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"Where is your father?"


June 16, 2017



He went out to buy some cigarettes and never came back :(


Why "doko ni i masu ka" rather than "doko desu ka" ? There were plenty of examples for the 2nd. Possibly all of them. Is it because we're talking about people here ?


all of these are correct in japanese and they mean the same




I'm pretty sure duo accepts the second as an answer as well.

  • 1455

Why does どこ need to be followed by に when using います but not when using です? Is there a rule for this?


Summary: ですdescribes a unidirectional equality, while います describes non-directional animation

When です (or だ) functions as a copula (like in your question), it acts as a unidirectional equality. A statement like "XはYです" means something like "X=Y", but only moving from X to Y. An example in English would be something like "Birds are animals", but not "Animals are birds." This is similar to saying "2+2=4", but not saying "4=2+2". This does not necessarily mean that "Y=X" is false, but rather that that "Y=X" is not inferable from "X=Y" in this case.

This may be a result of です probably being a derivative of “であります”, which is derived from “である”. In a sentence like “私は猫である” (I am a cat), である functions to first mark “猫” (cat) with the particle で and then describe “私” (I) as inanimately existing by the means of being a cat. Note that this does not mean that “I” am inanimate, but rather that the quality of me existing by means of being a cat is not something which autonomously changes.

います is derived from いる, which is a verb denoting animate/autonomously-changing existence. いる can be used with any noun to describe it as animate (changing). So, you could say "Xはいる", where X=a deer, a bacterium, a human, or theoretically, even a tree, if you viewed the tree as something in a constantly self-directedly-changing state. Note that いる only denotes that a noun exists and is animate, but it does not inherently mark any location for its existence. Nor does “Xはいる” denote that “X” will eventually become anything other than “X”, but rather that “X” will become an altered version of “X” (i.e. changing position)

に marks the end-point of a verb. A statement like “私は猫にです” does not require the に because the equality is unidirectional. In other words, this statement can only mean “私=猫” when read from left to right (or top to bottom in 縦書き). Meanwhile, いる has no directionality and only functions to describe the animation of the noun. Therefore, an end-point must be marked if giving the location of the noun is desired. In this sentence, に marks the end-point of “あなたのお父さん”’s animate existence at “どこ”, an unknown place.


As far as I know, you don't use particles before 'です'


Is the anata no actually required?


It is correct without it


Duo didn't accept


Dec 2020 accepted - but not until I added the 'ni'!


It depends on the context. But usually you don't need it


I think it is implied if you are usingお父さん since you are speaking about someone else's father.

Using just straight 父, it is implied that you are speaking about your own father, and thus, you wouldn't need to put わたし or ぼく.


It should be accepted. It is a redundancy. Haha and chichi are "my father" and "my mother." Duolingo needs to get it together.


No, but duo wants you to translate all the words. So in this case, yes.


Hmm, i haven't used か in the end but it's somehow ok...


I think it's more polite to add the か, but it's pretty clear that this is a question because どこ is used.


Why doko ni imasuka and not doko imasuka? I'm lost here.


i see it basiccaly like where is your father IN, basically it means in which place your father is "in"


I put どこあなたのお父さんはですか The order is wrong but I don't know why.


Japanese grammar and English grammar are quite different. は indicates the subject of the sentence and in most cases, the subject comes first. You can think of it like this if it helps.

あなたのお父さん = your father

は        = is

どこですか    = where?


The order of Japanese is much different than English.

The correct order is: "you (possessive) father (topic) where is [question]"


Yes and if you want to think of it as an English sentence, think passively. "You father, where is he?" "The park, how far is it?" Instead of active voice: "Where is your father?", "How far is the park?" That might help you translate in your head a little bit faster when going from an English sentence to a Japanese one.


Remember the "Subject, Object, Verb" rule. The subject is "father", the object is finding out where he is.


I just composed a comment in which I suggested that you were conflating two different meanings of the word "object" before I realised that you were just making a joke. Oops.


You have to put "どこ" between your subject (all that comes before "は") and your verb (in this case "です")


When to use otosan vs chichi?


Chichi seems to be more informal. You can omit the o from tousan or kaasan to be less formal as well, but as far as I can tell it's like the difference between Father, Dad, or Pa. Can anyone confirm how polite/impolite these are?


父 is used when talking about your father to other people. お父さん is used when talking about other peoples father or when addressing your own father. Its not really like father/dad/pa, its about who you are speaking to that determines which one you should use.


what I've unerstood so far is that chichi is my father and otousan is your (or just someone elses) father


i think you might be right, but duo says that chichi is like.. dad. but otoosan is more like YOUR father, so it receives more affection. but i can be wrong.if someone knows, please correct me.




Just curious, but does this quest mean "Where is your father going?" instead of "Where is your father?" "Where is your father?" the way i learned, was お父さんはどこですか


お父さんはどこですか is another way of saying it. I think it is a less polite way.
います indicates the existence of a living 'thing'. A way too literal translation of あなたのお父さんはどこにいますか would be "where does your father exist?", but a more proper translation would be "where would your father be?".
In English the sentence "where would your father be" is a bit ambiguous when it comes to the timeframe. "where would your father be right now" would be a better translation, but this would insert words which aren't in the Japanese sentence.
Therefore "where is your father" is the best translation. It's not the most literal translation nor does it match the level of politeness, but it's the sentence we'd use in English in the same situation.


お父さんはどこ also works although it's not the most polite way to say it.


if you see the context, also if you see it in english (where is father? (idk why but i aways see a man talking to a child on this situation lol)), at least in japanese, people predict you are talking about THEIR father. i'm not a native, so i can be wrong, so if you think i'm wrong pls correct me.


The first time I answered as "doko imasu ka" and left out "ni" why would I have needed it as "doko ni" please?


に is needed to mark the place of existence with います
どこにいますか (At what place)(exists)


because in japanese is basically in which place is your father IN


It is ok to not use onata no. But what if i want to ask "where is my mom"


you can use watashi no okasan, but depending on the context you can always omit the watashi no part


*anata (あなた)


So, does Japanese require the use of か for any question, even when there's a question word in the sentence?


I forgot the "ka" for this answer and it accepted it as correct. I'm guessing that the question word made it clear enough that "ka" wasn't needed.


No, you can use upward inflection like you do in English.

Buy since most Japanese sentences are like statements and don't need to be rearranged to make a question form you might as well add it to not be misunderstood.


I forgot to put the "ka" on the end, yet it said my answer was correct. Is that because "doko" shows it's a question anyway?


yep, you're right. it's like saying in wattsapp: "where are you" and people will understand you're asking them. but it makes more polite and easier to understand that your asking people by using the "ka" in the end of the phrase.


Could this not be read as "Where are my mother and father?" What indicates possession?


It's context dependant. Imagine you're asking your brother - it makes sense. If youre asking a stranger about your parents, you'd include possession to yourself (boku no). The last case is asking a stranger about his parents, which is the default here.


There's no "mother" mentioned in the sentence. But you are correct that this could theoretically refer to one's own father (though unlikely), depending on the context, or to a third party's father.


Why is おなたの at the start? Doesn't that mean "whom?"


It means "your," coming from "anata" (you) and "no" ('s).

Of course, second person pronouns are used far less than in languages like English or even Brazilian Portuguese.


first: its Anata, not Onata.

second: it means your, cuz anata= you, no= possesive pronoun. in this case it's not really needed, but if your talking formally, it would be disrespectful not to use it.


Why どこ instead of だれ


Because you are asking 'where' and not 'who'.


Shouldn't it be "...どこにいますか?”


I really struggling to understand the difference of usage between "です" and "います". I learnt that "います" was for living things so I used it to answer this question and was told it was wrong.

Just for the record this was my answer. Maybe I did something else wrong? あなたのお父さんはどこいますか


Imasu/arimasu seem to be used to indicate the presence of something that is, whereas desu is concerning the quality of something that is.

There are/not animate things = imasu/sen There are/not inanimate things = arimasu/sen The things are/not X quality = desu/janai (dewanai)

In this case, think of 'where' like the quality of here or there being questioned. It's not asking if your father is present or not, it's asking where he is. Consider the difference between asking if he has hair on his head vs what color is his hair. In English, you use is for both answers but the sense of being is referring to a noun in one and adjective in the other.

This may not be the most accurate understanding and is open to critique.


well, besides, you didn't put the "ni" (anata no otoosan ha(wa) doko NI imasuka?)


I could be wrong but, I thought.. お父さんにはどこいますか ...would be correct. Duo marked me incorrect. Am I mistaken?


You've got お父さん marked as being the location with に there


yes. ni is between doko and imasuka. another place would be incorrect.


Why に is required here? All previous examples were without it. For example a question from same lesson: お父さんはどこですか.


に is needed to mark the place of existence with います
どこにいますか (At what place)(exists)

It isn't necessary with です since the copula is used for describing a state, equating the two nouns "Your father" with "what place" here. "Father = where" rather than asking about a location of existence "At what place does he exist?"
What location your father is rather than what location your father exists at
Both mean the same thing and should be acceptable here, they're just different ways of saying it


Since 'otousan' is anyway for other's father and not ours, then what's the point of saying 'anato no otousan'?


The creator of this Japanese practice has not lived among Japanese in Japan. "anata no" is optional in this sentence and in some cases dispreferred!


The vast majority of sentences on here do not use あなたの, but just because it is optional doesn't mean it shouldn't be taught at all. If it doesn't accept it without it you should report it with "my answer should be accepted". Complaining in the discussion comments will not fix anything.


It's a good topic for discussion. Some people, maybe many, might not know that "you" is often ellipted in Japanese. In fact, its overuse is a dead give away to Japanese that the speaker/writer is likely foreign. Moreover discussion can bring out the importance of context in determining word choices and their meanings.


I have the exact same sentence and it is marked wrong


Why is this so complicated afhadkjsfo just teach us sentence order please duolingo i'm begging you don't make us guess.


Why is dore not accepted?


dore (desu ka) would be "which one is your father"


If I use "oto san", it is obvious that "your father" is the meaning.


Why do all these questions seem to fit a dialogue with an abductor?


Not fair. I didn't even get s どこですか option.


With this translation it should be てすか From what I've gathered you use てす when you dont have a verb in the sentence. As is the answer translates to something like "Where has your father gone?"


Up until now, it didnt matter if i include あなたの or not (if the option was there). Quite frustrating.


Why anatano? Otosan in itself means some ine else father


What is the difference between chichi/haha and otousan/okaasan?


Honorifics make the word more polite and show respect toward the other person
お父さん・おとうさん - Your father (or addressing your own father directly)
お母さん・おかあさん - Your mother (or addressing your own mother directly)

You would omit the honorifics when talking about your own family to be humble
父・ちち - My father
母・はは - My mother

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