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  5. "Whose computer is this?"

"Whose computer is this?"


June 7, 2017



Why is
これは誰のパソコンですか? not accepted?


これは誰(btw, the kanji for だれ isn't widely used, I don't think)のパソコンですか=is this who's computer?

It has a separate nuance and instead is trying to clarify that "this" is the computer belonging to "who". It also doesn't state what "this" これ is, so this means the speaker is asking if the object is "this" instead of its owner.

これはthis is誰のパソコンwho's computerですかquestion indicator

In this case, 誰の no longer means "whose". It's connected to a noun, so instead it means "who's". "Is this who's computer?"

このパソコンはthis computer is誰のwhoseですかquestion indicator

In this case, 誰の is left floating. "As for this computer, whose is it?"


in this case, it's always "whose" and not "who's"...... just sayin'...


I'm retty sure that DanicaBescae used "who's" to explain how 誰の changes in meaning. It's not like "Is this whose computer?" would be a valid sentence ^^


I believe 誰 is widely used, it is part of the Jōyō kanji. https://jisho.org/search/%23kanji%20%E8%AA%B0


「これは誰のパソコンですか?」it's accepted by now


That was the answer I just tried, but it was not accepted. DanicaBescae's answer makes sense as to why though... but is there a reason that this answer SHOULD be accepted?


Likewise, I just tried this and it wasn't accepted. I'm pretty sure it should be.


Why is これは誰のパソコンですか? not accepted?

It should. Not much difference in meaning.

(literal) This computer is who's?

(literal): This is who's computer?


Agreed, it's what I tried 10 months ago and reported and still hasn't been added. I would think it a better translation than the one given, which is more literally "Whose is this computer?"


Im curious about this too


That's what I put, and it was accepted, but I'm not sure about the subtle differences


Why is there a "no" between "dare" and "desuka"?


The same reason it's "whose" and not "who". "no" indicates possesive. "dare" = "who", "dare no" = "whose".


To clarify further, without the の it would be asking who as if the computer was a person:

"Who is this computer?"

With the の it becomes:

"Whose is this computer?"


I wish they would have asked the question as "Whose is this computer?" The original question was very misleading in how it was structured.


But a native English speaker would never say "Whose is this computer?" The question was not misleading, it is a common question in English. Just like when Duo asks you to translate, "My name is Erika" and not "Erika, my name is".


I'm a native English speaker and "whose is this computer" sounds fine to me.


I agree with Dylan_Nicholson, though I can see why you may think people wouldn't say it that way: implied tone. Understandably, you're probably imagining it with a tone that isn't using inflections, but generally, when this wording is used, "this" is accented. "Whose is this computer?" This sentence may be said after the owners of other computers have been identified. "This computer is John's and this computer is Amy's, but whose is this computer?"


It's been corrected now.


The "no" in this case is short hand for the object noted by "は". In this case that is the computer.


So you can't say 誰のパソコンですか?


They want you to translate the "this" into "この", I think.


I gave the same answer, and I also think DL is just refusing because they like us to translete the "This/That" literal (which is not naturel in my natural language so I get caught really often). I'd still like a confirmation that sentence makes sense in Japanese if you don't try to translate literally?


The difference is quite important when you have yet to identify the object you're talking about if context is not enough, for example identifying which computer out of a group of computers.


Whose computer is it?


Whose is this computer?


I am Japanese and at school I was taught not to confuse "Whose computer is this?(これは誰のパソコンですか?)" and "Whose is this computer?(このパソコンは誰のですか?)", but this sentence doesn't follow it. Since the contributors are bilinguals, I will believe Duolingo when I practically use English.


Both questions are asking the same thing (meaning-wise, anyway), but technically speaking, they are structured differently enough to have subtle differences to what the speaker is actually saying. "Whose computer is this?" is giving the information that there is an object ("this") and that it is a computer, while asking whose it is. "Whose is this computer?" is putting emphasis on "this computer" and has a silent call to ask everyone to inspect it, looking for differentiating details as it is apparently a very specific computer. Saying "this computer" automatically contrasts it to other computers, instead of focusing on the real question you're trying to ask, which is finding out to whom it belongs. It makes people wonder "what makes it different from other computers? What's so special or interesting about it?" It may be used in situations like, "This computer is Andrew's and this computer is Sally's, but whose is this computer?" See? It contrasts THIS computer to other computers. So, your teachers were right! It's very subtle, though, and either sentence is correct, depending on what you're trying to achieve.


Thank you for your clear explanation!


I was more than happy to help, and am even happier that it was, in fact, helpful! ^_^


This is a very insightful answer. I see the difference is which part of the sentence is connected. Or, maybe it's better to say which parts aren't separated by "is." That part has more emphasis.

For clarity for anyone reading

誰のパソコン whose computer

このパソコン this computer


「これは誰のパソコンですか?」 is a correct answer! I am sure. 「このパソコンは誰のですか?」→→ "Whose is this personal computer ?"


I can't not see the word バソコん and not think of persocons. Chobits ruined it for me.


Would だれのパソコンですか Be wrong, or misunderstood?


Same. But im glad because Chobits helps me remember words such as 【小さい 】(small) :D


Can't you just say "誰のパソコンは?" ? Correct me if I'm wrong please, my brain doesn't work properly


That doesn't sound correct to me.

You can use は alone to form questions, for example 私のパソコンは?means "What about my PC?" But by that logic, 誰のパソコンは?means "What about whose computer?" which is not what was asked here. (Besides, as the computer of "who" is not defined yet, I don't think using は makes sense either.)


I think so, I hope someone can confirm.


Pretty sure the Kanji 誰 is used a lot. e. g. watch "君の名は", (Kimi no Na Wa).


Just let us use kanji without marking us wrong. ;-;


can i write darenomono instead of dareno?


why 誰のパソコンはこのですか is wrong?


As the object of the sentence is the computer we need to say This computer, this is why we mark このパソコン with the は particle. 誰の is the interrogative-possessive part of the sentence, you want to find out the to who the object belongs or exists (です) for, so it's not このですか but 誰のですか.

Also, この must be paired with a noun to make sense - otherwise we'd use これ so it wouldn't be directly attached to the noun. This unfortunately makes the このですか part wrong as it is a verb.

Although the given English is a natural way to ask the question, it is not in the natural order for Japanese as the "is" verb needs to go on the end. It would be closer if it said "This computer, whose is it?", which makes the order in Japanese make a lot more sense.

Hope this helps.


Pretty good explanation, except for a few things. "No" is not inquisitive, it's possessive. It connects the thing that is owned to the one owning it. In this case, "dare" or "who" is the one owning the thing, and the thing being owned is the PC. The "ka" at the end makes the sentence a question, and so is the inquisitive part. If you just said "kono pasokon wa dare no desu" it would sound weird what with "dare" being in there, but it's technically not a question due to the lack of "ka." Also, "wa" does not indicate the subject of a sentence, but the topic. This is a hard concept to grasp as an English-speaker since in English, the subject and the topic are always the same thing. So, the speaker of this sentence is bringing up a new topic, and this topic is the PC. Whether the subject of the sentence is the PC or whose it is may be up for debate. (This brings to mind the wa vs ga thing. "Watashi ga sensei desu." = "I am the teacher." (probably answering "Who is the teacher here?") vs "Watashi wa sensei desu." = "I am a teacher." (probably answering "What job do you have?"))

Someone please correct me if I've said anything erroneous. After all, I'm still a student, too.

Of course, this is technical sentence structure since I've seen a Japanese (nationality, not one who teaches the language) teacher hold up a hat amid her students and just ask "dare no?" (The equivalent of one of us holding up a hat and just shouting "Whose?" Simplistic, but the full, implied question gets across.) So, of course, in practice things will be a little different, but you need a mastery of the technical stuff before you reduce it like that.


Corrected my spelling and subject->object as 誰の is interrogative in nature as the の is simply making the interrogative into "whose" not "who".

I also wasn't explaining the か particle as that wasn't the thing being asked by @YufeiPang. If you've gotten this far you know what the question particle is. All they were asking was the difference in 誰の and この being swapped in the sentence.


I was just correcting technicalities, such as the claim that "no" was inquisitive by nature, while it's actually possessive by nature. Flaws in technical understanding can lead to a lot of confusion, especially when learning something as complex as a new language. It's important to be as exact as possible.


I wasn't implying の was inquisitive, I was implying that 誰の was interrogative-possessive.


ありがとう!But I still have some questions. The second reason you mentioned does make sense. However, I don't understand why we have to say 'This computer' like このパソコン other than 'Computer of whom we have no idea' like 誰のパソコン. So I am wondering is 誰のパソコンはこれですか correct? Or as you mentioned(if I get it correctly), it has to have an interrogative before ですか. If this sentence is wrong, does it mean 誰の+noun can only serve as interrogative (誰のパソコンですか?) rather than object?


I wrote 誰のパソコンですか and it was marked as correct answer :D


so happy that i got right with a very different structure これは誰のパソコンですか


Answer is wrong 'このパソコンは誰のですか' is 'Whose is this computer?'


Can't you use 誰か instead of 誰の?


誰か means "someone".


Duo does not accept このパソコンが誰のですか. Why it has to be は instead of が? I get it right with word bank since there's not much voice but typing is completely different experience.


誰 is on the right side of the sentence. You cannot use が in this case. Only は is grammatically correct.


So which is correct? このパオコンは誰のですか? or これは誰のパソコンですか? Or is both correct because if I roughly translate it, it will be "This computer is whose?" and "This is who's computer?" respectively.


How can this be asked in casual form, without the ですか?




Hmm ok, but is the なの at the end really required? Couldn't you just end with 誰の with a rising inflection?


Yes that is also possible in conversations but it becomes an incomplete sentence.


Can someone please explain in a more easier manner. Thanks.


この - This (must be attached to the noun it modifies)
パソコン - computer
は - topic marker
このパソコンは - "On the topic of this computer..."

誰 - Who
の - linking particle used to show possession
誰の - "whose", "of who", "belonging to who"
です - copula "is/am/are"
か - question marker
]誰のですか - "whose is [it]?", "[it] belongs to who?"
A more literal translation would be "This computer is whose?" or "Whose is this computer?" but that sounds a bit unnatural in English so it is reworded slightly.

このパソコン誰のですか - Whose computer is this?

これは誰のパソコンですか is a closer structure for the English wording saying [As for this] [Whose computer is it] and is also an acceptable answer here.


このパソコンは誰のですか why is the particle used after 誰?


After reading other comments I get it. but, can I write 「このパソコンは誰の?」or 「このパソコンは誰のか?」 the です in this sentence is hurting me.

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