"Isn't the train late?"


June 11, 2017

This discussion is locked.

  • 2937

Is this some kind of more informal way to say it, since the は particle is dropped after 電車?


Particles are very commonly dropped in spoken language. For exaple people may say "nihongo hanasemasu" instead of "nihongo wo/ga hanasemasu". It is not less formal, it's just a difference between written language and spoken language.


It is definitely less formal. You wouldn't address someone you don't know this way.


Out of topic, but I wanted to make the clarification that を goes with 話します and が goes with 話せます; they are not interchangeable.


Is there a difference between せます and します

[deactivated user]

    話します is polite, non-past. "日本語を話します。" is something like "I will speak Japanese", or "I usually speak Japanese", depending on context.

    話せます is polite, potential. "日本語が話せます。" is something like "I have the ability to speak Japanese."


    I have many Japanese friends, and when I am confused I often ask which way they would say it. The number of times I have heard them say, "I would choose any of them" or "That doesn't make sense" is huge. Remember how many languages are available and we are learning from an algorithm written by a programmer. Don't be to harsh. Try and seek your answers from a variety of sources, and make Japanese friends if you are lucky enough to. がんばってみんなさん。よくできてる。


    i thought I saw somewhere that it was either みなさん or みんな and that it can't be みんなさん.


    I've been told みんなさん can be slang so maybe they were doing that?


    I missed the particle as well, so if someone can explain more indepth...


    I think that a part of conversation.


    電車は遅いですね can't this be acceptable?


    It can be acceptable. Depends on a context given and people you address it.


    See, this is why wish Duolingo could have a little more explanation. I did this and it told me it was "wrong" and I should drop the particle.

    But it's not wrong. It says what they asked for.


    Definitely acceptable, though, it has a slightly different ring to it.

    "Desu ne" is more along the lines of - "It's late, isn't it?", inviting the other party to respond/agree with you, when you've stated an obvious fact, rather than actually asking if it's late or not.


    This would more accurately translate to "The train is late, isn't it?"

    So it's similar, but I think it is important to be aware of the difference.

    • 1579

    In English, there is a slight difference between "Isn't the train late?" (Seeking affirmation about the train being late) and "The train isn't late?" (Surprise that the train isn't late when you expected it to be). What would be the difference between those two questions in Japanese?


    I had the same reaction and after thinking, I believe that this sentence is meant to indicate the latter: surprise the train isn't late. I think to seek affirmation, we would instead say (excuse the romaji) "Densha wa osoi desu ne".


    Thank God for romaji


    Since this question is asked in English as the former, I assume the answer is intended to communicate the same thing. Duo has a bunch of "isn't it [adjective]?" questions that are translated "[negative adjective] ですか" so I hope we're not all learning to say things we don't mean.


    That's not it, I read some where, it said that we add "ka" ( desu ka) aside to make a question, it can be used to seek the affirmation, it's all up to the contexts


    Being late, is not the same as being slow ... 電車、おそくないですか? OSOI means slow ... right? so What about 電車は遅れていませんか。 (Densha wa okurete imasen ka.)


    Late answer, but it's both. And はやい is both fast and early.


    Although both pronounced はやい, my understanding is that these are different words.

    • 早い means early

    • 速 い means fast


    Isn't having different kanji doesn't mean they're different words?

    Another example I can think of is: 歳 and 才. Both are pronounced "さい" and both are counters for age


    Not necessarily, they're just homophones with similar meanings. Though due to this it isn't uncommon to use 早い for both 'early' and 'fast', just less proper.
    速い however always refers to 'fast'.

    The case for 歳 and 才 is a bit different; 才 as a kanji doesn't actually have anything to do with age, but it is used as an abbreviation of the far more complex 歳. 才 is a very simple kanji so it can be taught early on to children so they can talk about their age, before they learn the proper kanji 歳 in higher school levels.


    I'm always thrown off when there's no particle, but then I think to myself "oh yeah, a pause/comma can be an unspoken particle for ideas."


    It might be a silly question, but if 遅い means both slow and late, how can I tell them apart? I mean, what if I come across something such as バスは遅いです。How do I know whether the bus is late or slow?


    I think that's just one of those things you've got to deal with in any language. E.g., in English, you might ask "if 'slow' means both 'not moving very quickly' and 'not very smart', how can you tell them apart when it's talking about a person?" And I suspect the answer to that is the same as this.


    They have different Kanji i thought.


    I don't really understand the structure of this sentence.
    "Speaking about the train, it is not late?" Is what I see there. So why is it translated as "Isn't the train late?"


    adding ~ない at the end like that can be interpreted as a rhetorical question depending on tone.

    遅く (slow) ない? (not?)


    Ah I see, thanks. I have another question about the negative form... I got myself a book to study Japanese by my own, and there's this sentence:

    土曜日に映画を見 ませんか。
    Which they translate to: Would you like to see a movie on Saturday?

    I'm glad I already know all those words, but I don't understand the negative form here. For me it's like I was asking: On Saturday, you do not watch a movie?
    Hmm, I don't know, I just don't like negative forms when I don't even want to negate something. But I guess something similar exists in English too. Like: "Don't you like to watch a movie on Saturday?" But I still don't get the whole thing yet (and there is no want/like in the Japanese sentence above, only implied then). Maybe you can help?


    I think is more similar to "won't you watch a movie (with me)?", that's a way to use negative to make an invitation. The problem with this translation is that the usage of ~ませんか is more soft and politer than the English counterpart. I think that for the English sentence I just wrote, the speaker is assuming a yes, while when you use ~ませんか in Japanese you don't know if the listener will say yes or no, so in that case "would you like to~" is more fitting.

    If you are having trouble with negative polite questions in masu form, thinking of ~ませんか as just an expression of a "soft polite invitation where the listener has the right to say no" might help. There are other similar usages of negative rhetorical questions in Japanese, so you will pick it up eventually.


    Wow, this makes much more sense now. I'm deeply grateful for your explanations, they always help to understand specific contexts better. :)

    So how would I answer a negative question. :o
    If I say "はい", is it: Yes, that's correct, I do NOT want to watch a movie. And if I say.. well okay, I don't know if you say "いいえ" because it's very direct? But IF I would say "いいえ" would it mean: "That's not correct, I want to watch a movie"? Or is it the other way around cough I don't trust myself with negative forms, but not just in Japanese cough..


    Or is it the other way around cough I don't trust myself with negative forms

    I actually never thought about that, I think while it depends on the context, most probably you will answer with a positive sentence if you wanted to go with that person to said invitation; If you wanted to reject that invitation you are better of being indirect like in any language, things like "I'm busy that day", "maybe some other time".

    Here are some responses for「土曜日に映画を見 ませんか」…

    「うん、行きましょう」"yeah, let's go".

    「いいですよ、何を見たいんですか?」"sure thing, what do you want to see?".

    「無理、でも来週暇があるんだね」"I can't but I'm free next week, ok?".

    「ごめんね、その日はちょっと忙しいんです」"I'm sorry, but I'll be a bit busy that day".

    「あぁ、ありがとう、でも、今回はすでに予定が入っています」"ah, thank you, but I already have plans this time".

    「その日はちょっと~、すみません。後でまた誘ってください。じゃあ、また今度ね」"that day for me is a bit..., I'm sorry. Do invite me again later, please. Anyways, see you later". This one is useful if you want to be awkward(笑)







    Here is a link with more ways to reject someone politely, I found it entertaining to read:



    Okay, thanks! That's a lot of possible answers I could use.
    Now I will never have the problem not to know how to accept or deny an invitation.


    would it be correct to say 電車、遅くないですね?


    That's a statement that you know, the train is late.


    So I know (at least I think I do) that if this sentence were about the train being EARLY, we would say 電車、早くないですか, rather than 速くないですか (which are homophones.) Please let me know if I've misunderstood.

    But for THIS sentence, where the train is SLOW, is 遅 the appropriate kanji? Or is it like hayaku where there's a different kanji for slow versus late?


    I feel like it should end in desu ne or desu yo ne but ka is correct also.


    I think the reason is that would be very casual and improper if talking to a stranger.


    I was also having difficulty understanding this until I went through the next question and broke it down as such:

    「遅くない」= not late 「遅くないです」= it is not late 「遅くないですか」= it is not late? = isn't it late? 「電車、遅くないですか」= isn't the train late?

    I'm not sure if it would help others who have the same problem as me

    P.S. Hmmm but I can't explain "The train isn't late?" like surprised that the train isn't late with such a breakdown though...


    why the く is in this sentence?

    [deactivated user]

      遅くない is a negative form of the いadjective 遅い.


      No audio here. The exercise doesn't make sense.


      電車 は 遅くないですか? と言わないと正しく伝わらないと思いますが。 電車遅くないですか、は親しい家族や友人なら使いますが普通は使うことはあまりないです。


      Shouldn't this translate to "Is the train not late?" instead of "Is not the train late"?.... Why does this sentence include "nai" (ない)?


      Can we use 晩い for late? How common/acceptable is it to use that kanji?


      Where is the particle? It threw me off


      osoku nai densha desu ka? Incorrect? Thanks.


      Both 遅刻ではないですか and 遅れないですか is not accepted

      • 1087

      I answered 電車は遅いですね, but that was marked incorrect. I understand that duolingo wants us to go with the literal translation, but would my translation be correct if one were to go with a more semantic interpretation of "Isn't the train late?" as a conversational/rhetorical question?


      電車は遅くないですか and "Isn't the train late?" are both negated questions

      電車は遅いですね would be "The train is late, isn't it?" with both being affirmative statements followed up with a tag question seeking agreement (ね : isn't it?)


      To me, the meaning of the English sentences are

      • "Isn't the train late?": I believe the train is late, but I expect you to disagree and I want an explanation.
      • "The train is late, isn't it?": I believe the train is late and I expect you to agree with me, so I'm just asking to confirm.

      Do the Japanese translations have the same connotations?


      Is は after 電車 not needed?


      It should translate more to, "Is the train late," rather than, "isn't the train late," right?


      "Is the train late?" would be 電車は遅いですか

      This question uses the negative much in the same way the English does 電車は遅くないですか "Isn't the train late?"


      Hmm... it should be 電車はおそくになります。


      Thar makes it into a statement as in 'the train is late' rather than a question, which is why 'か' is added. Although 'isnt it' should probably be 'ですね' as it seems the answer is translated more like 'is the train late?'


      Also, it would be おそくなります to mean "to become late", since おそい is an い-adjective. For な-adjectives, add になります after the base form of the adjective to mean "to become [adjective]" (e.g. きれいになります).


      (to clarify, I'm pointing out that even if that was the intended meaning - which it's not - the proposed sentence is improperly constructed)

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