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  5. "When will he come?"

"When will he come?"


December 1, 2017



Cultural sidenote: あなた, かのじょ and かれ are often omitted, use someone's name or あの人(あのひと) instead!

  • あなた sounds rude to keep using it more than needed; I think it's kind of like pointing at the person every time you say it, which is a tad off putting.
  • かのじょ and かれ usually mean "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" respectively, using them to simply mean she/he is also a tad off putting; I think people would usually assume you'd ask when their boyfriend will come when you say this!
  • It's very common in Japanese to use someone's name while you're talking in their face, so feel free to do it! (not in English though, people will be like "Why are you asking what games Fonzie likes? I'm Fonzie!")
  • あの=that over there / 人(ひと)=person. "When does that person work?" / "When does she work?" when you don't know her name, again this is normal in Japanese. (again not in English, "that person" sounds a tad rude to use out of the blue, in my experience)


Lol I have noticed this when watching Japanese dramas. I think it would be funny if ppl talk like this in English.


Interestingly in English you do speak like this with very small children, toddlers I mean, when they are learning to speak. For example a Mum might say "does Charlie want a drink?" to her child.

And it does get spoken like this in English to an adult, but it would convey sarcasm or anger (for example in an argument) or humour (for example Mum joking with her grown-up child).


When in doubt, use 自分 (じぶん)。it means myself, yourself, himself, and herself all at the same time. and it's of neutral tone and politeness too, so you won't come off as rude nor extremely humble if you use it.


How do you construct the sentence in Japanese? Could you give us a sample?


Would someone be able to break down this sentence for me?


かれ - he/him は - the particle indicating かれ as the subject of the sentence いつ - when (can be placed in a few different places in the sentence, but right before the verb is common) きます - will come (a form of the verb きる) か - indicating that the sentence is a question

Hope this helps! I don't know how fine gained you were looking for.


Kare = he / him Wa = particle designating subject Itsu = when Kimasu = come Ka = particle designating the while sentence at a question

Kare wa itsu kimasu ka? He when come? When will he come?


かれ - he は - subject particle いつ - when 来ます - come (来 is pronounced き here) か - question suffix


Thank you for explaining the Kanji, I knew how to say the sentence but couldn't identify the kanji in this context


かれ=him は=indicates that the sentence refers to "him" いつ=when 来ます=to come か=indicates question Is this what you needed?


かれ He/Him は is いつ when 来ます come か (? mark). He is when come?


Kare = he / him Wa = particle designating subject Itsu = when Kimasu = come Ka = particle designating the while sentence at a question

Kare wa itsu kimasu ka? He when come? When will he come?


would "彼は何時に来ますか" also be ok ?


Would like to know if 何時間来ますか works as well!!


Even though いつ can be written 何時, it is not very common and might make even natives confused and they may read it なんじ, so I strongly recommend using hiragana for いつ. 何時(なんじ)来ますか means "What time will he come?"

何時間 (なんじかん) means "how many hours." It's asking about duration so it doesn't work here.


Why doesnt duo accept "itsu kimasuka?" I thought it was possible to omit the subject


Duo wants you to practise the かれ=he part as well, in real life it would be more than acceptable to omit the かれ part.


That would be acceptable if it was obvious from the rest of the conversation that you're discussing a specific person coming. When we just have 1 sentence like this with no context, it wants you to translate the whole thing, including the "he".


Is は necessary?


For proper grammar? Yes definitely!

For an understandable sentence? Not with this kind of simple sentence, no. So in real life when you don't need to speak correctly (ex. among friends), you can omit the は...


Can GA be used here instead of HA?


This (が versus は) is driving me a little crazy here, too


is いつ彼は来ますか also acceptable?


Yes, and it's accepted as of 2021-04-15


No, anything marked with the particle は has to come at the beginning of the sentence


can いつ be written as 何時 in this case?


In theory, yes, but in practice it might confuse even natives because it can be read also なんじ and then it means "at what time." It's uncommon to write it in kanji so I strongly recommend using hiragana.


why are plain verbs never accepted if followed by か ?



か is just used if you use the phrase in the formal way, never otherwise. 来る is the informal conjugation of the verb "to come", so it can not end with か.


Literally translates to He (かれ) [with は as the topic marker] When (いつ) Come? (来ますか?)

So it's "He when come?"


When do I use imasu / masu / shimasu / desu? I'm so confused!


In very (very) short way: います: is the "there is" for animated things (like people and animals) あります: the same thing, but for unanimated things (like desks, cars) です: behaves as the "to be" verb. So usually is like "is/are/am". します: this one is very tricky. If it is "alone", like it is a "work" itself, this is the formal version of the verb "する" and it means "to do".
But, can be a conjugation of a verb... Like in 話します (hanashimasu - to talk). This します is simply a conjugation.

Finally, but not least, ます: this is the ending of a verb in the formal form of the "PRESENT/simple future" tense. All verbs have this form and you will see it a lot.


What is the difference between 何時間 and いつ?


One is "how long" and the other is "what time" - いつ can also be written 何時 (literally "what time period" vs just "what time")

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