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  5. "What is your phone number?"

"What is your phone number?"


July 5, 2017



In my experience, people in Japan use the app LINE for texting rather than using a phone number. So in a casual setting I think a more useful question is LINE ID は 何ですか?


Yes, but fixed phones and mobile phones are often used in Japan. 'Hello! I sent you an email a few minutes ago. Have you read it? '(^∇^)


Hello そら I have followed you!!


I think if you understand how to ask for a phone number you can probably get to that question without much trouble, but the reverse is not particularly true :)


Where in this phrase is texting even mentioned?


What's app LINE & LINE ID ?


Shouldn't it be 何番ですか?



Yes, many people say it.

電話ばんごうは何番ですか? is popular.


How is the kanji character after 'nani' pronounced?


It's the ばん in 番号 (ばんごう)


No, that translates to "what number?"

When using 何 you usually put it in the place of the info youl want in the sentence.

Ex: ●鳥は「緑」です。 (the bird is green) ○鳥は「何色」ですか? (What color is the bird)

And since the full answer to our question is going to be: 電話番号は*です。

We are going to replace the number (The wanted info) with 何


you can use 電番 as a short cut to 電話番号


The examples you've given are correct, but it is common in Japanese to use 何番 in this context, it should be an accepted answer.


あなたの電話番号は何番ですか is the main translation given now (December 2020). The 何番 bit was new to me, I thought it would just be 何ですか, which I guess is an accepted translation too?


Sometimes, a literal translation can be more helpful.

1) 電話番号は何ですか?
Phone number is what?

2) 電話番号は何番ですか?
Phone number is what number? (This is more preferred way of asking in Japan and Korea.)

3) 何番ですか?
What's the number? (Used when both parties understand that they're talking about phone numbers.)


I tried it now and duolingo doesn't accept it.




お電話番号は何ですか was not accepted. Should it be?


Same here. Is the polite o prefix usually not used with phone numbers?


It is for official communications/forms etc. Not sure about speech.


お is for politeness, but it also makes clear distinction between personal information and other's information: here, it is their phone number, not yours. Similarly, when speaking to people, you will say their family members with お for almost any member; for your own or when referencing the members of others, you will use the personal words.

In some cases, the お is just commonplace to use for politeness, with a nuance of the other person in consideration: お箸 (おはし), chopsticks, is a common one, and is often the case in speech; others might include お to すすめ, "recommendation," etc. Sometimes a word will always have it as the context will always call for it. お客様 (おきゃくさま) is the polite way the customer is referred to by services in Japan, literally "customer [who is the] superior"; another is お子様 (おこさま) in menus, "child/ren [who is/are the] superior." For the sake of beginners, when seeing お and then some more stuff, especially when proceeded by kanji, one can best assume that the お is there for politeness, which is often always the case.

As for the original comment, I myself learned that sentence very early on, and the 何番 confused me at first, obviously with the redundancy ("What number is your phone number?"), but this redundancy is a common occurrence in Japanese studies. However, the sentence of the original comment is perfectly correct grammatically, and should be accepted.


Duo with the important questions lol


電話番号は何番ですか。should be accepted, don't you agree?




電話番号は?not accepted even after 3 years, yet this is the normal way I've heard it being asked conversationally.


Ah man, I'll never understand this whole wa vs ga thing. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤. If someone would be too kind to explain to me why が is not acceptable here? From my understanding が stresses the 電話ばんごう part, which is exactly what I want to stress in this kind of question, right?


The reason が didn’t work is because this is an interrogative sentence, and thus using は is more convient in that case.

To understand this, let’s start with a simple example:

アーロンは高校生です。(Āron wa kōkōsei desu.) — Aaron is a highschool student.

There is no actual partner to は in English. Due to the nature of the particle – which indicates the topic – this sentence could literally be translated as:

“When it comes to Aaron, he is a highschool student.”

In this example, the speaker knows who is Aaron. What they want to specify in the conversation is that he is a student!

Now, let’s change the particle with が: アーロンが高校生です。(Āron ga kōkōsei desu.)

The particle が directly links itself to the subject of the sentence and thus this could be literally translated as:

“Aaron is the one who is a highschool student.”

Aaron is new and important information in this case, because the speaker wants to know WHO is the highschool student!

This specification that が implies is also the reason why it’s used in sentences with 誰 (dare; Who?) because the speaker is interested in WHO will do what.

Back to your topic: we all have phone numbers, right? You are hanging out with someone, having a great time and suddenly wish to write down their phone number. So, naturally, you change the TOPIC from something you were doing to the phone number. There are many stuff you can talk to your friend about, and you choose which topic you want to talk about with は!

Hope I wasn’t too late and that this wasn’t too confusing. Just remember to learn when you make an error to keep yourself motivated!


Except there are examples sentences like "テレビが何か知ってる?" online (Do you know what a TV is?), apparently written by native speakers. I'd think if you asked somebody for a number and they gave you the wrong sort, it might be possible to clarify with: 電話番号が何?"


What a great explanation! I was very moved.


Duo just threw "nanban" out of nowhere. And everyone else seems to have an idea what it is except me.


I put 電話ばんごは and it was marked wrong. as long as the intonation rises on the は this should be correct.


It's ばんごう, not ばんご.


This one will come in useful.


if we say あなたの電話番号は (your phone number), why cant we just add 何ですか (what is it)? saying 何番ですか (what number is it) sounds redundant.


Plenty of things in English are redundant too, but we're used to them. I gather in this case it sounds more "natural" with 何番.


Apparently, 何ですか works and is accepted. My error was using が instead of は, but I was left wondering if that part as also wrong.


Do i have to use 番 after 何?


This is one of the questions where I feel like I've been thrown in on the deep end for this topic. Was this covered in the notes? I'm getting a headache trying to figure it out


Would just 何番ですか be suitable for casual conversation?


電話番号は何ですか(denwa bangou ha nani desuka)


It's pronounced "nan desu ka" in this situation.

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