1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "What would you like to drink…

"What would you like to drink?"


June 20, 2017



I don't understand what the に is doing there in the 何に construct. Can someone explain that to me?


「にします」is a fixed phrase. The に doesn't really behave normally here, just don't confuse it with を and memorize:

「Xをしますか?」- WILL you do X

「Xにしますか?」- Do you DECIDE on X?

「何にしますか?」- What will you decide on?

The first part alone means: 「お飲み物は」- Speaking of drinks

Together: 「お飲み物は、何にしますか?」- Speaking of drinks, what will you decide on?

That is of course, just says "What drink will you decide on?," or simply, "What would you like to drink?"


Oh you are the best. Thanks! Much easier to understand


Does it help anyone else to think of 何にしますか as the English phrase "what will you go with".

As in "I'll go with the eggs and salad please"


I really wish they would lump them together if they're fixed phrases. Splitting it all up makes it more challenging to initially understand, imo.


Ah. That explains that one common phrase of wives in anime. ご飯にする?お風呂にする?それとも、私?


Thank you for your the explanation


After a quick search, I found out that 何にしますか means What are you going to do?, so I think that the literal meaning is When it comes to a drink, what are you going to do?

Easily deducing, we can say What book would you like to read? with 本は何にしますか


Well, "nan ni shimasu ka" doesn't mean "what will you do" (that would be "nani wo shimasu ka") but rather "what will you make it", in other words "what is your decision". (The kanji is either "nan" or "nani" depending on what follows it)


An honorific for のみもの? Not sure i hear that too often


It's more likely to be used in settings such as when serving a customer. See the following articles:




"the venerable drink" because it is the the guest being asked by the waiter, I suppose


not, 何を飲みたいですか?


Generally speaking that would be a little too direct a question to be considered quite polite. You might ask it of your children, say.


I love how Duolingo provides scaffolding for obscure phrases like this, instead of just throwing it out there and expecting you to get it wrong first time around.


Yeah, it sucks.

Praise the lord forums exist tho


is 何に pronounced なにに or なんに? Both duo and google translate pronounce it as なにに but it sounds weird.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU-hnuSM098 @0:20 provides evidence (NB: despite the possibly incorrect ローマ字 (roumaji) found there):

何には「nanini」と発音します or 「何に」という表現は「nanini」と発音します。

or: does the transition from the final ん of 何 (nan) to に (ni) create a similar sound ? the difference is slight. has this been answered?


Has to be Nan because of the n.




sounds very very polite


I think when this course was released, it was said to be for JLPT N5. And there has not been a word about any change to it since. I've got my N5 years ago, gunning for higher levels since, and Duo can, time and time again, throw sentences and structures at me that I've never seen before. At best it's just weird, at worst it's confusing as hell.




Hmm, why not いかがですか?


Ikaga means "how about". "How about the drink". And here is "What would you like to drink", the main word is 何


I think you can only use ほしい if you're speaking about what you want. You have to use another construction if you are speaking about what someone else wants. Although I agree, the sentence could use that instead


何を飲みたいのですが should be accepted. Actually the more normal phrase I've heard is just 何飲む?


Is it possible that "ni+shimasu" have something to do about keigo?


Is the "お" in the beginning really necessary?


Guys, don't downvote the sentence discussions. It doesn't give any information to the course contributors and only makes the sentence harder to find when searching for it.


Sounds like Takahashi from Fallout 4... I have never heard someone be this polite... Wouldn't this be for some special businessman at a hotel or something?


No, this is super common in any situation where an employee is talking to a customer, for example.


@tonkotsuLover great to hear !!

please advise on the above posted query:

Austin_Bzqhsgdqr asked "is 何に pronounced なにに or なんに? Both duo and google translate pronounce it as なにに but it sounds weird."

My attempt to answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU-hnuSM098 @0:20 provides evidence (NB: despite the possibly incorrect ローマ字 (roumaji) found there)


If my Japanese keyboard is any help, なにに is correct because 何に doesn't pop up if I type なんに.


hinative Q: 「何に」は「なんに」か「なにに」か、どちらが正しいですか?

A1: depends on following word 後ろに続く言葉によって読み方が異なる最たる例の1つです。それは何に対しても応用が利く




A2: depends on required level of in/formal speech

フォーマルな感じの言葉使いなので、そういう場であれば「なににつかえますか?」と読みたいですね。 友達同士であったり、後輩や部下に対してであれば、「何に使うんだ?」と言葉自体を変えた上で、「なんにつかうんだ?」と読みたいフレーズだと思います。

[but I think last line of A1 refers to informal usage of "most people" AND this lesson's high level of formal speech was not indicated. So, if the keyboard program has 'formal default' one must refer to A2, i.e. not the keyboard alone, bc it will only produce the desired kanji 何に by typing the 'formal' なにに even for informal cases where なんに is more appropriate].


Isn't there a simpler way to say this?


Correct if I'm wrong here, but as it is used in this sentence, drink is a verb. However, as it is written in hiragana - "nomimono" - is a noun. Is there just a grammar difference between English and Japanese?


のみます (really のむ) is a verb (meaning to drink) whereas のみもの is a noun (meaning a drink). This is a grammar difference: the Japanese sentence is a little closer to "what drink would you like? / as for a drink, what will you do?".


Simply, "nomi"(飲み) is a verb, meaning "to drink". "mono"(物) is a noun meaning "thing". Basically what they mean for 飲み物 is just "drink thing" or more grammatically correct, "a thing to drink".


Would it be incorrect to put an を after 何 in this sentence?


何飲み物はしますか sound good. Why is it not acceptable?


Can someone break down the verb here for me? Haven't seen this before


I said お飲物 instead of お飲み物 and got it wrong. What is the difference between the two?


You wrote "Nomono" instead of Nomimono. Sometimes people skip hiragana (like in "entrance" - 入り口 -> 入口), but mostly you need to write things in correct way. You don't wright "I want something to dink", right? :)


Why 飲み物は何にしますか isn't accepted? Why is the お necessary?


Why is "飲み物は何が欲しいですか" wrong?


this sentence is too text book, in modern real life speech you can just say "何をのみますか?” literally means what would you drink


I feel like drawing distinctions today, based on many posts in this thread, but this post sums them up quite well. me: tired and wondering "why?" So I will say with a mustard degree of mirth (sic) that in many situations "in modern real life" there are people who naturally use "textbook sentences" and/or expressions as a matter of personal style, aside from the dictates of various formal situations, in which they find themselves, e.g., the Japanese service industry, inter alia. Indeed, there are many situations where one "can just say" a lot of things, but this would exclude the situations referred to previously.

Aside from social hierarchy and Japanese formalism, there are many common notions employing the noun "drinks" and I don't think this exercise is all that formal or polite. Anyone out there who can cite examples of Japanese service industry's more extravagant formules de politesse? perhaps not "extravagant", but here is a more formal, yet standard service industry example @0:22 BTW「nanini」と発音します https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU-hnuSM098

Lastly, although this can go on for much longer, as I drift into a slumber, I think people might be thrown off by the word "Drink" and opt for the verb (as in this "textbook post"), meaning, in a polite, but less formal atmosphere one might be asked "お飲み物は?" and similarly, one might begin with まず,飲み物を頼みたいです.

Such is my case for the word 飲み物, which has rights that apparently need defending (which i didn't anticipate as I began this post).


Would 何をお飲みになりますか not be valid way to ask this? How about お飲み物にはなにがよろしいですか ? Can't actually seem to find anything it will accept other than the textbook formulaic answer...


I think that's the lesson: お飲み物は何にしますか?and many here don't think it is simply a "textbook formulaic answer", but rather a lesson on keigo and service industry level speech. Such a lesson has its place in society and in a course. blabla, and so, yeah, i'm tired today. and bla. it doesn't always have to be about all the valid possibilities in contexts other than the one selected by Duo.

However, on a personal note, I say "thanks for sharing the other possibilities, bc i find it helpful."


What's the difference between いかが?


Would 何の飲み物は欲しいですか be an ok way to ask "What type of drink do you want?"


"sweet lemonade" をください


I am asking this for the speaking and practility no the theory, what if is use 何が飲みますか? Does this work? Is this considered rude?


Dylan posted above: "the more normal phrase I've heard is just 何飲む?"

which does not employ the polite -masu form, which would be considered rude in all situations requiring formal/polite speech.

何が飲みますか?imo would also be considered rude, despite the polite -masu form, because of the degrees of polite/rude, including:

  1. お飲み物は何にしますか?

  2. 飲み物は何にしますか? where お is missing

  3. 何を飲みたいですか?

but you seem to be asking someone what they drink or 'are drinking', rather than asking what they would like.


I believe you'd need を, not が for the particle, since が usually marks what is doing the action, and を usually marks what is receiving the action.

As for politeness levels, 何を飲みますか should be neutral or casual. It's fine to use among friends, family, and peers, and it's a simple, basic sentence, so it would be fine to use with anyone if you're traveling as a foreigner in Japan. (It's one of the first sentences taught in Pimsleur's Japanese audio course, which is designed for the level of politeness a traveler would need.)

There are more polite ways to phrase the question (and you'd use them if you were asking a customer or a superior what they wanted to drink), but this basic way is not inherently rude.


@Celebrilomiel i think your "が usually marks what is doing the action," is an inaccurate explanation, because [x]は何が飲みますか?implies a subject ['what is doing the action']

also the most basic phrase: 私は寿司が好きです

the sushi is not doing the action (unless it is very, very fresh!!)


how can J25 both diverge from commonly learned basics?

が and 'rude' sh/could have been known. We, their collegues, are at fault for not teaching them well on the lower introductory levels . We have failed...


yes, J25 seems ominous, but casuistry is a lifetime occupation. Let's see when we get there (if ever!)

wie geht the Greek?


The Greek is fine, thank you. You're right, maybe I just don't understand J25... also i just wrote this, but opposite effect: champagne problems?

so relatively speaking, we are privileged learners of free Duolingo (thanks Duo, because of you, inter alia, 去年はいい年でした) https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33214652


You've cherry-picked an example, and not only that, one where there's not even an action being done! (at least in Japanese there isn't). In most cases は/が do indicate the subject.


I'm not sure I agree in most cases は indicates the subject, but I'd say in ALL cases が does in Japanese - it's just that it mightn't be in the most natural English translation.


In the sentence about sushi, が is used because 好きです is essentially "is likable"; a literal translation would be "As for me, sushi is liked." The sushi is not doing an active action, like eating or drinking; it's just existing, being liked.

For a verb like 飲む, which conveys an action rather than a state of being, you usually use を to mark what is being drunk. For example, 水を飲みます ([I] drink water). When が is used, it's often with another form of the verb, for example 水が飲まれる (water is drunk) or 水が飲みたいです (water is want-to-drinkable). が tends to be used with the passive form of the verb or a form that takes a copula. (I'm sure there are exceptions; this is just a general rule.)

You can see native Japanese sentences using forms of 飲む and the particles they're paired with here on Jisho.


@Celebrilomiel your general statements on particles still seem inaccurate and now your specific statements seem to further confuse the issues by contradicting active/passive...

i would suggest we all remind ourselves that we are friends enjoying Japanese with Duo. In the spirit of fervent, friendly, fuzziness, i share once again this incredible person's video on が (and は), @25:00 one sees the [x]は[y]が structure i was shooting for, but came up with sushi exmple just as an initial demonstration of the inaccuracy of your "が usually marks what is doing the action,"

if you like Misa-sensei and never met her b4, i don't accept lingots as a sign of gratitude :)



"Nani o nomimono shimaska" anyone can explain why this is wrong please?


Is どのお飲み物をしますか correct?


Is 何が飲みたいですか correct or not?


Is 何が飲みたいですか correct or not?


Can I say 何を飲みますか?


All of a sudden Duo throws a にする gramma.


That "wo" in the beginning .. Is iy really obligatory?


It's actually an "o". を=wo, お=o. Other than that, I'm wondering the same thing.


No it isn't. It's just super polite. Like being in a restaurant, level of politeness.

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