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  5. "何のスポーツが好きですか?"


Translation:What sports do you like?

June 19, 2017



I said "which sports do you like" and got a wrong answer. I think that should be accepted, right?


They're very similar in meaning, but as a translation, I think that would be どのスポーツが好きですか.


I believe どの itself can be written as 何の anyway when using kanji for it. :P

なんの → 何の
どの → 何の
どれ → 何れ
どこ → 何処 or 何所
どちら or どっち → 何方
どなた → 何方


My Pimsleur course taught 何の as "which", which makes more sense in the USA than "what of". :/


I also write the exact same and also got wrong answer... Btw my husband IS JAPANESE! i think he counts like a good sourse of japanese language... We have to report!.


Now it's accepted


In the multiple choice "sport" and "sports" shouldn't make a difference right? Because singular was wrong


Still wrong when I did it, it should be accepted


It will accept "which sport do you like" now (july 29th 2019)


スポーツ can be singular right?


Yeah, the S sound in ツ has nothing to do with the English plural, it's just a limitation of the Japanese syllabary. It's common to end a loan word with a character from the う column because the U sound is often dropped in pronunciation, but there's no character for "tu" in Japanese, so we have to use "tsu." You'll also see loan words that end in ト to avoid this problem.


Yep, can be sport or sports


Can anyone tell me about the function of the particle "no" here?


It's actually fairly similar to English, if you think of 何のスポーツ as "what [kind] of sport(s)".


Why is が used here? I thought that as general rule you used は for questions. Is it because of 好き?


You can usually use both, but the は would make more sense only if you are talking in general and bringing up the topic. But you need to stop relating the が and は to certain sentences, I know this is easy but that's not how it really works.

If you are asking something particular, about someone's taste, you would use が because the focus of the sentence changes depending on the particle as well, in this case, the dynamic is that you are asking about "what sport" and not "whether he likes sports or not"「何のスポーツ←が好きですか?」and が throws that focus onto the element that's marked by it.

The context I do not know, but I can assume that the speaker is either making emphasis to know which sport in the mental list of the listener(depending on context) is the one he likes. I think examples are better for this.

Your friend tells you: We need to join a sports club, they only have baseball, volleyball, and basketball available... 何のスポーツ←好きですか? "which one [of those in particular] do you like?".

It can also work in a general sense, if you use が here it can also mean something like an expression of emphasis. Your friend has invited you to several different games in different sports and you say: Meh, it was ok, is not really that fun.. your friend is annoyed and says: well.. 何のスポーツ←が好きですか?

If you use は the focus goes to anything else that is not marked by は usually to the right of the sentence; If you use が then the focus is thrown into the element that's marked by が.

focus → ●



With は you are stating that the "what sports" part is the topic, and then implying that the rest of the sentence is what you are interested in. But you, as the speaker, only wanna know about the sports he likes, not whether he likes sports or not, then が makes more sense because the「何のスポーツが」part of the sentence is what's important to you as the one doing the question. does that make sense?

EDIT: added a small textual diagram.


Yes, thank you so much for the explanation!

[deactivated user]

    Thanks! Very clear explanation.


    Is the "no" necessary? Can i just say "nan supottsu ga suki desu ka" ?


    Yes, in combination with a noun you almost always have to use の. For certain question words you can stick it right onto the next kanji (e.g. 何時 what time? 何回 how many times?, all the counters...) but in other cases it requires a connecting particle.


    There is no Japanese word for sport?

    [deactivated user]

      There is a Japanese word: 運動 (うんどう undou), which means athletics, or movement. You can still see it used in words like 運動会 (うんどうかい undoukai) which means "sports festival" or "athletics meet", an annual event at most schools.


      I find it surprising that they also use "table" and "door" as foreign words....

      It can't possibly be true that they didn't have those before English arrived...


      i'm no expert, but i think the difference sometimes comes from whether the item is western or traditional. there is a word for door, 戸 (と), but it refers especially to traditional japanese-style doors; the loan-wordドア refers especially to western-style doors.


      どんなスポーツが好きですか。 What kind of sports do you like? Most natural way to say it I think.


      Cant people like only one sport? Must be plural? ? ... Not right


      Yes, people can like only one sport, but this is a question, so you keep the options open.

      If you ask this in plural, "what sports do you like?", someone may answer with just one sport, but also three or even ten. If you ask it in singular, "what sport do you like?", it's as if you're limiting the listener's response to a single sport.


      I think it might also be a dialectal thing. In the UK at least 'sport' is used as the plural much of the time except in set phrases like "sports car" or "sports day". I would certainly say "I like sport" rather than "I like sports"


      The point is there is no difference in Japanese between the singular and the plural. This means that the sentence can be correctly translated using either the singular or the plural. Currently both are accepted.

      Without context all potential correct translations should be accepted. We don't need to guess a context or decide which potential sentence is "better".


      How would you respond to this question to say you don't like any sports? 何ものスポーツ が好きじゃない perhaps?


      That sounds about right, but I don't think the の is necessary anymore. Actually, you probably don't need to include most of that. I'd probably just say ぜんぜん好きじゃありません。I don't like it at all.


      Almost. It's 何のスポーツも好きじゃない. When 'any' (or 'every/none', depending on context) of something is the subject, も replaces が.


      I'm not fluent. I'm not proficient. My gut reaction is 「好きじゃありません。」or 「スポーツが嫌いです。」with an optional leading すみません。depending on to whom you're taking.


      I wonder if you could say 何もない or something like that?


      Is の necessary in this sentence?


      何の is kinda like is own word, similar to どの. 何の【なんの】means what kind, what sort of...

      there are some nouns that don't need の as in 何色【なにいろ】 but those are more like exceptions. A good way to see these is by pronunciation, if you pronounce 何 as なに is separated but if you hear なん・・ it goes with another thing as in 何で?


      Why is it 何の in this case and not どの or どんな?


      there are different ways to say the same thing in any languages, this is the case here.


      I keep wanting to put "donna" instead of "nanino" for "which/what kind of." In practical Japanese, would either be accepted?


      何の【なんの】is similar to "which" or "what", So for example "what sport do you like?"... The plural for sports in this exercise comes from english, in english saying what sport in singular sounds weird for americans.

      どんな would mean "what type", "what kind", So if you ask "what kind of sports do you like?" the answer can be physical, aquatic, etc... rather than just saying the name of a sport.


      I see. So, "donna" is "what kind of" and "nanino" is "which one."

      Oh, also, "Which sport do you like" doesn't sound weird to Americans. being an American myself, I think I can speak with some authority on that. The major difference between "which sports do you like" and "which sport do you like" is based on what the speaker expects to hear. If the speaker thinks that the listener only likes one sport (or is asking for one out of a list), then he or she will use the singular. If they're asking for a list of sports that the listener likes, they'll use the plural. Though, it's probably more common to hear "Do you like sports?" and if that's answered affirmatively, then they'll ask "Oh, what kind?" And by that you kind of expect specific names (baseball, tennis, etc.) but it's also okay to answer it with things like "aquatic" or "winter sports." If the one who posed the question wants more detail, they'll ask for it if they get a vague answer.

      Not that you never hear "What sports do you like" if the speaker just assumes you like sports at all. At that point you can answer in the same way as above, or clarify that you don't actually like sports. I think this sort of question is most likely to pop up if a relative older than you (particularly one who likes sports) is visiting and hasn't seen you in a while, like at a family reunion or something. Though, it's been my experience that it's more common to ask "Which sports do you like" rather than "What sports do you like."


      "Which sport do you like" doesn't sound weird to Americans

      yeah that sounds fine to me, but doesn't "what sport do you like?" in singular, sounds weird to you? that's more of a British way to say it as far as I know. "Which sport" sounds fine to me but "what sport" sounds weird, but that might just be me. What about "he's good at sport"? that one sounds really off to me, I would say "he's good at sports" instead.

      And yeah, the english sentences are more general, I was explaining from a japanese meaning perspective. And btw, It's なんの as in nanno, not nanino.. here is a good article if you want to read more:



      "What sport do you like" is still fine in American English, as I said. It doesn't sound weird to me, just a bit uncommon.

      But for the other one, yeah, it would be "he's good at sports" or "he's good at a sport," (usually going on to specify which sport, specifically, he's good at) depending on if he's good at a particular sport, or just sports in general.

      Also, I understood that you were explaining the Japanese sentence from a Japanese mindset, which I am very grateful for! I just thought that I could be helpful, too, in clarifying the American English prospective. It's not often that I get the chance to help someone out in that specific arena, and as I'm sure you know, it's very fulfilling to be helpful to someone else.

      And on that note, thank you for the help! :) It's nice that someone can assist when someone else wants a deeper understanding than just "it's said this way because that's how it's said."


      I like to think about 何の、なんの as a way of saying: "what kind of ...". I think it has that kind of meaning. Am i wrong?


      I hear どんなスポーツが好きですか more often. Was even in my 英検5級 book that i use to prepare japanese kids for that test :p


      But isn't that asking a slightly different question? Like, one is asking for "I like winter sports" as opposed to the other, which is asking for more specifics (like, "what, among these, do you like") which would result more in "I like skiing and ice skating"?


      2020.5.25 I believe in this case どんなスポーツが好きですか? and 何のスポーツが好きですか? can be used interchangeably. どんな is just more polite and formal.

      If I were asked either question, I'd be thinking soccer, baseball, table tennis, sumo, kendo etcetera, whatever you are into...


      Would it be okay to say スポーツが何を好きですか?


      好き is an adjective so it can't take a direct object with を
      The thing that is described as being liked would be the subject marked with が
      You wouldn't place the subject/new information particle が before a question word because this particle emphasizes what comes before it as new important information. You want to stress your question "what"
      You could mark "Sports" as the topic, which would be known contextual information and then "What" as the unknown important thing you want an answer
      スポーツは何が好きですか which has more of a nuance of "As for sports, what do you like?"
      vs 何のスポーツが好きですか "What sports do you like?" where "what" is directly modifying "sports"


      Actually, this is not entirely true. 好き for some reason is a +な adjective/noun that can use 「を」。〇〇を好きです。It's a bit rare but is used. You can find examples of it on the Net and on the Reverso Context app and website

      You don't have to look further than the famous song 「バンザイ、好きでよかった」 by 「ウルフルズ」。 I think most Japanese are familiar with this song. The first line of the lyrics and the rest of the opening is

      イェーイ君を 好きで よかった
      このまま ずっとずっと
      バンザイ 君に会えてよかった...

      You can YouTube it if you want to hear the full song

      Interesting enough 嫌い is another that can be used as 「を嫌い」

      As for @taijac007 sentence construction
      it is pretty rare to hear this in real-life. However there isn't anything technically wrong with its construction, and it is known well enough that the pattern appears in a pop song

      なんのスポーツを好きですか? I think would be allowed too

      I personally would say it as @swisidniak illustrated above

      I have come across Internet discussions where 〇〇を好き is something that is used in clauses. Also を好き is popular when used with people as the object

      It is also interesting to notice, while it is
      君のことが好きだ with 「を」 it looks like 「こと」 is not used.

      It is directly:

      As a very general rule, the use of 「が」 places the emphasis on the subject before it. 「を」 places the emphasis more on the predicate

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