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  5. "これは食べものですか?"

"これは食べものですか?"

Translation:Is this food?

June 17, 2017

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kai19154

my family when i make dinner for them


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

Maybe they're checking if fruit they've found in a bowl is plastic or not ; )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

これはくだものだか? プラだか?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtBurnap

Very strangely, ...だか is not used to form a main clause question, although one can use ...だったか or ...だろうか, or simply put か after any other plain (/informal) verb or adjective. IMABI says だか can, however be used in subordinate clauses. (The description starts below example 28): https://www.imabi.net/theparticleka.htm

Even Samuel Martin in his massive Reference Grammar of Japanese (1975:923), doesn't seem to say much more than 'it is in doubt whether [main clause だか] ever normally occur[s in] complete sentences, for the ellipsis of da may be obligatory.'

So, here are a couple of plain (/informal, casual) style alternatives for polite questions ending in ですか:

  1. Make a question with intonation, dropping both だ and か. これはくだもの?
  2. Drop だ but keep か. This is a good option to express the A or B, fruit or plastic, type structure. これはくだものか、プラスチクか。But keep in mind that か in plain style sentences can sound a little rough, or masculine. かい instead of か would sound even rougher or low class.
  3. You can soften the tone of #2 by substituting な for だ and adding の (or also add か to give it a little edge again). これはくだものなの(か)、プラスチクなの(か)。

Some similar versions: そう?/ そうか / そうなの(か) [Is that so?] Remember そうかだろうか IS possible. 大丈夫 (だいじょうぶ)?大丈夫か / 大丈夫なの(か) [Are you okay?]

Similarly, you can make questions with plain verbs (past and non-past) other than だ / です, by adding か, の, or のか . But although you can make a question using か with the plain 'let's do / go ...' > 'Shall we do ...' form (=the hortative), I'm pretty certain you can't use の, or のか. Ex. しようか / しましょうか 行こうか / 行きましょうか。Finally, the reason there's no な in these versions for other verbs is because it replaces だ, which is not used or needed here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maeldryn

Could this also translate to, "Is this edible?" or is there a better way to put it in Japanese?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hiba226886

Hmmm i guess you can look at it like that. It does literally mean thing to be eaten. But in this case it just means food. You'll learn later on that there is a verb conjugation form for 'able to'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtBurnap

Of course I understand what Hiba is saying about the literal content of the sentence, and it is up to the instructor to decide whether the purpose of a lesson is served better by focusing only on the narrow literal meaning, or on trying to understand how the sentence might be used pragmatically in the real world and alternative ways to say basically the same thing. Here I agree with Maeldryn about the likely intent of the sentence. Why would one ask 'Is this food?' You might want to know whether something is intended to be eaten or whether it is perhaps simply a decorative garnish. Or maybe you've just not ever eaten anything like it before where you're from. So you could ask this in many ways: Can you eat this? Are you supposed to eat this? ... Of course, as Hiba says, Japanese also has more literal ways to express these ideas, for example: これ食べられますか。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BreathlessTao

Such a natural reaction to seeing quite a few Japanese "food things" tbh.... :')


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PStrotman

Actually, with how realistic and common plastic display 'food' is...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

Like sea urchin: "What is this sauce? Why can't I take some off..? OH GOD THAT'S AN ANIMAL!!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inurashii

is this a pigeon?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuthmZabala

これは食べ物ですか?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roycris

Why can't it be "Are these food?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcdx3

That's not even correct in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZephyR___

anime meme format

Is this a food?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FatimaMusawy

No, this is Patrick!!


[deactivated user]

    ...asked Duo, gesturing to a butterfly.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Slash513421

    Something wrong with this app,even with 'typo' also correct.. is this foos also correct..Hahaha


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samangulie

    Small typos are np, they will correct you but won't fail you for it


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

    Actually, Duolingo is consistently inconsistent when it comes to small typos and marking you correct or incorrect. Sometimes you misplace one letter and it's marked correct and other times, sometimes the next question even, you make the same or a similar typo and Duolingo marks you wrong! Must be the day of the week ; )


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

    Duolingo, at least now, marks a typo of 1 character in the whole sentence as correct, as long as the typo doesn't mean anything. Ex. "This is foos" is fine, "This if food" isn't because "if" is another thing and the user might actually be incorrect, "Tgis is foos" would also be incorrect, due to the multiple spelling errors.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

    Example - just today, my hand accidentally brushed the check button before I had added 's on the end of a word - marked incorrect. Sometimes Duolingo overlooks small errors and other times it is merciless! ; )


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mathso2

    何???それはつくりにくいですよ。。。つくることは百時間かかりました。。。 :'(


    [deactivated user]

      If you have to ask, you probably shouldn't eat it.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamenDutchman

      Actually the sea urchin tasted quite good!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beebee201909

      Person: give me a vegetable me: これは食べものですか?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Takkun11

      "「食べ物です」"、said the ghoul.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark_Sss

      Do you not think "Is this a food?" is a bad translation? I think it should work.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark_Sss

      Do you think*


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

      Is this "a type of" food - would work.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lawn.chairs

      Not to be confused (as I was) with これ食べものは何ですか?, which is "What is this food?"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaLydiate

      これ does not and cannot modify nouns. It is a stand alone demonstrative which means - this one/thing. You are mixing it up with この which needs to modify a noun.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robot-the-Mike

      is there a reason これは食べ物ですか with もの as the kanji 物 is not correct?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lloyd76445

      Very useful question


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VoluXian

      もちろん。食べる。


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PawelJania1

      Is that a chicken?

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