what is your name?"

"Um, what is your name?"


June 6, 2017



What is the purpose of "お" in the sentence?


It is called honorific prefix . It is added to some nouns to show special respect. That is enough to know.


I saw in a video that women puts "o" before many words. Female-Japanese.

e.g. O'sake O'kimono

Is this the same case?


According to my mom who is a native japanese speaker, this is correct.


Firstly, there are two types: honorific 御(お/ご/おん/み/ぎょ) and customary 御. Honorific 御 translates to "you," because it aims to honor the owner of the following word. e.g. お名前(なまえ) your name、ご住所(じゅうしょ) your address、御社(おんしゃ)your company. On the other hand customary 御 is used because it is the way people used to say it. お酒(さけ) Alcoholic drinks、ご飯(はん) rice、御霊(みたま) holy spirit、御曹司(おんぞうし) son of a rich family、御苑(ぎょえん) emperor's garden

Within the customary usage, there are words that are commonly used, or just used by women. e.g. お花(はな)、お水(みず)、お砂糖(さとう) are used by some female people. Most of the people do not prepend お for these words. On the other hand お手洗(てあら)い、お寺(てら)、おはぎ are used by all people. Dropping the お makes the words unnatural.


Thank you! I understand half of that but it helps a lot!


Is 御風呂 honorary or customary?


お風呂 is customary, i.e. used solely to "beautify" the language, not to honor the owner of the noun.


Thank you for the quick response! Really appreciate your comments under many sentences. What about when 御 prepends verbs? Would it be honorific? For example, お世話になっております。


It can be a respectful construct, or a humble construct, depending on the structure that follows. Examples

  • お/ご・・・になる - respect the subject of the verb
  • お/ご・・・する - humble the subject of the verb (e.g. me or someone in my social in-group)
  • お/ご・・・ください - request the listener to respectfully do something
  • お/ご・・・いただく - I humbly benefit from an action done by the listener (i.e. ask the listener to do this action)


お is a politeness particle that is used to refer to another person. In other words, it's one way to say "you" but in a more formal way.


Can you extend one of the sounds in ano if you're thinking?

Like how in English you might extend the m in "ummmm...." if you're trying to come up with something.


Yeah you can. I've heard あのー、えっとー、えぇー as filler words when thinking. There's probably more too.


Yeah, it's just like um/uh/ah/er in English, nonsensical filler sounds.


For this in Japanese it can be like 'anooooo........'


Can't you just say "ano, o namae wa?" instead of adding on the rest, with the same translation?


In an informal setting, I think 「あの,お名前何だ?」would be used.


Why da rather than wa (written ha).

Forgice the lack of kana, i have an actual brick for a phobe.


だ is an informal, usually male way of saying です. だ is to です the way that 僕 is to 私


Why is は missing in there? Shouldn't it be「あの、お名前は何だ?」?


I may be wrong, but in this sentence は is connected to invisible "you". The sentence in fact is "speaking of you, what is the name?" And because you ommit あなた、there is also no visible は.


You can, and as of now it marks it correct. It's informal. Like just saying "Um, your name?" I think.


あの、名前は was accepted for me.


Can't you also say o namae wa? I'm assuming it's informal but I don't think it's wrong.


Is it necessary to say "nani" in this sentence?


I would say so. A direct translation of this sentence would be: "Excuse me/Hey, your name, what is it?" It would be strange without the "what". Though you could just re-phrase the sentence into something like: "あの, お名前わ?" to get rid of 何, though it is a bit more informal.

The 何 is pronounced as "nan" in this case by the way, not "nani".


it would be "名前は...?" not "名前わ...?". i know this is old haha but just in case anyone reads this and gets confused


That is how I originally learned to ask what someone's name is in Japanese. I actually found it weird to add the 何to the sentence...


No, it's not necessary but it's more formal than あの、お名前は.


If you're trying to type this using your keyboard (via Microsoft IME) this is how you create the Kanji:

おなまえ [space] = お名前

は [space] = は (particle)

なに [space] = 何


In the multiple choice, the option of あの、お名前は is the correct answer, but when i go to the comments, it shows あの、お名前は何ですか as the correct. Was it just missing part of the sentence or is this another example of being able to shorten the sentence due to context? Because wouldn't that translate directly to "Um, your name" ?


お名前は? is a common way of asking for name. When asking verbally for information with 何ですか, it is quite common to drop the 何ですか. e.g. ご住所(じゅうしょ)は? (What is your address?), コロナウイルスというのは? (What is coronavirus?)


So would a more literal translation be something like "Um, your name is?" perhaps?


Why is あの、君の名は?not accepted?


From what I understand, 名 usually means name in the context of reputation (ex. slander his good name, belive on his name, his name is in the history books, etc.) whereas 名前 is name as in what you are called (ex. My name is Maria, I can't remember your name, what's his name, etc.).

Also I don't know if Duo would accept 君 because as far as I can tell it hasn't been taught yet.


Why the "um"?!


The あの can be translated to "um" I suppose. Although I would translate あの as "excuse me", since it's used that way more often, as far as I know (to grab someone's attention to ask them something). It's more like a hybrid of "um" and "excuse me". It's not the equivalent of English's "um", where we say it during speeches because we don't know what to say.

This is good to know for speaking, as you can use it when you need to ask someone a question (not just their name, but for help with directions, finding something specific in a store, etc.).


It is an exclamation used to attract attention.. it works "hey" in english. Hey, what's your name? Hey, how are you?


Correct, but it's more polite than the very informal "hey".


To be straight to the point. When ever you are unsure of how to phrase your sentences, use あの instead of "Um". It is gonna sound strange to a japanese person if you say things like "aaaand", "ummm" or "wellll" when ever you are trying to think of what to say next. あの is your solution to this, more or less. With this it is also an efficient way of easing into a conversation.


There are two problems with this question: I don't think I've ever seen あの, but rather あのう, and the pronunciation of 何ですか should be "nan des ka", not "nani des ka"


あの and あのう is like "um" and "umm". it's the same word and the う just indicates it would go on for longer. (also i might be wrong but if i would write あのー not あのう. not sure if it makes a difference though)

also you're right, it should be pronounced "nan des ka"


Just curious, is this polite or casual?

Sorry, just wanted to know


the お in front of 名前 makes it more polite. you would probably be better off keeping it polite because if you wanna know someone's name then you don't know them well (you can add お in front of other nouns to make them polite as well)


I'm curious, would it be possible to add the 「が」 particle somewhere to 「名前は何ですか?」? It looks to me that it couldn't be 「貴方が。。。」 but I can't tell why.


I think that, even if you used one of the words for "you," it would still be the topic marker は rather than the subject marker が.

You could smuggle it in to the sentence as a modifier, e.g. ご両親がくれた名前はなんですか?


Why does it come up with out the "nan des ka" part? Is that still correct to say or is it a typo?


Well, the page just showed me as correct responde: あの、お名前は?Which was very confusing. And here on the discussion page the missing 何ですか indeed shows up. I think being consistent would be very helpful.


Delightful. This solution is none of the possible answers. They are different.
If only あの、お名前は is possible you need to tell that. How are we supposed to know that you can just omit half of the sentence?!


That's how Japanese language works, it massively rely on the speaker & listener to understand the context even if some words were being omitted.


why does it mark my answer as incorrect when i accidentally leave a space in between things like あの、and お名前は何ですか? is that something important...?


No, Duolingo probably didn't detect the typo.


I fall asleep, often, listening to NKH. So, I wake up to it. ... I have found that the Japanese speakers often use ano, あの, as a space filler, more like anoooo... or あのおおお. Just like (as an American) we say "Ummmm" or "Welllllll" or "Ahhh". ... So, to me, this is similiar to saying "Ahhh, what is your name?"


shouldn't えっと、お名前は何ですか also be accepted? Or is there a major difference between えっと and あの?


I am writing the same as the correct answer but it says "wrong answer"


We cannot see your answer and without sharing what your answer was (either a copy-paste or a screenshot) there is no way for your fellow learners here to help figure out what went wrong.


What about あの、名前ですか?


No, 名前ですか just says "Is it a name?"
You need は何 in there to ask "what" the name is. An honorific in front of 名前「お名前」should also be used since you are asking about someone else's name.


it makes sense...thank you


A couple questions ago I said the same thing without the は and it was accepted. The only difference was that the other one did not start with あの. Since "um" doesn't exactly sound formal, is the は really necessary for the phrase to be considered correct?


Would the meaning of the sentence change if I wrote: Гあの、 何はお名前ですが」


Something unknown can't be the topic of conversation
"On the topic of what is it, is it a/the name?" doesn't make much sense


A native speaker would probably understand you, but I don't think this is grammatical. I've never heard question words like 何 get a topic marker (though they can get the subject marker).


何 seems a bit tricky to type? It is supposed to be nani but the symbol only appears when I type nan(n), very much like in the audio where the i seems to disappear.


何 has a different sound depending on the word or syllable that comes after it. If we type a little more after 何 and convert together, we normally get the desired kanji.

Rules of pronunciation of 何: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29110779


See here we used 'o' for respect. But, do we use the same sentence with 'o' for asking someone elderly? Bcoz elderly are respected more in the asian/south asian countries?


Is あの grammatically correct, or is it like "um" in English? Also why is は pronounced like it's "wa" (sorry for not using the actual character, I couldn't remember it)?


They never explained why the "あ'' in あの名前は何ですか so can someone dumb it down dor mw lol also how do you know where to place the ''は" im still having trouble with that


あの、お名前は?It says that is the correct answer. Why does it not have the 何ですか?


is あの、名前は何ですが ok?


あの、お名前は何 is accepted. common in anime.


So, あの can mean 'that' or 'um'?


I don't think it will cause too many problems.

For "that," there will always be a noun immediately after あの (あのバナナ/that banana, あの猫/that cat).

For "um," which is like "excuse me," there's usually a brief pause, whether in English or Japanese, before the main statement. "あの,お手洗い (おてあらい) はどこですか?" Excuse me, where is the restroom?"

The context will usually make it clear.


Why is it not impolite to say "Um"? In English it's pretty rude. The "O" wouldn't be necessary!


Um ... not sure about this idea of "Um" being rude in English. Duo's translation sounds fine to me, but functionally this is just another way of starting a statement softly by easing into it. Instead of "um" it might as well be "excuse me," "pardon me," etc.

"Um/Pardon me, what are the hours of this store?" Seems okay to me.


It is not rude to say "um" in English (within this context). It is somewhat informal though.


You can't compare 2 different languages that simple lol

I can say the translation of "dog" to an indonesian out of context and they'll assume I'm swearing


It's kind of the opposite in japanese. They use expressions like that to soften a question or answer especially if it's personal. To express hesitance. It's considered more polite.


Why is it wrong to not use the なに?


何 is the part of the sentence that means "what" in "what is your name"


I answered with あの、お名前は and got it correct


『あの、お名前は?』is accepted.


In a normal conversation would it be the same if you didn't include the "あの" and just said "お名前は何ですか?" ?


君の名は is right, isn't it?


あの、なまえは。it's accepted.


What would happen if I didn't use the "何"? Would there be no "what" then? Sorry for the stupid question.


Yes, 何 is the "What" in the question "What is your name"

(お) 名前ですか would then instead mean "Is it a name?" or "Is it (your) name?"

A very casual way of asking for someone's name is お名前は? which is an equivalent to saying "Your name is....?"


How about あの,君の名前わ? (Ano, kimi no namae wa?)


Fully aware how much these are used in JaoanI still don't think Duolingo should correct for differences between "um", "uh", "ah"


I forgot to put 何 in, and it's just あの, お名前はですか would that mean i said "Um your name is"


why are some kanji pronounced different in certain sentences? example- '語'


Kanji have multiple pronunciations depending on the context they are used in. Japanese as a language existed long before the writing system, and as kanji were borrowed from Chinese which is a very different language, they had to be molded to fit the grammar and vocabulary of Japanese.

The kun-yomi is a native Japanese reading, applied to the kanji for its similar meaning. This is most commonly found when a kanji is by itself as well as in people's names.

The on-yomi is the Sino-Japanese reading borrowed from Chinese, this is most common when a kanji is in a compound.

It is better to learn the meaning of a kanji and then the reading in the context of the full word it is used in than to memorize every individual reading of a kanji out of context.

語 isn't the best example, as its pronunciation ご as the suffix for languages is the only one that Duo teaches. (Its kun-yomi is かた used in verb 語る・かたる "to tell of, to speak about, to recite")
You may be confusing it with 話 which looks similar and is the stem of the verb 話す・はなす "to speak" and its potential form 話せる・はなせる "To be able to speak" taught in the Intro lessons of the course.

A better example would be one such as 人 meaning "person"
When by itself and in some compounds it is pronounced with its kun-yomi ひと to mean "person"

人・ひと "Person"
人々 (人人)・ひとびと - "People"
女の人・おんなのひと "Woman"
男の人・おとこのひと "Man"

When used as a suffix for a nationality/type of person it takes its on-yomi じん 

日本人・にほんじん Japanese
アメリカ人・あめりかじん American
白人・はくじん Caucasian

When used as a counter for people it becomes り for one and two people and にん for higher numbers:

一人・ひとり One person/alone
二人・ふたり Two people
三人・さんにん Three people
四人・よにん Four people

In other common compound words;
人口・じんこう "Population"
人生・じんせい "Human life"
人種・じんしゅ "Race"
人形・にんぎょう "Doll, puppet"
人間・にんげん "Human being"

More examples;

There are also kanji like 日 "Sun/day" and 生 "Life, raw" which both have 18+ readings, many irregular/used in specific words. Kanji are applied to native words for their meaning, so many different words can use the same kanji if those words have similar meanings.
日曜日・にちようび "Sunday" uses two different readings of 日
今日 (now - day) is typically pronounced with the reading きょう meaning "today" but can also be read as こんにち such as in the greeting こんにちは "hello"
日本 "Japan" is the only instance where this kanji is pronounced に

生 is used in many different words related to life;
Kun-yomi readings:
生 by itself is なま meaning "raw, uncooked"
生きる・いきる - to live
生む・うむ - to give birth
生える・はえる - to grow/to spring up
生る・なる - to bear fruit

On-yomi readings
せい such as in 学生・がくせい "Student" and 先生・せんせい "Teacher"
しょう such as in 生ずる・しゅずる "to produce", 生涯・しょうがい "lifetime, career" and 生姜・しょうが "Ginger"

I like to think of kanji as the combination of letters "ough" in English. Just looking at the letters you may have an idea of how it is read, but it is different in every word of “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
Unlike English though, kanji give you the benefit of still understanding what it means even if you can't pronounce it.


Most kanji have multiple readings. Why can't they? In English for example, "read" can be pronounced as "reed" or "red" and why is that?


Would “ 何と言いますか。” be an uncommon thing to say?


How about kimi no namae wa?


Kim suggests you are intimate/ fighting with a person. You don't use "you" when talking to a Japanese person unless you know them very well and even then you should use it sparingly.

Instead, use " [person's last name]-san / -kun (young male) / -chan (young female) wa... " .

if you HAVE to use "you", ie. the sentence grammar depends on it, (only then) you can use "anata". Never use kimi.


I meant "kimi suggests.." lol autocorrect ftw


Sorry i was talking about anime stuff


Oh you mean "Kimi no na wa"? I heard that anime somewhere.. what is it about? Is it any good?


Anyway thanks about kind reply


Okay how come when answered this exact question another time without including a silent, unpronounced "nani" in the sentence it was wrong? How come sometimes this question has a "nani" and sometimes it doesn't?


Can you elaborate what is a silent, unpronounced "nani"?

The 何ですか in this question is pronounced as "nan des-ka" and it is not "nani."


Why do I need the 何 particle?


何 is basically "what." 名前は何ですか is basically Name (on the subject of) what is ?


Could you say: "ano, toiimasu ka?"


と is a quotation particle and needs to be attached to the word or phrase you are quoting (with 'ano' preceding it, your sentence reads as "Are you called 'um'?")
言う・言います is the verb "to say, to be named, to be called", so on it's own 言いますか just says "Do you say?"
You could say 何と言いますか for "What do you say/what are you called" though that is more often used to ask what the word for something is. You could preface it with お名前は "as for your name..." for clarification    お名前は何と言いますか - "As for your name...you say what?/you are called what?"

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