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  5. "Who are you?"

"Who are you?"


June 16, 2017



Why だれ and not あなた


Just だれ is a more general "who". Adding あなた is not technically incorrect, but it's quite formal, and (I believe) mostly used to refer to one's spouse. (Though I guess きみ would also be correct-ish for similar reasons)


Using anata as well as kimi is considered impolite and kimi in particular as it dimishes someone's position compared to you. Your grandad can call you きみ but you would be extremely rude to call him so. あなた is usually also avoided, you should rather use a name instead. This lesson teaches you the words in general but as you go on learning you find out is practically necer used and if you need to ask "who" 何方 (どなた) is used instead... Please stop learning japanese from anime...


If it's not from anime I prefer not to learn japanese at all


ultra drama queen answer, I love it


I'm not learning from anime, but my university teacher also didn't say anything about あなた almost never being used. It never hurts to assume that someone isn't trying to do it wrong deliberately. Also, why would you disparage something that gets people into wanting to learn about the language and culture? If someone became a huge Beiber fan and wanted to learn English for that reason, I wouldn't tell them not to learn from his music, but remind them to learn from more than just that one source.


wait a minute... I thought that "あなた" is THE most polite way how to adress someone. Seconly: How would the sentance look like with "何方"? and thirdly: What's wrong with just "誰ですか?".


Let me make this clear. Referring to a person whose name is not yet known as あなた is A polite way. However, a more polite way is to either humble oneself (speaker), or to honor the listener. There are many ways to do this and あなた usually becomes redundant and removed from the sentence.

何方 is usually not written in kanji. It is written as どなた. どなた is slightly more polite than だれ. An even more polite version is どちら様ですか. 様(さま) is one of the honorifics.

Referring a person that you know as あなた instead of his/her surname/name (depending on the relationship) is impolite.


Using the pronoun "you" is actually often avoided in Japanese. It can sound a bit rude, so the subject is often omitted or the person's name used instead.


This question just made me look up and stare at the sky for a moment.




While this is grammatically correct, saying this will be considered very rude.... It's better to ask お名前は?


Is this phrasing common? or is it more natural to use どなたですか instead


Depends on the context, I suppose. It's rather direct/informal, so どなた is at least more polite/formal than だれ, but I wouldn't say it's therefore more 'natural'.


By the way, I find どちら様(さま)ですか is more useful when asking for the listener's identity. It is quite rude to say だれですか to someone you don't know. Using this pharse to ask your friend "who is he/she" is ok though.


Would 誰ですか be more suitable for a somewhat dire situation? Like if you hear a noise behind you on a dark night or you see a stranger going through your car?


Good question, I'd like to know that too


No, it would be something like え?誰? without the polite ending


"Dare desu?" with a rising intonation should work too right?


Yes, ka can be omitted by using intonation, but note that it's informal to do so owo


I think "Who is it?" is a more suitable translation for the Japanese. You should put a topic when addressing someone directly.




Plenty of discussion here on why you shouldn't say "you".


It accepts "dare".


Why doesn't hear the sound of the pronunciation?


Would だれがですか be okay?

And how about with どなたですか?


No, you don't use が here. Since です is an auxiliary verb ("to be [something]") and が a strong subject marker, that would be like saying "Who is ... ?"


What would be "dare da"?


I think だ is a less formal version of です.


What would happen if I removed the です part? Would it still mean the same if I say 誰か? (だれか?)


The idea might remain the same but (somewhat obviously) removing the verb would make it "who?" instead of "who are you?". Also, it would be more sensitive to context, since だれか on its own also means "someone".


Can you also just say 誰ですか? Thanks!


Theres a bit of inconsistency in the comments about using 「あなた」, would using「お名前は何ですか?」offend anyone like anata would?


So what's the polite and non-risky way to say who are you? Or do you just not say that to someone's face? (it sounds a little rude in English too lol)


Basically just walking up to someone and saying "who are you" in general is considered borderline rude. The more polite way would be to introduce yourself first and then ask them for their name. Once you have their name you can then proceed to omit it from a sentence unless trying to get their attention with a "Name-san"


Duo reminding us to keep that sass


Which is more polite? "誰ですか?" or "あなたは誰ですか?" ?


Both are equally impolite under my impression. To be polite, please use どちら様(さま)ですか

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