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"Are you a student?"


June 12, 2017



Note to self: Right words, wrong order. Think Yoda.


Not exactly, but close.

Yoda typically speaks in an OSV pattern (object-subject-verb) "A student I am."

English is SVO, "I am a student"

Japanese is SOV "わたしは 学生 です"

If the subject is clear given the context, it is often dropped in Japanese.


So Japanese is like "I student am" note taken.


Uh-oh, is it like German where you have these huge sentences and the verb comes at the very end? Lol. Like "I, a big, red, fluffy chair made of polyester from Ikea, bought"


My German professors always cheerfully said that just meant you, "had to always listen closely."


No, not quite. Verbs aren't always at the end in the german language. Your sentence for exemple would actually be "I bought a big, red, fluffy chair, which is made out of polyester, from Ikea." = „Ich kaufte einen großen, roten, fluffigen Stuhl, welcher aus Poliester gemacht ist, von Ikea." In german you can put many sentences in the SVO structure, but there are also many senteces which have one or multiple verbs at the end.


Could be "Ich habe einen großen, roten, fluffigen Stuhl gekauft, welcher aus Polyester gemacht ist, von Ikea." so the first verb is split in two. Perhaps that would be "I have bought a big, red, fluffy chair, which is made out of polyester, from Ikea." in english. But I think bought and have bought and kaufte and habe gekauft mean basically the same?


In fact most german sentences have a SVO structure. But if you start building more complicated sentences, the verb is at the end of a subclause.


For spanish speakers it would be "Yo estudiante soy" (in SOV).


Or simply say: Estudiante soy.


It would be: (Yo) soy estudiante (SVO)


Dude thaaaanks, i know this is a forum about japanese ,but by the way ,you know the order of corean?


As Yoda would, think you must.


English: subject-verb-object Yoda: object-subject-verb Japanese: subject-object-verb


It's bizarre that people are still replying to my 4yo comment. The app doesn't show dates comment was created so I get it. I check the topic on desktop occasionally. Believe this is also why I keep getting new followers.


does か indicate a question or is it a particle or something else entirely ?


It indicates that the sentence is a question


Slap it onto the end of a statement and it turns into a question, pretty simple. Without the ka, this sentence means "you're a student", but with it, it means "are you a student?"


You can also use the "?", not?


You can add a question mark but don't replace か with it.


It's actually both. It's a particle which indicates a question.


So... what part of the phrase 学生ですか implies that the question is indeed in second person (you)?


No part implies a second person. This could be taken out of context where they talk about he, she, they we or you 彼は学生ですか? 彼女は学生ですか? 彼らは学生ですか? 私達は学生ですか? 君は学生ですか? But if this sentence is used in a conversation any of thouse options could be implied


I ask the same. "Anata" is not used?


I dont think the Japanese use "anata" (you) very often because its impolite.


Its seen as unnecessary, whether or not its rude depends on who you ask but remember Japanese is very context based.


I wrote "学生かですか?" and it said it is a mistake, wouldn't that be correct too? either way gotta write down あなた I do not remember it being taught before when I was going over this.


You have an extra か in there between 学生 and です that isn't doing anything,
学生ですか is an acceptable answer


Thank you! Sorry, I didn't notice it, I blame it for lack of sleep!


What does "あなた" mean? I haven't seen it before


あなた is the Japanese pronoun "you"

Usually pronouns are omitted and implied through context in Japanese, or a person's name is used. あなた is a polite impersonal pronoun that would be used if you need to clarify who you are speaking to if you don't know the person's name and is most commonly used in media broadcasts that address the audience. It does circle back around to being very intimate though and is used between couples similar to "dear/darling"

学生ですか - "Are (you) a student?" - 'you' is implied; without context this could also be "is he/she a student", "are they students", etc.
あなたは学生ですか - Are you a student? - 'you' is explicitly stated


Would ですbe desu or des in this scenario.


The u is very soft, almost silent. It is always desu


In japan "anata" is only use if you are angry with someone, it's a little rude to say anata


Not necessarily, あなた is considered the most polite "you" pronoun, however if you know a person's name it is more polite to address them by that. Using a pronoun like "you" is impersonal so can be rude if you know a name and refuse to use it. あなた is very often used in formal situations like news broadcasts/speeches/announcements in which "you" is not a specific person but a general audience. It is also fine to use if you do not know the person's name and need to clarify who you are speaking to.
It also circles around to being very intimate, used in couples similar to "darling" or "dear".

When angry you'd be more likely to hear more casual forms of "you" such as あんた、おまえ (or very hostile/confrontational forms てめえ、きさま which you're more likely to hear in anime/manga which tend to use a lot of exaggeration)


What about kimi wa gakusei desuka?


Should be correct as well, It is just impolite to use it


Is this the same with "omae wa"?


"omae" and "kimi" are both casual ways to address someone and wouldn't normally be used in polite speech (です)

Both would be rude to use in polite conversation, especially with elders/superiors.
"kimi" is very familiar. Using it sounds a bit condescending in a "you are not dangerous" way and it is mainly used by superiors to their juniors/elders to youngsters. It also carries a level of intimacy so may be used between partners/very close friends. You'll see it used a lot in music/poetry/titles to sound poetic.

"omae" is even more informal. It projects the speaker as a superior and while kimi is condescending, omae can be blatantly rude if used in the wrong situation. It is mainly only acceptable to use among peers/close friends. It is best to avoid.

あなた anata is the politest way to say "you" but even that can be rude in certain situations and is generally avoided. It is both overly distant (if you know the person's name it is rude to act as if you don't) and overly intimate (it circles back around to being used like "dear, darling" between partners so using it with someone else can also imply a level of intimacy that is unwarranted)


あなた is used only when referring to a romantic relationship. Such as, "you, my sweetheart, are a good cook". Learnt this when I lived in Japan.


Not necessarily 'only' but yes it can be used that way.
あなた is also the politest form of "you" and can come off as very impersonal and distant. It can be used with strangers if you don't know their name and need to clarify who you are speaking to, and is often used when speaking to a general audience such as in announcements/news broadcasts/speeches.


We never learned the word "anata" so we really shouldn't be tested on it yet.


ty-- I was wondering where I missed this!


So in questions, we leave out the Chin?


The 人 in previous questions just means "person", so it's like asking "are you an American person?" to be literal. You don't say "student person", just "student" so there's no 人 here


Doesn't sensei mean teacher and not student?


Yes, but the Kanji in the question is gakusei, not sensei


Why wouldn't this be "desu ka student"


「か」is the question particle. In Japanese, punctuation is often spoken rather than relying on a question mark [?]. It will always go at the end of your sentence, whether it be a verb 「ますか」or 「ですか」


か can't be replaced by は?


From what I've heard, は indicates what the subject/topic of the sentence is. 本田さんは学生です。On the other hand, か represents that the sentence is a question on top of having a question mark (?). あなたは学生ですか?


what does anatawa mean? Is ka a particle that is used at the end of the sentence to reference the person you're talking to?


あなた is the polite pronoun "you"
Pronouns are impersonal though so should only be used if you don't know the other person's name (and also circles back to being intimate, used in couples similar to 'dear, darling'), and are often omitted entirely if it can be understood through context who you are speaking about.

か is a question particle, it turns the statement into a question,
いぬです - It is a dog
いぬですか - Is it a dog?
がくせいです - (someone) is a student.
がくせいですか - is (someone) a student?


Thank you, what types of particles are there and is it supposed to be used in a specific part of a sentence. Do particles have formalities to?


Particles are used to indicate the function of a word in a sentence, usually marking how a noun relates to the verb. They are also postpositional, coming after the word they point to.

As for formality there isn't really much difference between formal and informal particles. In very casual/colloquial conversation some particles may be dropped entirely (just as spoken English we tend to omit words/parts of words)

か as a question particle is only used with polite form, with casual questions the question would be implied through inflection (raising pitch at the end like we would in English) or ending in a softer explanatory particle の
食べますか (polite) or 食べるの (casual)? "Will you eat?"

There are many particles and many have multiple functions depending on context. Rather than list them all here I'll share this Japanesepod101 video that covers them pretty well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaI7UpOl-Xk

CotoAcademy also has a good cheatsheet for them here: https://cotoacademy.com/n5-n4-japanese-particles-cheat-sheet-guide-pdf-free-download/




there should be the audio for the correct solution


What is the difference between "あなたは学生ですか?" and "学生ですか?"


あなたは explicitly states the pronoun "You" where as the second omits the subject and is just assumed "you" from the context in which it would be used.
Both answers should be equally accepted, though it should be noted that pronouns, especially ones like あなた "you" would only be used if you did not know the person's name and you needed to clarify who you were speaking to. If you know the person's name it is much more polite to use that instead, and if it is clear from context who you are speaking about it can be omitted it entirely.


What does "a nata " mean ?


My answer was 学生だの and was marked as wrong. Why?

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