1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "何のえをかきますか?"


Translation:What picture will you draw?

June 10, 2017





Ah, thanks for that. I wasn't sure if "no e" was together as a word or not, but I figured it out in the end due to the words Duolingo provided me to select. I just used my best logic from there, thinking that "no e" was "noe" and meant "a drawing/drawings".

Duolingo really ought to put in a lot more kanji so that reading will be a lot easier. After all, we don't want people to think that the sentence says "writing a drawing" and use the incorrect kanji character.


Aye, it'd be understood, even so. However, the lack of kanji makes reading harder and hinders your ability to parse the sentence and learn grammar, in my opinion.


Not when you don't recognize the kanji! I like how Duo is introducing them slowly.


Kanji can have "furigana", which is writing the hiragana for the kanji next to it, so anyone who doesn't know the kanji can know how to read it as well. They use them a lot in books for kids and manga for audiences up to high school, and I believe that it would be very beneficial here. If we had kanji + furigana we would start becoming more used to some kanjis and would still be able to know how to read them


I prefer not having furigana. When they are included, it can be difficult to ignore them even when you know the kanji. I use a plugin for chrome to hide them. Not that I know tons of kanji, it's just that I end up reading them unintentionally even when I don't want to and I actually know the kanji. I think if duo was going to include furigana, it should be optional.


I agree with Nico, also there are simple thousand kanji characters, I've looked around the teach them on blocks in Japan, have grade levels first through 8th and higher maybe


You're never going to learn if you shy away from exposing yourself to them. Duo should teach the kanji for any new word it introduces in the lesson.


I worked it out from ukiyo-e, luckily


How will you parse it when you are listening instead of reading? I think Duo got this right.


Probably from the fact that the object of the verb is a picture.


Kanji is a life saver man !


I think my answer was valid: "What will you draw a picture of?"


Same. Feel free to report it.


Picture or pictures works because Japanese doesnt automatically distinguish the difference


Why is no needed here?


It links the two words together to make it mean something more like "What KIND OF picture." の has other uses than indicating a posessive; it can sort of be likened to the word "of," only the description would come before the object it's describing (e.g. 犬のえ would translate as "picture of a dog" or "dog-related picture").


Great explanation. の is usually described as the possesive particle but really it shows that the two nouns are connected. Like saying 'the japanese book' would be nihongo no hon, Japanese doesn't own the book, and the book doesn't own Japanese, one describes the other.

It's only always shows a link, it just happens to usually be possession, but it can be other stuff. It's another thing you just kind of get from context. Because Japanese is ridiculously difficult. Lol.

Like the example of saying picture of a dog, it would be weird if it means the dog owned the picture or it drew the picture, right? So even though no can be used in that way it makes no sense in that case. Lol.


This is why i love the forums on duo


This 絵 (え) is the same word in emoji 絵文字, for those who remember from Hiragana.


何の is pronounced なんの, right?


That's correct, in this situation. However, the pronounciation of 何 changes depending on the circumstances.


Can you explain some of the ways 何 is pronounced in different situations?


何 is sometimes pronounced ど, but in those occasions it is usually spelled with kana instead. For example, どこ can be written in kanji as 何処. どの can be written as 何の. There is also the phrase 何時, but this is again usually spelled out in kana, as いつ.


I'd also like to know.


Can also be 'what will you write?'


They need that kanji in there to help distinguish 書き(write) and 描き(draw)


But え is picture/drawing.


"e" is a picture, indeed.


"What are you drawing?" seemed right and more natural to me. Duolingo agreed also.


it's definitely not 'drawing' since that is an ongoing action, which requires the verb be in て form. since かきis in polite form, it can't be.


Yet that's the 'correct' anwser DuoLingo gives. I agree it should be: "Nanno e o kaite imasu ka?" in that case.


What does "no e" do here


It means "picture of", so with the "nan" before it means "picture of what"

"picture of what" (+direct object particle) + "draw" = "draw picture of what". If you add "ka" to turn it into a question, it becomes (with proper English phrasing): "what do (you) draw a picture of?" or, more simply, "what do you draw?"


e is a picture, no is a particle


What would be the difference between "what picture will you draw" and "what picture are you drawing"?


What picture do you draw?


Weird syntax, right?


"...Will you draw" also works.


Is there a rule to know where to pronounce 何 as nani and when as nan ?


I am not very sure of it, but I'd say that when it's pronounced as "nani" it's the central part of the syntactic unit (the part of the sentence), so it usually has a particle indicating a function in the sentence right after it. For what I've seen, when it is pronounced as "nan" it is complementing a noun


Not really. Probably just when it's easier to pronounce one way over the other.


I think i read in Genki that if its before a particle its なん


My correct response was "What picture do you draw". If present tense, "pictures" is more natural. Otherwise, make it past tense.


Why is the no particle used here?


It links 何 onto 絵, similar to "of" or "....'s", joining them into a noun phrase "what picture/picture of what". In English the word "what" functions both as an adjective e.g. "What time is it?" and as a pronoun e.g. "What do you want to do?", which makes us overlook the subtle difference between the two, "何の" and "何" respectively in Japanese. See Nathan Dale's explanation above.


Also marked correct "what are you drawing"


Could this also mean "What are you drawing" ?


"What picture should I draw" is it correct or not for this question?


Can someone explain to me the difference between using 描く and 書?


The standard answer is that 書く is used for writing, while 描く for painting/drawing pictures. But that is not the end of it.

The problem is that 描く has two kun'yomi readings, かく and えがく. We also have another かく / えがく kanji, and that is 画く. This mess is due to etymology of all the Chinese characters in combination with historical Japanese and all of them likely have their distinct nuances. Note that I am not a native speaker and so I probably don't know all of them.

As a rule of thumb it goes something like this:

書く (かく) is used for writing, i.e. putting words on paper.

描く (かく) is sketching, drawing something, depicting something.

描く (えがく) is painting something (since it evolved from えをかく). But it can also mean to imagine something, to picture it in one's mind.

画く (かく) can mean painting or drawing something, but I would say it has a more artistic feeling due 画 being used in composites like 画家 (painter).

画く (えがく) - again, painting but also imagination.

So it boils down to the overall distinction between かく and えがく and that is かく cannot be picturing something in your mind. It is more literal, it means putting something on paper. えがく is more abstract and includes the imagination part.


My answer was: "What kind of a picture are you drawing?" But Duolingo did not agree. :(


The non-past tense includes present as well as future, so my answer, "what do you draw pictures of?", should also have been accepted.


Shouldn't 「何の」 be pronounced 「どの」 rather than 「なんの」?


I was given the translation "What picture do you draw?". There must be a better way to phrase this. I would never say this and I'm not even sure what that means.


I'd go for "What are you drawing a picture of?"


How is this distinguished from "what are you drawing"?


Can't え and かきます mean picture/to draw or painting/to paint ?


no.. in this context え would be picture/painting.. it's a noun. 書きます (かきかます) would mean to draw/to paint/to write. it's a verb.


I know what it means, but え can be a painting or a drawing or a picture so I got a bit confused on which one they meant.


How do i know that it can only be "will you draw" but not "will i draw"?


You don't. The subject is implied and can be translated with any basic pronoun. I'm guessing Duolingo just went with "you" because it seems to be the default for questions.


Is the "will" clear here? I answered "what do you draw a picture of? " and was marked wrong...


i just write "what will you draw?", and it was right


My answer, "which picture will you draw?" was not accepted and I don't understand why not.


Why does かき have 2 different kanji? 書き and 描き


Guys why there is question mark in kana questions on duolingo? There is no such thing in Japanese. They use か as question mark. I was mislead by this when try to read some texts. 何の絵を描きますか。That is Japanese way of question.


when does one use 何 versus 何の?


How would you say, "What should I draw?"

Google Translate is hitting me with: "nan no e o kakubekidesu ka?"


does this also mean "What kind of picture will you draw?"


No, because that kind of question is asked using どんな. There are three types of basic interrogatives:

どんな, "what kind"

どの, "which"

なんの, "(of) what"

When you're using なんの, you are using a noun interrogative, so the answer must contain a noun in place of 何, so for example:

何の絵を描きますか。→ 森の絵を描きます。

When you are asking どの, you are basically asking the listener to choose something from some known, finite amount of things:

どの絵は好きですか。→ あの大きな絵が好きです。

どんな ("what kind") gives you the largest freedom of choice in answering, but is also not used in the Duo sentence above, so it shouldn't be translated as "What kind of...".

どんな絵を描きますか。→ 素敵な自然を示す絵を描きます。


How to know if its present or future


Wait, "kakimasu" isn't "write"?


I answered as "what drawing will you draw" and it wasn't accepted, even though a drawing is more specifically correct than a "picture" (which can also be correctly assumed to be a painting or a photograph if not for the "draw" portion of the English sentence.)


Isn't "絵" a painting instead of a picture? And "写真" a picture/photo?


何の絵を描きますか? (nani no ewokaki masuka)

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.