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  5. "How many people are in your …

"How many people are in your family?"


November 27, 2017



If it is someone else's family of whom we are inquiring, should it not be dignified with an honorific prefix? 「 ごかぞく 」Alternatively, 「 あなたのかぞく 」to avoid all doubt as to whose family is of concern to our interrogation.


It should already be implied who's family you're talking about. It seems unlikely someone is going to start a conversation by asking such a personal question.


It also seems unlikely for you to ask someone else this about your own family


Huh??! How do you know this is the start of a conversation? You and I could be having a conversation for the last 30 minutes and, after getting a little cozy, I could ask you about your family and how many there were.

In such a case, since I don't know you well enough, shouldn't I say "ご家族”?What say you to that?


I was searching for the "go" as well.


Yes, I got it, but found it an impolite question, also.


Something can be certain, you are not asking for yourself when you actually know how many people are in your own family.


They accepted my " ご家族"


I also tried ご家族は何人いますか without success. I tried the second time with ご家族は何人いらっしゃいますか and it was marked correct. One explanation I have heard about why the was not accepted is that using ご家族 would imply the use of 敬語. In which case it is more appropriate to go "all the way" and say ご家族は何人いらっしゃいますか。In other words, you shouldn't mix the level of formality in a single sentence.


How do we say 何人 here? Nan-nin?


Yes, that's how you pronounce it in this case.


nan-nen, I thought.


Nan-nen is like nannensei, as in what school year


can the word いくつ be used to refer to people or living things when paired with ... いますか ?

「かぞくはいくつ人がいますか?」 -- is this acceptable?


No. いくつ is the question word for the number of things and age.


Can elaborate on "number of things"? いくつ would be only used for non living things and age right?


From textbooks, ~つ is mainly used to count small things. For example it is unnatural to count buildings with ~つ. ~つ can be seen to count age and abstract things as well, for example, idea (意見(いけん)を一つ).


How would the meaning change if です was added instead います?

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"How many people is your family?"


Shouldn't it be ご家族は何人いますか? Since one is asking the listener how many people they have in their family?


Isn't it supposed to be "ご家族" when asking about someone else's family?


Would the use of "ni" to signify "in the family" be wrong? e.g. Kazoku ni nannin imasu ka? I understand both languages do not work the same, but would this be acceptable as well?


I don't think that would sound right with imasu ending. Alternatively, you can say something like this: かぞくに何人ありますか


It's not an ending, it's a quasi-verb in itself like 「です」. The existence of living beings is denoted by 「いる」or in its polite form「います」.「ある」 or「あります」is reserved for indicating the presence of things, it really would be far from correct to use it when asking about someone's family.


I've written 「家族は何人ありますか?」 which declined because it said 「家族は何人おりますか?」was right.

I think I've written it right but maybe I'm mistaken?


あります is used for inanimate objects, so we would not use this for people. : )

あ and お look rather similar, so it is easy to accidentally mix them up.

おります would be correct.


Shouldn't it be 家族は何人いらっしゃいますか。or家族は何人いますか。? I think the family is implied to be the family of the listener/reader. I also think おる is a humbling term and can't be applied to things attributed to the person to whom this is spoken/written.


Actually, yes. We wouldn't use おります as a question. It is possible to say 何人おられますか though.

A: 田中さんはおられますか。Is Mr. Tanaka here?

B: はい、おります。Yes, he is here.

However, the impression that you give off is probably not very polite.

I use いらっしゃる as it is more polite and is kinder to the listener. Unless it is a friend, then I would use いる.


why is かぞくは何人がいますか wrong? I thought the verb imasu needed a subject with the ga particle.


The subject is kazoku though. The ga is replaced by wa because it's a question.

You definitely don't add ga to the counter for people.


If "nannin" means "how many people", how do you say "which people"?


It would be どの人 (dono hito) from what I've found, but we haven't learned that yet in the lessons.

この人 - this person (kono hito)

その人 - that person close to listener (sono hito)

あの人 - that person over there (ano hito)

どの人 - which person (dono hito)

We did however learn これ, それ, あれ and どれ - the same principle of prefix applies.


So 何人 means how many people? I was expecting the solution to be 家族は人がいくついますか?


from what I have learned いくつ is only used if you use the word つ for counting, if you use other counter words like for example 人 [nin] - counter for people, 個 [ko] - counter for small objects (there are a lot of counter words, but these I learned so far) you use 何人, 何個 and so on.


I do not understand why my answer [ご家族がいくつ人いますか?] wasn't accepted... I thought いくついますか? meant somthing like "how many are there?". But now all of a sudden I'm supposed to use 何人? Can someone explain why? Is いくつ only used for inanimate objects or something?


Why is it おりますか in the end? Where did the "ri" come from?


おります, to not get into too much detail, is kind of another way to say います. Specifically it's humble language that you use in highly formal situations when referring to yourself/your own "circle." That said, it wouldn't really be appropriate in this context, where you're directly asking another person about their family, so I suspect it's an error on Duo's end and they meant います (as in the displayed answer on this page).


あなたの家族は何人ですか なんで✖ですか?


家族は何人ですか? なんで✖ですか?

あなたの家族は何人ですか? なんで✖ですか?


Why is は used? Why isn't it に or even には? Would that have some implications of people living inside the bodies of the family members or something? And so, wouldn't the sentence be more accurately translated something like "Of how many people does your family consist?(a bit awkward, yes, but it makes more sense in my non-native English speaker mind this way)"

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The current Japanese translation can be taken to mean "About your family, how many people are there?" so it's not incorrect.


Does anybody know why i cant use 「何名」instead of 「何人」?


I've only ever heard that used at restaurants when making reservations or joining a waiting list. Not sure why this is, but there's a few other examples given here (https://chielabo.com/how-to-counting-people/)


Kasoku wa nani jin imasuka - that's wat the voice says.. but shouldn't that 'nan jin' be pronounced as 'nan nin'?


Is it not valid to use 家族には instead of 家族は ?


Would it be incorrect to write ご家族に… instead of ご家族は…?


I never know when to use "i" and when to use "wa"


Shouldn't the particle には also be correct? I was marked wrong :(


Is it possible to use には as the particle in this sentence instead of just は? How about just に?


Yes you can use には or に


I typed「何人家族はいますか」and it was marked as wrong, I thought word order in japanese was not that important as long as you use the correct particles, or maybe is there something in here i don't understand??


word ordering is important in many circumstances. In this case the question word must be after the topic marker in order to make sense. i.e. You cannot place 何人 before は. Also normally the quantity adverb 一人/一枚 etc is placed immediately before the verb.


where is "your" in that sentence?

Or is it again that famous "context" which duo love to NOT ADD just to make us angry?

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