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  5. "Who is she?"

"Who is she?"


June 30, 2017



Literal translations help me; "Speaking of her, who is?" 彼女 (かのじょ) - she, は - subject particle, だれ - who, です - to be/is, か - question marker.


But は is the topic rather than the subject particle, isn't it?


In many instances the two are interchangeable.




adding kana:

かのじょは だれですか?


Why だれですか is also marked as correct? The gender doesn't matter?


彼女(かのじょ)isn't necessary if its obvious who you are talking about, regardless of gender. Duo shouldn't accept that since you're leaving out a significant portion of the question (assuming this was a standalone question).


Whenever this question is used, it has to be clear by some means who is being referred to, and "she" doesn't really pin that down either, in general. So it seems perfectly reasonable for Duolingo not to require an indication of gender that's not, in general, necessary in Japanese.

Similarly, I'm sure the Spanish course would accept "¿Quién es?" for "Who is she?"


Gender need not be specified in English either. "Who is that?" for example.


Why is "wa" instead of "ga" being used in that context.


We can't use が for 彼女 because the information we want to know is 誰, 彼女 must be a topic in this sentence.

As a rule of thumb, when choosing は or が for the subject, if the question word is after the particle, the particle has to be は. If the question word is before the particle, it must be が.


ga marks the subject wa marks the topic in this case the topic is about who she is that's why wa is used I don't know if explained it clearly sorry


Had no idea だれ even had a kanji. Do これ、それ, and あれ have kanji too?


They do, though they are usually written with kana. Dore ("which") as well, 何れ.


I know it's wrong, but can someone explain why the following is incorrect:



は marks the topic かのじょ, thus it has to come right after the word it is attached to. when using a question word (だれ here), its positioning depends on where the response word would go in a statement sentence, it would go right before です.


Your sentence essentially translates to "Who is her?", which is grammatically incorrect. In English, we commonly switch the word order of subjects and objects when using a question word like "who", but even though we say "Who" first, "She" is the subject still (it would turn into "her" if it was the object). Since かのじょ is then the subject, it needs to get the は, and the object, だれ, needs to preceed ですか.


It's grammatically incorrect and because of は 's position. Here's one of those absolute rules of Japanese: You cannot use は after a question word. Never. It's always が.

誰が 何が etc


why is "かのじょはだれか" also correct?


It's the same question, just not formal/polite.


Why do we use は instead of の?


There are three answers, and two of them mean the same thing: 彼女、だれ? and かのじょはだれですか?

I chose the first one and it marked me wrong. The only difference between the two is the second is more polite. The question was to translate 'who is she', not to choose the most polite way of saying it.

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