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"どれですか?"

Translation:Which one?

June 19, 2017

71 Comments


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

Can someone please break it down for me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paralars1

これ - this thing

それ - that thing

どれ - which thing?

です - to be

か - sentence ending particle for questions

どれですか - which thing is it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael736602

Could you add を like どれをですか?If so, how would that change the sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paralars1

I don't think you could. を is normally used to denote the object of an action, but です "to be" doesn't really have an object in that sense. But you could add は for emphasis.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I agree with you that です doesn't have a direct object, and thus doesn't take the particle を, but 「どれはですか」sounds very strange to me.

I think this is because です requires an object (not direct) to connect to the topic. When you use は, you denote どれ as the topic, but no longer have an object. It sounds like "as for which, is"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JarvisJohn4

yes and no

no you cant just say どれはですか?

but yes you can say どれは何ですか?

日本語は難しいと思います。でも、楽しいと思います!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonardoDo971611

What this last sentence means? Please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoDolphinlover69

literal traduction of the last sentence: "regarding japanese, (i) think its difficult. but, (i) think its fun !!" sorry if im wrong i just understand it that way


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonardoDo971611

When I use wa and when I use wo? And also whitch japanese keyboard is better? I download one and it not appears as an option as the hebrew appeared on my last cellphone. Thanks. And also why is not right translate as whitch one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chuka1000

I assume you mean 'は' which is pronounced as "wa" when it is used as the topic particle (and in 'こんにちは' and 'こんばんは') and 'を' which is pronounced more like "o" when it is used after the object it identifies (in a sentence). For instance, in the sentence '私はピザを食べている' (which translates to 'I am eating pizza'), the act of eating pizza is the topic and pizza is the object of the sentence and is being eaten (i.e. receives the action). Note that in 'ピザを食べている,' you assume that the topic (and 'subject' in the English sense) is already established from context so do not need to introduce the topic particle again. There is no 'better' Japanese keyboard in the same way that there is no 'better' English keyboard. Remember that the absence of a topic particle probably suggests that the topic in that conversation is known. Therefore, imagine that you are in a shop and your child asks you to buy a particular kind of pen. In the stationary aisle, you see a lot of pens and you say to your child: 'Which pen is it' or, since the topic is known to concern pens, 'どれですか?' Alternatively, you can think of 'です' as translating to, for all intents and purposes, 'to be' (conjugated to 'is' in this case). PS: '日本語は難しいと思います。でも、楽しいと思います!!' translates to 'I think Japanese is difficult. But, I think it is fun!!'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/E.Gad

です is a linking verb. Linking verbs do not take direct objects, and therefore would not take the direct object marker を. Only action verbs can take direct objects.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pedro294370

wow, that was actually super helpful! ありがとう!


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

Yes! Finally someone is able to explain it clearly.


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

In addition, です is NOT a verb and does not function like one, even though it is classified as a copula. It functions as something like a politeness indicator, really.

どれ? どれだい? どれですか? - polite.

Please correct me if I'm wrong ><


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

I would argue that です does not simply function as a politeness indicator. It definitely has a grammatical function, which is similar to the English copula "is"/"am", in my opinion.

It doesn't really function as a regular verb either, at least not as most verbs would in Japanese, but it is similar. Namely, it can be conjugated to show tense です->でした and it always goes at the end of the sentence.


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

So 「これは何でしたか」means "what was this?" like idk some animal pass very fast by you. By the way how do I use exclamation in japanese? Just add these marks (!?) at the end or this sound too strange?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R0AHN1

No, "wo" is only used as a particulate for verbs. Existing is not an action.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elia1735

これ something near to the speaker それ something near to the listener あれ something "far" away from both


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

I'm sorry, あれ = that (something that is far from the speaker and the listener), (it can also be used to refer to a new event im a conversation, if want to refer to the same event that you were talking about, you must use それ) そら can also be used as "that" but to indicate something far from the speaker and next to the listener. これ means "this".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kitty331933

Which is the one for how many ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

"How many" in Japanese can be 「いくつ」 or 「何 (nan) + any counter」.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chaitanyad972223

Can't it come 'Which one? ' or 'Which one is it? ' ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian409039

A - Are (that thing over there)

S - Sore (that thing)

K - Kore (this thing)

D - Dore (which thing)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cecil164832

The danger in their translation is there must be at least three objects for this to work. This irritates me, because they didn't accept, "Which of these is it?' "Which one" is something an English speaker is more likely to say when referring to two objects. For two objects, the correct phrasing is "Docchi desu ka?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian409039

a good way im remembering it is by doing this.

A - are - that thing over there S - sore - that thing K - kore - this thing and D is seperare for Dore meaning which thing. by doing the abbreviation it helped me realize the distance for each on in a way atleast i can memorize since its just ASK and the first is the furthest away (Are) its funny how the abbreviation kinda matches the subject too since you are using these to ask for things. pls correct me if anything is wrong im a recent learner myself.


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

Dore and Dare are both words for which if memory serves me right, is that correct?


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

Dore for "which object" & Dare for "which person"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jan.Kapa

Or Dochirasan if you're being really nice


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

どちらさん for "which person", unless you're being extremely weirdly nice to objects ;)


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

So in real life could you say "Which one is it"?


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

Yes, in real life English you can use either one.

But there are reasons to use one instead of the other.

Which one? (To choose from what you know): The woman has two apples, and I am asking which one you want.

Which one is it? (To learn what you do not know): They have invited us to see their tiger fish. You see two fish, so you ask me which one is it.

I do not know if these two questions require different words in Japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyuzo6

Shouldn't this be translated as 'which is it?' as in English 'which' is a pronoun like DORE. The 'which' in 'which one? ' is an adjective like DONO.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

That's a good point. I would agree with you that "which is it" is the better translation.

However, the only way to translate "which one" into Japanese is to use どれ, because it's a bit of a context-dependent exception in English. You might be able to get away with どのひとつですか, but that sounds really strange to me.

In other cases, like "which apple" or "which fish", you're absolutely correct and どの would be used. (If you fiddle around with the word order, you can also still use どれ in those situations though.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

That's an interesting way to think about it. But it seems to me like you're essentially just changing the verb, and hence whether or not it's natural to omit the verb in English.

In your first example, you said yourself "which one" means "which one do you want". Likewise in Japanese, the verb would change but "which one" remains as どれ.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sana713346

Shouldn't it be "which one is it?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

This has already been discussed a few times on this page. Essentially, it can also be "which one is it" depending on the context.


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

How to remember: dore = doraemon = asks nobita, "WHICH gadget do you need this time?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark593995

So, since this question means "WHICH one is it?", how would you say "What is that?" Just 何ですか?and let the context define the "that". If I wanted to emphasize "that" instead, would I say あれが何ですか?(I think it would be が here, but please let me know if I'm wrong!


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

Yes, but it would actually be は in your example
が does stress the word before it but it is used to introduce new important information,
は is contextual known information that stresses what comes after it.

Since you are asking a question, you want to stress the unknown thing you want an answer to, so you would say あれは何ですか [On the topic of that thing - WHAT IS IT?] - "That thing" is the known information that gives context to the question, "What is it" is the important thing that you want to know.
Marking "that" as new important information would make it read something like "Is THAT a what?" which doesn't really make sense since it implies the listener already knows the existence of "what" and not "that".

If the unknown is the subject though you would mark the question word with が to emphasize it. You can't mark it as the topic with は because a topic is known information and a question word is inherently unknown.   何がありますか - [What thing] [Exists] - What is there?


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

how would i say 'where is it?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

"Where" is どこ, so the whole sentence would be 「どこですか?」


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/morelanguages.ru

Should “Which (one) is that?” be accepted as a possible option? Or does “that” imply anything absent from the Japanese sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aki-kun

Wouldn't you rather say "Which (one) is it?" in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Both can be appropriate translations of どれですか, depending on the situation.


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

Is it not allowed to just say「どれ」?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

It should; in practical speaking situations, 「どれ?」(with a questioning tone) will be understood, though it sounds very informal.

Duo probably doesn't want to accept it because 1) in my experinence, Duo ignores punctuation (like question marks, thus implicitly ignores tone), 2) it's a feedback-based learning system so they want you to show that you understand the role of ですか , and/or 3) they're teaching you, and thus only recognizing, formal language as the correct answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SHIRO718991

might be the reason.. Nice theory.


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

Can someone please tell me the difference between どれ and どの?


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

Ok, I suppose that "which is it" is a kind of literal translation, but Duolingo often accepts semantic translations (as "the pleasure is mine" for こちらこそ, so why it doesn't accept "Which one" as the right answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chuka1000

In どれですか , the copula です specifically translates to 'is' so the statement translates directly to 'which + is (it) + か'. Had the statement simply been どれ, the implication would be 'which (one)' and would strictly be used in more casual situations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mudamudamuda--

Whats the difference between dore and docchi? I always thought they were the interchangable


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

They are largely interchangeable in a grammatical sense, in that anywhere you can use どれ can also use どっち and still be grammatically correct, but the difference is the number of options to choose from. If there are only two choices, you use どっち, otherwise you use どれ.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Houdeifa5

Does it mean "which one" too?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Yes, kind of (for translation purposes), but I would agree with Duo if they marked "which one" as incorrect. For these learning exercises, you've left out the verb "is" which roughly equates to です in the original sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sherry725864

so どれですか is correct. それはどれですか、どれがですか are all ok for ''which is it? Gosh almost give up here I'm so confused to put or not to put the は &が。why can the topic/object marker be omitted in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

It all depends on the context. In Japanese, if something is obvious through the context of the conversation, it doesn't need to be restated and can be omitted.

The topic is a common example of this, and それはどれですか and どれですか mean the same thing, just the latter is said when it's clear to everyone that それ is the topic. Because the topic is omitted, the topic marker is also dropped.

どれがですか is a slightly different beast, and I would argue that "Which one is it" is not a good translation. が is the subject marker, not the object marker, so the obvious thing being omitted is actually the verb. You would only say this if you wanted to clarify which particular thing the verb of the speaker's sentence applied to. For example:

  • A: "Aww, this sucks. One of my favorite bands dropped out the festival I already bought tickets for."
  • B: え、どれがですか?= "Really? Which one (band) {dropped out}?"

In B's sentence, even though they use です, the translation can use the verb carried forward from A's sentence, because B indicated that they were talking about A's subject by using どれが.


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

How do you know when it's:

"Which (thing) is it?"

And

"Which one is it?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LorenzoMel352920

what is the difference between それは何ですか and どれですか?thanks for answering


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judd-Karlo

What's the difference between どち and どれ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

The difference is the number of options to choose from. If there are only two choices, you use どち, otherwise you use どれ.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yan41282

Which is it?is also ok.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jacquelynn392255

Why is "what is this" wrong? I thought the "do re" part meant 'this' and "desu ka" was a question marker?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaLore9

Nope, どれ means "which". Typically, どれ is used when asking someone to choose something from several possible options, but it's not as open-ended as "what".

です is the copula, which is equivalent to "is" in this sentence. か is the question marker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milanista1982

At this point I feel like desu means just about everything


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

Desu means "to be". This, in most languages, is the most basic verb. Its conjugates are almost always "is" and "are" (he is, she is, they are, it is)

Here in this sentence "Which is it", "is" is the desu

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