1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "How much is that table?"

"How much is that table?"


June 17, 2017



Why is "テーブルはいくらですか" not accepted?


I think it might be due to the "ano" (あの) missing in your sentence that might cover "that" in the exercise. If I'm wrong, anyone is more than welcome to chime in!


with japanese being such a contextual langage i think the answer should work without ano


Without ano it is too vague. テーブル can be table, tables, the table, etc. テーブルはいくらですか Is a grammatically valid sentence but not for "that table (over there).


It would work but its trying to teach you あの so they want you to use it. It also makes it more specific to which table.


As I understand it, the way you wrote would translate into "how much is a table", spoken in general terms.


I used その instead of あの and still got it correct. Is that because both are talking about "that"? Hope my question makes sense.


Guess so! 'あの' means the table is far away from the speaker and listener, whereas 'その' means the table is close to the listener but not the speaker. English doesn't distinguish between the two. I'm guessing that 'あの' fits the situation more often though?


It's because Japanese language features three distinctions in terms of space deixis: proximal (demonstratives: これ, この) meaning near the speaker; medial (demonstratives: それ, その) meaning near the addressee; and distal (demonstratives: あれ, あの) meaning not near either party. Whereas English features only two distinctions: proximal (demonstrative: 'this') meaning the same as in Japanese and distal (demonstrative: 'that') meaning anything away from the speaker. So, when translating from an English sentence to a Japanese one, like with this exercise, without knowledge of the sentences use context (exactly what deixis is a matter of), you're being forced to create great resolution in the communication that originally existed (not possible), to to from the English 'that' which is ambiguous regarding the location of the object of reference relative to the addressee, to one of the two Japanese 'that's which will communicate with greater specificity that the source (English) statement. Thus, both must be considered correct.


Your answer is so thorough and helpful. Thank you!


Why is this wrong? あのテーブルは幾らですか。 IME Gave me that kanji. 幾ら = いくら = How much?

I reported it.


Sometimes Duolingo does not accept certain kanjis. 幾 is one of them. I stumped on questions because of this too.


Is the word 机 (tsukue) wrong to be used in this sentence?


はい、because table is te-buru while desk is tsukue. The two are different. I cannot call every table in the world a desk.


机 (つくえ) means desk according to earlier lessons, and would probably not be used to describe a table.


The answer shows いくら by itself, but if you hover over "how much" it translates it as どのいくら or どれいくら. How would the meaning change if either of these were used?

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