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"What is it?"

Translation:なんですか?

June 22, 2017

109 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/henriquesu2

So it's like this: "nan desu ka?" Is that it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/42069dude

this is a good response


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

chew what a beautiful response


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Jockey195

HOLY SHEET IS THAT A MOTHERFRICKING JOJO REFERENCE?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mistapic9

Someone dislike a culture comment


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

SONO CHINO SADAMEEEEEEE

TUMTUM

JOOOOOOOOOOOOJOOO


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannaha70093

Yep. That's it. If you want to say it casually, then you would just say 何 (nani).


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

I just put 何か for "What?" And that works as well


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

According to wiktionary, 何か means "something" and is pronounced なにか, but can also be pronounced なんか in informal contexts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Farhanazul98

Thanks. its helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nexx
  • 283

I would have thought you write it either as "nani desu ka" or "nan des ka".


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

It's written as "なんですか" and pronounced as "nan des(u) ka".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nexx
  • 283

Does that mean the i of nani isn't said for a different reason than the u of su?


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

Exactly, the reason is that this character has many pronunciations, so "nani" and "nan" are just two of many.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glo467000

i think it's just pronounced like "nan desu ka" but it's really "nani"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monica812045

I have the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PHwM2bwJ

それ, means "that". So それは何ですか。means "what is that?"


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

Exactly!

As a side note - I remembered それ (that, something that is far) and これ (this, something that is in hand, or close to speaker) from those old "Let's Learn Japanese Basic 1" (hosted by Mary Althaus) videos.


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

Also a fan of Althaus-sensei. =)


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

Why is it not okay to put ぉ at the start?


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

お is an honorific, which is reserved for addressing elders and people of high status. This is just what I've gathered, correct me if I'm wrong.


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

And in front of tea and toilets. But that is rather to make it sound nicer an fresher rather than up honour them.


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

generally they are very respectful with food. It's like おはし (ohashi) written on some hashi plastics.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leo967241

You know someone likes food when the thank it existence いただきます


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliver747900

But that is rather to make it sound nicer an fresher rather than up honour them.

This is an interesting claim. Do you have a reference for it?


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

Its also for strangers and anyone that is not a close family member or friend I believe. Not just elders or higher status


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dan3s2020

Is a honorific for alcohol


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

Why can't we put これ or それ in the beginning?


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

It's because "何ですか。" also translates to "What?" as well as "What is it?" Also, これ and それ are used when talking about something that is more in particular. "これは何ですか。" translates to "What is this?" and "それは何ですか。" translates to "What is that?" ^^ Hope that helps.


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

It helps... it helps a lot. Thanks!


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

Sorry, but I didn't understand... What is the difference about "kore" and "sore"? Why should be "are"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/isleep8

I think これ is for something that's close to you (Imagine yourself holding something really weird, or just being close to it and saying 「これは何ですか?」)

それ is for something that is far from you, but close to whom you're talking to (as in: "what's that next to you?")

and あれ is something that's far from both of you or the default way of saying "what is it?" (the default part is just assumption tho)

correct me if I'm wrong, I'm just a beginner ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julia543869

To isleep8 As it's far from both listener and speaker, it like saying "what is that over there?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julia543869

Edit. "What is that?" (over there.)


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

you have to point or mean something when using kore / sore / are ex: is it your phone? これ は あなあた の 電話 ですか。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronMoore605463

What is says to be the right answer actualy means "What is THAT." not "What is IT."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.j32506

so re wa nani desu ka?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zowie2112

Can someone please explain this to me? "What is it" seems vague enough that it should not need the are/sore placeholders. By using either one, it translates as "that", not "it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simren368889

The translation should be 'What is THAT?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joeff3

why 何、これ is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kentoo14

Huh? I thought "what is it?" was "なにですか" (nani desu ka)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bavesh01

"i" is silenced, but it can use the same kanji.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SavitrIsha5

I read this as "sore wa, nani desu ka?" I would translate as "What is that?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cry156533

I put "何はですか". I just waant to know why that's wrong and what was it that I actually put in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leo967241

I dont think you need the は


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnson821759

I tried 何これ and it didn't work:(


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

How are "nan" and "nani" different?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/protostar777

なん and なに are both readings of 何. I think which you use just depends on circumstances.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliver747900

This has it backwards. Language is speech, which comes first. Writing is a way of representing speech on paper, and it comes later. You can't explain language in terms of writing.


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

i have a problem with this. Literaly in Japanese Shouldn't be それは何ですか ? because それ is it isn't?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mr.smiles1

Ya the first word i learned was なに


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

i know that "何ですか" means "what is it?", but what does adding 「それ」 do to change it? what does it mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaraWrigh5

I dont remember seeing the "sorewe" part in any of the lesson so far so i got this one wrong


[deactivated user]

    You are expected at this stage to be able to read the hiraganaそれは, understand the audio, and click on the words that make up the question to help you deduce the correct answer.

    I suspect it is also part of the monetisation i.e. if you are a free user, then getting an answer wrong reduces a health.


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

    Thanks for all the comments, helped me understand what i was missing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imma818552

    So "何" is also "なに"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gad450235

    isn't あれは何ですか?more like what is that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G-M2
    • 156

    Yes, exactly. Your question implies that "A-Re" was part of an accepted answer. They must've changed that. Now it's: Nan Desu-ka? = What is it? 2020.12.15


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yousif90516

    Is it nan deska or nam deska


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G-M2
    • 156

    More often pronounced nan desuka(deska). In front of a word starting with "b" it would change to nam. For example, "nam-ban" what number (sometimes how many).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roee574090

    Is there a difference between何 (なに) and  なん?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobLavin2

    So か doesn't make the question for 'you' but rather for 'someone/something other than me'


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

    か is just the question marker. It always go at the very end of the sentence.

    Think of it as the Japanese question mark.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marliot3

    Why "O" in the beginning of the sentence isn't okay?

    And why is "Nani" pronounced "Nan"?

    Arigato gozaimasu!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swag747620

    What is that OwO


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

    "OwO これは何ですか。"


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

    it's a bit of topic I guess, either will Google help you or I can say from what I think it's a confused smile or something, O are the eyes and w is the mouth


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

    yea, i think it's like a "KEYmoji" way to make a chibi face.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrMOOstachE34

    何ですか?This is how you actually say this sentence. 何 Is the right way to say ”What?"


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

    The audio is so fast that I can't understand if it's soreha or sorewa


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G-M2
    • 156

    What you wrote is no longer part of the question, but should be pronounced "Sorewa" but spelt (in hiragana) as Sore-Ha. The Ha is not actually part of the word, but rather a topic marker and (only when used as a topic marker) is pronounced wa.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NikAiman2

    Sore means that not it


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

    それ (and これ, あれ) are pronouns, and could be a valid translation of "it" depending on context.


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

    When you are already dead:


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

    Insert all the memes.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jazmine97610

    How do you know when to put が, は or を after これ, それ, どれ or あれ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/B828321

    Please correct all of the answers with Nan desu ka.. ..THANK YOU.


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

    I don't get this one at all


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

    WHO IS THIS DEACTIVATED USER HE GOT MY PIC AND WHEN HE COMES I CANT REPLY TO ANYONE


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

    Where are the old voices?? I really loved hearing the former female voice saying "Nani".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliver747900

    あれ does not mean "it", does it? Is this translation wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliver747900

    Have they changed the translation? It now says:

    "What is it?" Translation: なんですか?

    I think it said something like the following, back when I submitted the above comment (05 Sep 2020):

    "What is it?" Translation: あれは何ですか?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G-M2
    • 156

    You are correct on both counts. "A-Re" means "that (over there) and they must've changed the question/answer as there is no mention of So-Re or A-Re now, but several mentions in the comments. I have read another comment that in some situations Ko/So/A-Re may be translated as "it" however you're best to stick with translating them as "this/that."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raisa478240

    I thought that 'あれ' was used when referring to something that is relatively far away from the speaker, as in "What is that (over there)?", which would be a tad different than just asking "What is it?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G-M2
    • 156

    You are correct. I had word tiles and "A-Re" was not in the options. It seems that you may have seen "A-Re" as part of an accepted answer. They must've changed the question since you had it, because it's not listed as part of the correct answer now. 2020.12.15


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gavin440696

    In sentences like these is は pronounced as "wa," or as "ha?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G-M2
    • 156

    When it marks the topic of a sentence it's always pronounced Wa. Whenever it's used as part of a word (or any word other than the subject marker) it's pronounced Ha.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hanyo11

    Hi, is it wrong to use the kanji symbol in this sentence (何ですか)? I thought it can be used but it got marked as wrong.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiko337480

    Why there is no は here?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leo967241

    I dont know but would どれでか work?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeff4thewin

    Why no kanji for this one?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iconia83

    Why not just "Nani kore wa"


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

    Why is か and not が at the end of the word?


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

    I thought that ka is what makes it a question


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

    Oh... Well, I always thought が was correct for the questions :P


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

    ka is for questions, ga is used to denote the subject I believe. But I'd rather not get into that because it's a hella confusing topic. The important bit is ka = question.


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

    i would actually love to have that explained (im good @ grammar stuff.)


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

    か mark the question, read ka. while が read ga

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