"これは水ですか?"

Translation:Is this water?

June 8, 2017

82 Comments


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

Slowly learning kanji. It was always my worst subject in school.

June 8, 2017

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

WaniKaniを使ってみるほうがいいですよ。 You should try WaniKani to learn Kanji. It is run by Tofugu LLC. Try the first three levels for free! https://www.wanikani.com

June 8, 2017

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

I can't upvote you more

June 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duo.gluon

I've been using Wanikani for quite a long time, and i agree that it is one of the best methods for learning kanji. When i first started, my plan was to learn some kanji, and then come back to Duolingo (since japanese is now available) for vocabulary. That's what im doing currently doing and i must say it is pretty effective.

August 23, 2017

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

Very clever Kanji app! Trying the free part now.

August 6, 2017

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

鰐蟹 is indeed excellent, and I use it myself.

June 30, 2017

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

How u got excellency?

July 13, 2017

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

I guess practice makes perfect, I just tried to rewrite and rewrite kanjis until I learn then. I learned "go" and I'm super proud of it XD

July 28, 2017

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

I'm having trouble understanding how "wa" works in this?

Kore wa mizu desu Ka?

I assumed wa made it say. "Is this my water?"

What would be the difference between the two phrases?

Why is wa necessary and how would it be confusing if omitted?

July 8, 2017

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

Ok, sorry in advance for a super long reply.

The particle は is used to denote the topic, which is often also the subject, of the sentence. That is to say, the noun or phrase before は is what the rest of the sentence is talking about (topic) or what is doing the verb (subject).

In our case, the topic is これ which we know because it comes before は. The rest of the sentence is referring back to これ. That's essentially all は does here. Our verb in this case, is actually the copula です which behaves like the English copula "is"/"am", and it connects the object, in our case 水 back to the subject これ.

So, a very rough way to break it down into English is:

As for (は) this (これ), is it (です) water (水)?

Changing that into more natural English gives us "Is this water?"

I think you might have assumed "my water" because of previous lessons have often assumed the subject to be "I" or "me" when it is omitted, and you tried to put it back into your translation almost out of habit. But in this case, the subject is specified so there's no need for "I" or "me".

If you wanted to say "my water", you have to add the possessive particle の to "water". "Is this my water?" would look like 「これは私の水ですか」. Here, the topic is still this, but the object is now modified to be "my water".

Since Japanese is such a contextual language, they quite used to filling in blanks in the right places and leaving out は is actually done quite often, particularly in speech. For example:「これ、水ですか」 with the comma (、) there to create a short pause when speaking.

You could even leave out これ and just say 「水ですか」 if it's really obvious that you're asking about "this".

Note that it does make things a little more informal, so if you're not sure, it's better to include it.

Sorry again for such a long post, but I hope it helps.

July 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pikachu025

Very helpful explanation.

August 7, 2017

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

Thank you so much for this explanation, really helped me out! :)

July 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cat509430

REM!

January 17, 2019

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

You sincerely is one of the Legends of this community。 Always helping the others, you're doing God's work here! ありがとうございます!

November 17, 2018

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

Thank you a lot!! So good and comprehensible explanation that would give some lingots if I can (now on mobile and there's no such possibility :(

August 2, 2018

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

Wa is a subject particle and implies that the thing it is said after is the subject of the sentence.

January 3, 2019

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

What is the difference between that and this?

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anonamoose52

Kore - this Sore - that (closer) Are - that (furthur) Dore - which?

These KSAD packs will show up everywhere, so remembering the style of pattern here will help a lot!

June 10, 2017

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

Close, but not quite. こ is "this, near to me (speaker)", often literally in my hand. そ is "that, near to you (listener)", and implies that it some distance away from the speaker. あ is "that, over there", and implies some distance from both speaker and listener.

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marin862481

How I remember the ksad K for close S for somewhat close A for all the way over there And d you just have to remember ;) Hope this helps a little....

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryan754970

This helped a ton :)

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Drog0n

So could you use this to ask if something is a specific flavor in a supermarket? Like korewa tsuna mayo deska? I suppose you can even leave out de korewa if you're holding the product?

June 20, 2017

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

Yes, you're exactly right on all three!

Just to be pedantic, I'll add the caveat that you would basically only use これ in cases where you are holding the product (otherwise you might you それ or あれ), but can leave out これは if it's obvious you're talking about the product in your hand. You can be holding a product and looking at a different product on the shelf, for example.

July 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkOne6

But at your said before, I think, it's often better to not shorten too much, for politeness (especially with people you don't know well).. Right?

August 6, 2017

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

That's right, I wouldn't recommend shortening too much unless you're confident you know what you're doing.

For the sake of interest, I'll add that in the example above (you, the customer, asking a staff member), you would be able to shorten your sentences more than if you were about the same social standing as the listener. That is, you can get away with a slightly ruder manner of speaking because you are the customer. But again, that's only to a certain degree, so I wouldn't recommend trying it until you know what you're doing :)

August 8, 2017

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

此れは水ですか。

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel513800

The difference between this and that is infuriating. I can be talking about something far from me and the listener and have it still be, "this." Say I'm a car salesman comparing two cars that are both far from me and the listener. Car A becomes "this car" because it is the car im focusing on, and Car B becomes "that car" because its the one I'm comparing Car A with. "This car is much better on mpg than that car, but that car has better acceleration than this one." I mean, come on. The two cars could be next to each other and they'd still be "this" and "that" while being far from myself and the listener

July 3, 2017

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

That's an interesting point. I think in this situation, Japanese people (which doesn't include me; I'm Australian) are likely to continue using "Car A" and "Car B" throughout the conversation, without resorting to "this" or "that". My guess is they would differentiate the focus of the conversation by the use of は vs が.

Alternatively, they may say 右の方 migi no hou and 左の方 hidari no hou for "the one on the right" and "the one on the left", respectively, or some other similar framing pronoun.

July 17, 2017

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

右の meaning "the right's one / the one of the right", 左の meaning "the left's one / the one of the left."

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulioCC11

Is this a pigeon?

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshua10902

Now this one is a bit concerning

November 22, 2018

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

Would この水ですが mean the same (and is it a valid sentence)?

July 9, 2017

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

It is a valid sentence, but it has quite a different meaning.

First, I'm going to assume you meant 「この水ですか」 and not ですが. Using ですが makes it a statement that sounds like you're embarrassed to admit.

Because, in your sentence, この水, or "this water", is the object, 「この水ですか」 means "Is it this water?" and sounds like you're confirming with someone if they are talking about "this water" as opposed to some other water.

Compare that to the exercise sentence 「これは水ですか」, where the object is simply 水, or "water", and the subject is specified as これ, or "this". In this sentence, you're confirming whether "this" is water or not.

July 17, 2017

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

First, I'm going to assume you meant 「この水ですか」 and not ですが. Using ですが makes it a statement that sounds like you're embarrassed to admit.

God, is Japanese complicated at times.
All the more reason to learn it while I'm young, though, right?

February 16, 2019

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

Why is "This is water?" incorrect?

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eon3000

I don't think duolingo looks at question marks, so maybe they just looked at it as this is water, making it incorrect.

July 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkOne6

It's wrong because in Japanese it is a question, not a statement. You wrote a statement in English

August 6, 2017

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

"This is water?" is a question - not a statement, the fact that there's a question mark makes it so. Tophyr's question is worth being reported as correct.

November 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adams.alice.k

This. In English, interrogatives are more about intonation than word order, really.

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M

At first sight, I thought it was a weird sentence but then imagining myself going to Japan and eventually getting so thirsty while exploring that I'd take any liquid just to quench my thirst, I realized it could be very well my very lifesaver.

October 28, 2017

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

これ は ドゥオリンゴ です か?

August 7, 2018

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

If you need to question whether it's water or not, you probably shouldn't drink it. Also as someone who speaks three Chinese dialects, Kanji is like my bane. It seems like it's Chinese, my brain says that it's Chinese, but the language says it's characters with Japanese pronunciations.

October 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anton452665

No, it is poison.

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rainer29919

I know I should've commented this in an earlier lesson, but why is は pronounced like "ha" but in questions it sounds like "wa"?

August 8, 2017

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

Actually, it has nothing to do with being a question or not.

When it is used as part of a word, は is pronounced as ha, but whenever it is being used as a particle (usually to indicate the topic), it is pronounced as wa. As your vocabulary grows, you'll easily be able to figure out which pronunciation to use.

August 10, 2017

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

2 months late but I'll say this anyway: It just has to do with euphonic changes, which just make a word easier to say. As far as I know, は is only pronounced like "wa" when it's used as a topic marker.

October 17, 2017

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

Actually I believe the reason is historical, rather than euphonic.

If it was just to make it easier to say, why isn't わ used instead? I mean, it already sounds like "wa", and even has less strokes than は so it'd be easier to write too.

November 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrius5225

So what's Japanese for simply "Is it water"? Would it be 水はですか or smth different? I checked the English-Japanese translation of the phrase at Google's, and it was それは水ですか . So I guess it could be the same with これ, too. And if it's so, then the question これは水ですか may be also properly translated as "Is it water?". At the moment, the latter is being counted as an error, though.

December 5, 2017

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

Well, "it" is a weird thing to translate into Japanese. "Is it water?" should be an acceptable translation of これは水ですか, but it is probably far more common to say "Is this water?" in most similar situations.

For simply "Is it water?" though, I would probably suggest 水ですか

December 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/languagesbruh4

What's the difference between これ and あれ?

July 30, 2018

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

これ is used to refer to something that is close to the speaker (roughly "this" in English, or esto in Spanish).
それ is used to refer to something that is close to the listener (like "that" or eso).
あれ is used to refer to something that is close to neither the speaker nor the listener (like aquello or "that thing over there").

They don't match up exactly, but that's the idea.

February 16, 2019

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

i could be wrong, but i'm pretty sure "kore" means "this" and "are" and "sore" mean "that"

January 8, 2019

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

これは鳩ですか?

August 2, 2018

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

This
これ
kore

"core" can refer to ones' abs/trunk/body

..so Close to my Core (Me) = This

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heather318444

What is the difference between 'this' and 'that'

November 8, 2017

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

In English? Usually "this" means something near the person speaking, while "that" is something farther away.

In Japanese, they account for both the speaker and the listener, so これ means near the speaker, それ means near the listener, and あれ means far from both the speaker and the listener.

December 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nkwk88

This is water? is wrong?

June 18, 2018

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

Duolingo ignores all nonletters symbols so it thinks you made statement and not question.

July 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eddy992128

getting some real grand blue vibes from this question

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kli13

So if I understand well : これ this (near me) それ that (near the person I'm talking to) あれ that (neither close to me or the person I'm talking to, but still seeable by us) どれ that (something none of us can see)

How would we say "it"? "Is it water? "

Or should it be accepted for one of the 4 other cases as a correct answer by duolingo?

November 3, 2018

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

You're close on これ, それ, あれ and どれ — どれ means "which", not something that neither person can see. あれ would probably be used for that.

JoshuaLore9 has said above that he would probably use「水ですか」for "Is it water?". It's difficult to find places where the nuances of English and Japanese line up, since they're such different languages.

February 16, 2019

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

That being said, you probably know this by now. I can't check dates on the mobile app.

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julian95810

これは鳩ですか?

December 28, 2018

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

"Yes." - Thales

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe193573

I wrote "is that water" and it's still marked me as incorrect

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim613889

これ means "this", not "that".

March 21, 2019

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

It sounds like she is saying ore which is screwing with me picking the wrong answers and getting confused.

July 3, 2019

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

Waitress serving Pepsi. Me: Is this water?

July 9, 2019

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

I like to imagine you asked a chemist to give you H2O but you think he gave you H2O2.

July 19, 2019

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

Why is これ used in this instance instead of この? If the speaker is asking about a specific instance of water wouldn't you use この?

July 26, 2019

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

Say this before dying when someone has poisoned your drink.

August 13, 2019

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

Wouldnt the litteral translation be "this water?"

September 14, 2017

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

No, the "this" in "this water" would be acting as an adjective rather than a pronoun. The literal translation would be more like "this, water is?" which is nonsensical in English, thus it's best to avoid literal translations.

September 26, 2017

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

is this ... is that ... both is good right ?

December 17, 2018

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

No. "This" means something near you, "that" is for everything else.

Japanese takes it a little further; これ means something near you, それ means something near the person you're speaking to, and あれ is for everything else, so only "is this" is correct for this exercise.

December 17, 2018

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

I just wanna know, who would ever ask "Is this water?"

March 18, 2019

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

Use your imagination: maybe you've just picked up a pitcher you can't see into and you want to know before you pour it out, maybe you've just walked up to a poorly labelled self-serve soft drink dispenser, maybe you ordered water but the waiter brought you some brownish liquid instead, maybe you're about to drink a clear colorless liquid thinking it was water but IT DEFINITELY DOESN'T SMELL LIKE WATER.

Or maybe you just want to practice some new kanji, while you learn about demonstrative pronouns in Japanese.

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/some-body_once_

You know, the dispenser idea actually sounds realistic enough.

September 6, 2019

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

"Are wa mizu desu ka?"

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kai19154

*Kore wa mizu desu ka

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkOne6

Yes are wa is fine for pointing at something away from you and the listener

August 6, 2017
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