"それは何ですか?"

Translation:What is that?

June 8, 2017

56 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

これ Kore=This, in front of me それ Sore=that, Next to you あれ Are=That, over there


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

And どれ (dore) = "which?" for a thing in an unknown location. These together are the "ko-so-a-do" system of demonstratives. The same pattern applies to 〜こ (here/there/where), and 〜の (ex: この is short for これの and is used to say "this ___" while referring to a specific object), and ko-so-a-do can be used in a few other cases as well.


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

For the ones familiarized with Portuguese and Spanish: Kore=Este || Sore=Esse/Ese || Are=aquel/aquele.


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

And if you're familiar with English... wait a minute...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesMaddo8

Yeah, we don't quite have an あれ equivalent. But as my spanish teacher tought us for aquel, don't think of it as "that one", think of it as "that one, way over there".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gary251512

What about yonder?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Boondock4

For anyone who is familiar with Tubu. ( which I'm pretty sure no one is over here) これ: À それ: To あれ: Buto


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

If you're familiarised with Catalan: kore: aquest, sore: aqueix/eixe, are: aquell.


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

If there's anyone here who knows Korean!!! これ=이거 それ=그거 あれ=저거


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

In Filipino: /Kore=Ito/ /Sore=Iyan/ /Are=Iyon/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/missingnins58

For anyone who speaks Malay, これ → sini すれ → situ あれ → sana


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

Italian: これ: questo それ: codesto (almost never used nowadays in informal speech) あれ: quello


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

For people who know hindi, Kore = ये, Sore = वो (पास) , Are = वो ( वहाँ पे, दूर इशारा है मेरा)


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

For people who know hindi, Kore = , Sore = , Are = Vo (vahaan pe, door ishaara hai mera)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StudyOfWumbo3

Thanks Shadow15243! This really helps


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

What's the difference between:それ and あれ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Grey_3

こ= Close to the speaker. そ= Close to the listener. あ= Distant from both the speaker and listener. ど=Interrogative.

ここ=Here それ=That あんな=That (sort of (thing)) どれ=Which


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

それ is used to refer to objects closer to the subject, whereas あれ is used for objects farther away


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

The same distinction applies to koko/soko/asoko, kono/sono/ano, kore/sore/are, where 'so-' refers to 'there, by you' and 'a-' refers to 'there distant from both you and me'.


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

Remember the kosoado words!

Ko- = near the speaker So- = near the listener A- = far from both the reader and speaker Do- = a question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IvoPivo7

What is the difference between 'this' and 'it'? I don't know why 'this' is wrong answer?


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

Actually, I think the best translation for this sentence should be "what is that?"

それ refers to something which is near the listener, so "this" is not a valid translation. "This" refers to something which is near the speaker, and Japanese has a different word for this (これ).

"It" is valid because it's so general; "it" could be referring to something random, which just so happens to be near the listener, but that proximity isn't relevant/emphasized.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jake3.14

What role does 何 play in this sentence?


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

何 is "nani" which is contracted to "nan" before a "d" sound. So the full sentence reads "Sore wa nan desu ka ?" The meaning of 何 is "what".

Sore is “that which is close to you” or “that thing which is close to you” as a noun, distinct from “sono” which is a relative adjective and requires a noun eg “sono neko” - “that cat near you” “That thing which is not near you or me” is “Are”あれ

So the complete literal translation is: "That thing which is close to you, what is it?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K.A.966562

Japanese is rather like an open-ended Yoda language. The structure of grammar is subject-object-verb, instead of English's subject-verb-object.

Instead of saying "The cat eats mice", they say "The cat mice eats."

This turns the full question in this particular lesson from "What is that?" to "That thing which is close to you, it is.....?" Basically asking the other person to fill in the blank. It explains why a lot of Japanese answers are very simple words or phrases. "Betsuni" = "nothing", or "This? Pencil it is." or "Plush toy, is."

If they're interested, of course they'll tell you more. If not, that's usually all they say, and then leave you with a weird stare or muttered "idiot".

It's also why I love Japanese. They can fit whole subtleties into one small phrase, but then other concepts take whole sentences to describe. :-)


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

Japan is not the only country that follows 'S+O+V' structure; Nepal is another country that uses the same structure for sentences as well. Even the question structure is similar; However, subject is not omitted here. Fun fact - most of the Nepal vocabularies are originated or are taken from Indian vocabulary (not to mention Nepal also modified them),so , person fluent or learning Indian language can manage to learn Nepali language in no time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jake3.14

I understood the rest, I just didn't know what 何 meant. Though, I feel like I've seen other words for "what" than 何. Are there other words? And if so, which ones do you use when.


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

I just threw "what" into Google translate and it came up with a bunch of variants on 何 and also どんな "donna". どんな is much better translated as "what kind of" if I recall correctly.
Also どんなもの - what kind of physical thing? and どんなこと- what kind of abstract thing? As usual, donna has its friends konna, sonna and anna https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/381eug/how_do_i_use_konna_sonna_anna/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tx91791

Does the Japanese language use "?", as Duolingo is?


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

Yes, for the most part, I think. In more formal writing, such as correspondence with a client or a professor, I think using ? tends to be avoided, but there's nothing wrong with it.

Also, since many particles, including か, are dropped in casual speech, ?is used when texting friends to indicate the upward inflection of a question, e.g. 「今日(きょう)、暇(ひま)?」 = "Are you free today?" (Lit. "Today, free?")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Reno453636

For the germans here:

これ - Dieses hier (bei mir) それ - Dieses dort (bei dir) あれ - Jenes dort (weder bei dir, noch bei mir) どれ - Welches?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/absp2006

It says "wa", but I see a "ha"...


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

That's correct. When は is used as the topic/subject particle, it is pronounced wa.


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

「あれは何ですか?」 would be 'What is that over there?' right? and「は」would be marking the object that is not in reach of the speaker, but 'over there'?


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

Aww, so close! 「あれは何ですか?」 does indeed mean "what is that over there (out of your reach)?" but the information about the object being out of reach of the speaker and the listener is all contained in あれ.

は just marks out the topic/subject of the sentence.


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

Why in a sentence does 'Nani' Just pernounced as 'Nan' Like 'Are wa NAN desu ka? please answer -----


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel118036

Like ます , we say "mas" if it's at the end of the sentence and "masu" if there is something after it (sometimes). There are exceptions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenJammin234988

So I assume this is the polite way to say this? I have heard it said before as "Nani sore" or "What is this" as "Nani kare".


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

Yes, this is the polite, and grammatically correct, way to say this. 何それ and 何れ (not kare) are colloquialisms.


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

What is meaning of nani


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snakie115

I'm wondering why the 何 sounds diffrent, i can only hear な and no に


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beatrice6639

何 character is nani but nan- when added to another word. So you're hearing nandesuka which is one word of multiple characters. Ex: 何ですか? Nandesuka? What is it? 何? Nani? What?


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

Can you use this phrase like you would with English? Like, if you heard a noise in the other room, I imagine it would be are instead of sore, but does the phrase still work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/13kTone

why is 何(nani) pronounced as なん?


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

It is usually なに when it's before a vowel, and なん before a d, t, or n. Also, when it's a counter or things that are similar to counters, it's なん. So 何ようび = なんようび, what day of the week. 何さい = なんさい, how old. In things like this it is なん.


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

Why are we using は as a topic marker and not が?


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

は marks known/contextual information, the topic
が marks new important information

When asking a question, the unknown thing that you want an answer to is the part of the phrase you want to emphasize. This means question words cannot be marked as known context with は, and it means that you wouldn't place stress on other words before it with が
それは何ですか "(on the topic of that,) WHAT IS IT" - "that" is context, "What" is the important unknown thing you want answered
それが何ですか "THAT ONE is what one?" - "That" is the important thing, which doesn't really make sense in a question format.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kurisu3006

Could I just say "何これは?" Or does the word order matters?


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

Could someone explain me what's with は?


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

僕のクロックスです!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/9tailedFox669

Is 何 supposed to be (なん) or (なに)?


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

なん when before a particle or auxiliary verb starting with T, D or N sound and when attached to a counter
なに when used with a noun and when before a particle/auxiliary verb that does not start with T, D or N

です is "Desu" with a "D" sound so 何です is read なんです

何人・なんにん - How many people? (What + Counter for people) = "nan" reading because にん is a counter
何人・なにじん - What nationality? (What + Noun suffix for nationalities) = "nani" reading because じん is a noun suffix starting with a "J" sound


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guanaco14878

The voice makes は sound exactly like を

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