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"Which one will you eat?"


July 31, 2017



"Dore o tabemasu ka?"


Niku to gohan tabemasu!!! -Sorry I don't know how to use Japanese keyboard


肉とご飯を食べます (kanji) にくとごはんをたべます (hiragana)

I have a keyboard that allows me to switch between language's, it's very helpful for practicing.


I think you forgot "wo"? Also learning sorry


Not promoting anyone or anything but you should use Gboard (Google Keyboard) if you wanna add keyboards of other languages to your phone. It's what I use as well. It's very helpful and easy to use when it comes to switching between keyboards of various languages.


Exactly right えくせくたり(exactly) らいた(right) I also use Gboard Its really helpful to seitch between languages Also if you want to know what is the meaning of 水(みず) , you can see it in gboard by translating it from Japanese to english.


If I knew the grammar, I could do this much better; but Duolingo doesn't offer grammar for Japanese.


Eh, the grammar is pretty straightforward (at this point). The main thing to keep in mind is that Japanese has a SOV word order.


どれ - which one

を - (direct object marker)

たべます - eating

か - (question particle)



The usual order in English is Subject-Verb-Object, in contrast. (Although it doesn't have to be and you can construct proper sentences in any order you want.)

For example, consider the sentence, "I eat meat." 'I' is the subject, 'eat' is the verb, and 'meat' is the object in this case. In Japanese, this sentence would be "(わたしは) にくを食べます." わたし is the subject (but would usually be omitted in Japanese), にく is the object, and 食べます is the verb.


What's the difference between wo をand ga が?


They mark different parts of speech so switching them would change the meaning of the sentence.
This is a frequently answered question on this page


im pretty sure duolingo has a "tips" option and it gives grammar tips on it anyway


wouldn't は work in place of を?


In this case no, は is a subject and どれ is an object in this sentence. If you wanted the subject you would have 私は (わたしは) at the begining.


I agree that は doesn't work here but I don't think this explanation is completely correct. は is the topic marker, not the subject marker (that would be が). The topic marker is used for things known to the listener. So, if you're already talking about the topic of meat, you could say 肉は食べます (Talking about meat, I eat it). However, this doesn't work for question words like どれ. The question is not whether or not you're eating. The question is WHAT you're eating. And that thing will be new information, so it wouldn't have been the topic before.


How is this different from asking "Which one can I eat?"


AdamHill, I'm curious about that, too. In the simplest of all worlds, if a statement is made and no other topic or subject is stated, watashi (I) is understood from context. In the case of a question being asked, and no topic or subject is stated, I believe we are to assume anata (you). I don't yet know how "can" vs. "will" is stated, so maybe someone will address that.


Japanese makes a distinction between "ability to/potential to" and "allowance to/permission to". If you want to ask for permission, you can use the te form + もいいですか? If you want to ask if you are physically able to do something (i.e eat something without dying, run a very long distance), you would use the potential form (for 食べる, it's 食べられる).


So basically we drop the "anata" and the "rareru" or "-eru" when it's a passive/potential verb question? Otherwise it'd be "I" instead of "you?" Is there any reason for this? It's kinda strange that Duolingo just droped this on me without every showing me anything about passive/potential verbs yet.


This sentence isn't in potential/passive form so there isn't a reason for Duo to explain it just yet

どれを食べますか "Which one will (you) eat?" is in simple present/future tense.
Duolingo by default assumes a two-person conversation so unless otherwise clarified a statement is assumed "I" and a question is assumed "you". In context this could be "Which one will I eat" but that isn't really a normal question to ask unless you're talking to yourself, in which case you also wouldn't be using the polite -masu form.

Adam was specifically asking if "Which one can I eat?" would be the same or not and jmortiger explained why it would be different.
In order to ask for permission or to talk about potential a different verb conjugation would be required, so "can I" would not be an acceptable answer for this question.
どれを食べてもいいですか - Which one may (I) eat (Which one is okay if I eat it? Which one do I have permission to eat?)
どれが食べられますか - Which one can (I) eat (Which one do I have the ability to eat? Which one is edible?)

The verb is unrelated as to whether it is "I / you / he / she / they". The pronoun is determined through context.


どれたべますか is considered wrong.

In the small lesson of this unit it says that in negative sentences as well as in questions, を should be replaced by は.

For the exercise "What is that ?", the answer was あれ何ですか. Help T.T

Needless to say, I am quite confused here. Is it a mistake from DL, or have I missed something ?


どれは is wrong because you cannot use は to mark the unknown, that goes against the concept of topic, in this case どれ is a question word for "which". A topic in Japanese is common knowledge between the speaker and the listener, so when you ask "which one?" is something you don't know and that cannot be a topic, so you use を.

When using negative sentences, the usual is to use は because you want to stress that you don't drink Aは for example (but you might drink something else).

When making a question, the Japanese ear also expects は because you are asking something and the important part is what you want to ask about the topic, not the topic itself.


Then, why "What is that ?" = あれ何ですか ?

あれ is unknown, but the answer of this exercise has a は...

And would あれ何ですか be correct ?


あれ is not an unknown concept, it is not a question word. You know what "that" is, a placeholder name used to identify a specific person or thing observed by the speaker, while you don't know what the thing being named "that" is, you know what "that" as a concept is. Question words are things like 何、どれ、誰、どっち、どこ、いつ。Anything you can add a ? at the end and have it be a full sentence どれ?~ 何?

And would あれを何ですか be correct ?

you are not acting on あれ (you need a verb for that) so not, is not what you are looking for, you are just mentioning「あれは」"as for that"「何ですか?」"what is it?". You can even say 何ですか? without mentioning the topic, or 何? as I mentioned above.


It's a short sentence. If you write down the full sentence, which is "あなたはどれを食べますか?” In this case, you can see は is used for あなた, which is the subject; and を is used for どれ, which is the object of the verb in the sentence.

According to あれは何ですか?, は is used for the subject あれ, and 何 is the object.


Man, I'm really struggling with が VS を. Some examples use が others useを for what seems like the same sentence to me. Can someone please explain when to use one or the other?


が marks a "doer" or a "be-er" of a sentence while を marks a direct object

「私が食べる」"I will eat rice" (the doer in this case is "I"... "I" is the actor of the sentence which does the action "to eat", this is usually implicit)

「ご飯が冷たい」"the rice is cold" (the "be-er" is rice)

「ご飯を食べる」"(I) eat rice" (the direct object which the subject will eat, is rice)


so を marks object, が marks doer. How is は related. Why isnt it わたしはたべる? Or are both possible


Is を supposed to be used with a 'question word' such as どれ ?

  • 1192

Nope, を (o) can be used in pretty much anywhere as long as it involves a direct object that receives an action (verb), like getting rice, and drinking water or tea.

Just keep in mind that whatever noun preceding the particle receives it.

It's the same for basically every particle. は (wa), を (o), whatever the particle is. The preceding noun is what the particle to which it is pointing for its meaning. If it's は, then in 私は。, then subject is 私 (わたし).

I said basically, meaning most particles, not all.


How do I tell if it means "you" oder "I"?


Context; The Japanese language doesn't distinguish between "you", "I", "they", etc. Nor does it have singular or plural forms and it doesn't end there. Context is a vital part of Japanese conversations.


How wrong am I for typing this, I'd like to know because I think that I'll over do things like this. 「どれをたべたいのですか」


Can 'gohan' also mean meal?


According to translate yes. I'm guessing that 食事 (Shokuji) would be used more though, that's what my Japanese speaking friend would use more.


What makes this ''will you eat'' instead of ''do you eat''?


Basically, the context.

In Japanese, there are only two verb tenses: past and non-past. Non-past indicates both present and future. This means that the same sentence often has two possible translations. You can understand if it is being used for the present or future by the context of the sentence.

I found this brief explation on PuniPuniJapan.


Is "tabemashou" incorrect for some reason?


食べましょう is the form for a suggestion of "Shall we eat" or for something that you'll probably do in the future (eg "I think I'll eat at a restaurant tomorrow.") Neither is the case in this sentence.


The previous one was "どれは飲みますか", so what's the difference between wo and wa in this context?


The previous one was "どれは飲みますか"

you cannot mark something unknown as the topic, so you cannot grammatically mark a question word with は unless used in a different way.


This is the full version of the sentence: あなたどれ食べますか?, for those who are confusing about using and . 


Why we use here wo


を marks the direct object of a verb. Here it marks the unknown thing that you will do the action of "eat" to.


Okay, thanks. I forgot to put "を" and now I understand why we need it


I thought it'll use は instead を. Can someone explain this? Thanks.


は marks the topic, which is old/known information that provides context for the statement you are about to make
Since どれ "which one" is a question word, it is inherently an unknown so it can't be marked as the topic
を is used to mark the direct object of the action, the unknown thing"which one" that the verb "eat" will act on


Can someone tell me what this means? Please?


In this case it's "Which one will you eat?" どれ - Which one を - Object marker 食べます - To eat か - Formal question marker. The causal form: どれ - Which one を - Object marker 食べる - To eat (causal) の - Possessive marker ? - Indicates that it is a question


Wouldn't "dore-o tabe ka?" be fine as well? Just less polite?


No. You could say 'Dore who taberu ka' though. You'd possibly drop the particles if speaking informally too.


It is どれを食べるの?


How to write "which one will I eat?


私はどれを食べますか? Watashi wa dore wo tabemasuka?


so 食べ is "to eat" and if I add "masen" to it it becomes the negative, but if I add "masu" to it it becomes present continuous, right?


食べる is to eat the る changes depending on how you're using it so ます is the formal version of る and ません is the negated version. So in the negated version す is replaced with せん. To have it become "eating" it would be 食べて いる or congegated and to be/to exist.


How would the Drink one be translated then? For example, "I am drinking”. What would be the correct translation? Is it ”飲(の)みている”?


Wasn't 食べ the word for "rice"?


No, ごはん is rice. 食べis eat


When do I use 食 and when do I use 食べ


When should i use お or を?


お is honorific and should only be used in front of certain words. Check the other threads where お is used in front of 水 for a better explaination.


Please forgive my ignorance, but I haven't understood what's the difference for using です vs. ます


I believe "desu" です is "to be" where as "masu" ます is "to do" - - ごは食べますか is "do you eat rice?" and これをご飯です is "This is rice"


Sorry, that first one should be ご飯は食べますか


How do I know when I need use "どれ" and not use"どの"?


It is the same difference between これ・この and それ・その, etc

これ、それ、あれ、どれ are pronouns. They stand in for another noun. "This thing" "That thing" that thing over there" and "what thing?"

この、その、あの、どの are modifiers. (They are contractions of the pronoun + の). These must be paired with a noun. このペン (This pen)、その本 (That book)、あの車 (That car)、どの机 (Which desk?)

Here the object that you are choosing to eat is unknown so it is replaced with どれ "what/which one?"


Could someone explain どうち and こうち please


どっち、こっち、そっち are shortened slightly more informal forms of どちら、こちら、そちら. (Small っ not う)

These are ko-so-a-do words used to talk about direction.
こちら・こっち - "This way" (towards me)
そちら・そっち - "That way" (towards you)
あちら・あっち - "That way" (Away from us both)
どちら・どっち - "Which way?" (Can also be used to mean "which" between two alternatives)


This one's kinda confusing. I thought you'd want to use は rather than を. We're asking which food we're going to eat, isn't the 'which' the topic? I guess its を because its an Object-Verb sentence. Its kind of hard to determine when you should use one over the other.


you cannot use the topic marker with the unknown, that goes against the concept of a topic in Japanese.

[deactivated user]

    What does "どれを食べます" mean?


    どれ - which
    を - object particle
    食べます - (will) eat
    Since you have a question word in your sentence though you should end it with か, the question particle. Informally spoken you could indicate the question with your intonation though then you would also use the plain form of the verb rather than the polite form used here.


    Can i say "Dore ga tabemasu ka?" (Using ga instead of o) - どれが食べますか


    what about using どんな instead of どれ?


    どんな is a pre-noun adjective and would be "what kind of (noun)", - どんな食べ物 "what kind of food"
    どれ is a pronoun, "which one" where you have a number of options to choose from and are being asked to pick one.


    just like the difference between この and これ, right?

    and, what about どっち?


    Not quite, the こ equivalent of どんな would be こんな "like this"
    The ど equivalent of この is どの "which (noun)"

    Referring to a thing:
    これ - This thing (pronoun)
    この - This (noun) (pre-noun adjective)

    To a location:
    ここ - Here (this place)
    こちら・こっち - This way (direction)

    To a method/type:
    こんな - Like this/in this way (type) (pre-noun adjective)

    どれ - Which one (pronoun)
    どの - Which (noun) (pre-noun adjective)
    どこ - Where (what place)
    どちら・どっち - Which way (direction) - This can also mean "which one" if there are less three or fewer choices available.
    どんな - What kind/like what (type) (pre-noun adjective)

    If you had a series of things, you could say
    - テーブルはどれですか - Which one is the table? [As for tables][Which one is it] - the answer would be to indicate which one is the table.
    - どのテーブルですか - Which table is it? [Which table][Is it] - the answer would be to indicate which specific table among a group of tables it is.
    - どんなテーブルですか - What kind of table is it? - the answer here would be to tell what type of table it is. Is it a large table, a small table, round, square, a single leg or four legs, etc.
    - テーブルはどちらですか - Which way (which one) is the table? - the answer would pick a table among only a small amount of choices. Like "do you want this one, or that one"

    どれを食べますか - Which one will you eat?
    どちらを食べますか - Which will you eat? (between two choices)
    どの寿司を食べますか - Which sushi will you eat?
    どんな寿司を食べますか - What kind of sushi do you eat?


    exquisitely explained. thank you very very much.



    Tip: What is the difference between どっち(docchi) and どれ(dore)?!

    Docchi is use when you have two things. For example you have two glasses one is water and the othe one is sake. Then you can say "どっちは水ですか?" But if there were more that two things; you should use どれ.


    How do we know that it isn't "Which one will I eat?" or "Which one should I eat?" Isn't anata the word for "you" so why do you assume that in this case it is "you" instead of "I?"


    I was using the Japanese keyboard and put ですか when i should have used ますか is there a way to recall what to use so i dont make this mistake


    Why we use wo instead of ga??


    を marks the direct object of the verb. In "which one will you eat" you want to know what the object of the action "eat" is
    が marks the do-er or be-er of the action (the subject). Using it here would change the question to "which one will eat", wanting to know what thing will be eating something else.


    Its dore ga/o tabemasu ka? I hope after dore ga will come ..why here o please explain


    answered a few times on this page

    を marks the direct object of the verb. In "which one will you eat" you want to know what the object of the action "eat" is
    が marks the do-er or be-er of the action (the subject). Using it here would change the question to "which one will eat", wanting to know what thing will be eating something else.


    が marks a "doer" or a "be-er" of a sentence while を marks a direct object

    「私が食べる」"I will eat rice" (the doer in this case is "I"... "I" is the actor of the sentence which does the action "to eat", this is usually implicit)

    「ご飯が冷たい」"the rice is cold" (the "be-er" is rice)

    「ご飯を食べる」"(I) eat rice" (the direct object which the subject will eat, is rice)


    Could が be used in place of を in this context?


    It would change the meaning of the sentence,
    が marks the do-er or be-er of an action, the subject
    を marks the thing being acted on, the direct object

    どれを食べますか Which one will you eat? - Which object receives the action of "eat" by someone
    どれが食べますか Which one will eat? - Which thing performs the action of "eat" to something else

    食べます - The dog (subject) eats the cat (object)
    食べます - The cat (subject) eats the dog (objects)

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