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"Where is your mother?"


June 18, 2017



Yes, when discussing another person's mother use お母さん , but when discussing your own mother use 母 (はは/haha). However, as a rule, when speaking to your mother use お母さん to show repsect.


So always respect another's mother, but you're sometimes allowed to laugh at your own ;)


This. I always refer to my mother Nelson-style ("ha-haaaa!") Lol, but only jokingly; she finds it funny, too.


Can someone explain to me the precise difference of …どこにいますか?that is used here and …どこですか?that a lot of other exercises with the same translation use?


Same, everyone's more focused on what to address who's mother like.


They are functionally equivalent in these situations, because どこ makes it obvious that you're talking about a location. If I had to say, I guess どこですか is more general and hence more conversational, whereas どこにいますか is probably more "proper" and literary, but the difference is largely negligible on the whole.


If they want us to use the "proper" form in a sentence, they should specify that in the question. Making us guess which form the answer is - whether common usage or the polite form - is a stupid way to test our abilities. It's teaching by ambush.


あなたのお母さんはどこにいますか?- what place is your mother at, basically. The "に" means "at". あなたのお母さんはどこですか?- where is your mother. This is literal. They both work.


Is お母さん prounced おかあさん?(not おははさん?)


Yes. That's what makes Japanese so confusing...


for anyone interested in why there are two pronunciations of the same kanji look up onyomi vs kunyomi


How is it indicated that it is your mother rather than mine


In polite language, the honorific prefix お is often used to indicate that you are talking about something relating to your conversation partner. Like your mother


お母さん=Your mother 母 = My mother

Notice how we add お at the start, and さん at the end. さん is mostly used for people who are not family. This is kind of like Mrs. You'd never call your mother Mrs.


No, not correct. You use haha in only one case: When you talk about your mother to someone else. In every other case you use okaasan: to your mother, to your mother in law, about your mother in law, about someone else's mother.


I actually watch a cartoon show where the father of the main character calls his wife(MC's mom) with that さん. Don't know why, but I guess it's just that way in some families


Can someone explain the function of に in this sentence? Would the sentence translate to something like "in what place is your mother?" (or "your mother is in where?")


The function of に is to indicate the target location of the verb. So, in this case, since the verb is います which means "to exist", どこにいますか means something along the lines of "at/in where does [your mother] exist?"

I might be going more in depth than necessary, but note that the target location (に) is a slightly different concept from the action location (で). The target location describes the intended result of the action, while the action location describes where the action takes place. For example: (bad joke incoming)

  • ボールをホーム投げます。"I throw the ball to home plate." From this sentence, you know the ball goes to home plate, but you don't necessarily know where I am.
  • ボールをホーム投げます。"On the platform, I throw the ball." From this sentence, you know I'm on the platform, but you don't necessarily know where the ball is going.
  • (bad joke explanation: ホーム can mean "home plate" in a baseball context, or it can mean the "platform" where one waits for a train, probably shortened from プラットホーム)

います (and also あります) is kind of an exception in this regard. It's considered a "state" verb rather than an "action" verb, so rather than describing the "act" of existing, it describes the resultant state of some action, e.g. "I walked the store, and now I AM here". That's why you would only use に with います, because it doesn't really describe an action. (By the way, the verb which describes the "action" of existing is 存在する【そんざいする】)


Can どこですか be used alternately?


Yes, they are functionally equivalent.


In Japan you cam actually just say "お母さんは?" It's just a shortcut they taught me in いなぎ、東京


「君のお母さんはどこですか?」didn't go through (nor any noun for second person for that matter). I know that using second person should be avoided in Japanese, but the provided translation could be retranslated back as "Where's mother?" or "Where is OUR mother". Did I do any grammatical mistake? Or does it simply reject explicit possessor? If the latter is the case, shouldn't the actual sentence be changed or the above translation allowed?


You're right; 君 and other second person pronouns may not be commonly used in Japan, but they shouldn't penalize you for using them correctly, as you have here.

That said, it doesn't make your suggestion any more, or less, "correct" than the provided translation. The fact that it can be re-translated back into other English sentences is irrelevant; it's only possible because we have no context here, whereas normal Japanese almost always does.


Would あなたのお母さんはどこですか?be correct?


Yes, that should be accepted too. If not, report it for the course developers to fix.


お母さんはどこいますか? What would that mean?


I'm more confused on why nimasuka is used if its "at.. have/is there" than "desu ka" than how to address someone's else or your own mother


They are functionally equivalent in this situation, because どこ makes it obvious that you're talking about a location. If I had to say, I guess ですか is more general and hence more conversational, whereas にいますか is probably more "proper" and literary, but the difference is largely negligible on the whole.


Why was it accepted without か?


For these learning exercises, I personally think it should not be acceptable without か. However, it can be dropped in speech, and commonly is in casual speech, because it can be heavily implied by a questioning tone of voice.

This phenomenon is independent of the fact that the sentence has a question word (どこ) already in it. The か can be dropped from direct yes/no questions too, e.g. スプーンは要ります?【すぷーんはいります?】With the right tone, it would mean "Do you need a spoon?"


O-kaa-san wa dore desu ka? You can also say this informally as "o-kaa-san wa dore da?" with an inflection on "da".


Umm, dore means "which". You want どこdoko.

Also, using どこだ? with an upward inflection is indeed informal, but it is also somewhat confrontational. Usually, おかあさんはどこ? or おかあさんはどこなの? (both with upward inflections at the end) would be used in casual situations, with the latter being softer in tone.


Right words wrong order


What about "どこお母さんはですか"? Is it not possible?


No that is grammatically incorrect. Subject and subject marker first, then modifications to the subject, then verb


So my question is, a lot of times when I listen to Japanese speakers, I don't hear the は said aloud or is it just that the person is speaking too fast?


it's kinda lite but I can hear okaasan-wa-doko-desuka. just give it time your brain should readjust to hear it easier over time.


Is there any way to know when you should change the pronunciation of a Kanji? Or at the very least some pattern to it? Or is it just pure memorization?


There are a few general rules, which talk about a kanji's on'yomi and kun'yomi, but personally, I feel like there are so many exceptions that it's more worthwhile to just rote memorize vocabulary words and get a feel for the "rules" that way, than it is to learn the rules and practice applying them.

The main general rule I'm aware of is that a kanji is pronounced using its on'yomi if it is together with other kanji, but its kun'yomi is used if it is on its own or together with hiragana/katakana (also known as okurigana).


お母さんはどこにいますか? お母さんはどこにいるの?

Why are these incorrect?


It's not incorrect from what I can tell, it's just duolingo only teaches keigo/formal grammar, aside from a few acceptations, judging by what I've seen so far.


Would です be appropriate grammatically? Usually when I ask questions like this to my sister, I use です automatically, oops.

[deactivated user]

    What is the purpose of "にいます" in this sentence? I left out "に" and was marked wrong for it.


    どこにいますか not dokodeska becouse it is live object?


    is this the same as okasan wa doko deska?


    Why in this sentence there is "ni" after "doko"? In another sentence (where is your father?) There wasn't. It was otosan wa doko imaska and not like this okasan was doko NI imaska


    could you also say "どこですか" instead of "どこにいますか"?


    Why are we being forced to use the あなた suddenly. It has seemed optional until now. Like if omitted it would be implied it's the person being spoken to?


    And why not just どこ ですか at the end instead of に います

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