https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cfoviana

Is "あの、あなたの名前は何ですか" wrong?

I was reviewing a skill, and then the phrase "Um, what is your name?" apeared. I wrote "あの、あなたの名前は何ですか" and Duo said it is wrong and the correct way is "あの、お名前は何ですか?".

Can anyone explain why can't I use "あなたの"?

And when the phrase apeared again, I wrote "あの、お名前は何ですか". Duo said it was wrong as well. It said the correct way was the same phrase but with a "?" in the end.

I thought it was correct to end a phrase only with か. Can anyone explain it?

Thank you! :D [Sorry about my English, feel free to correct me].

February 6, 2018

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woofumzz

Well, I don't think any of those sentences are WRONG exactly, but I can say there are certain cultural aspects I think they're trying to teach you. In Japanese, it's super common to drop the subject (or subject's owner, since the subject is actually the name) if it's clearly "I" or "you", so unless the person you're talking to starts trying to answer you by saying "uhh, his name is x and her name is y" and you really want to stress that no, I want to know YOUR name, or unless you're being very very formal (not sure about this), you probably wouldn't say it with あなたの.

As for the question mark, that's another big gray area because there aren't really any steadfast rules about that as long as you have one of them. Leaving the か off and just using a question mark is very informal and reserved for like, speaking to your best friend, but Japanese people often do include question marks even when there is a か, more often than not I believe, though they aren't required to because it is redundant.

Some of this discrepancy I'm sure is just due to the fact that the Japanese course is still being developed, and they may still be missing some correct answers. While these answers may be uncommon, I don't think they should have been marked wrong, maybe just include one of those "you could also say:" notes. If you come across something like this again, report it and let the devs decide whether it's correct or not, because it could just be an answer they didn't think of adding.

And your English was spot on my dude! The only thing that sounded weird at all was the sentence "Can anyone explain it?" which may not even necessarily be an incorrect thing to say there since you can infer that 'it' refers to the rule about using か, it just sounds a little odd to me to use 'it' in that context without having explicitly defined something for it to refer to, if that makes sense. It's difficult to explain, especially since I just used 'it' in a similar way several times while trying. XD To my ears it sounds more natural to say "Can anyone explain this?" or even just "Can anyone explain?" But that aside, I actually didn't think it wasn't your native language until you asked for feedback, hahah.

Edit: We would also say "with a '?' on the end" instead of "in the end" when we're talking about a position. In the end is also a valid phrase, but it usually means something more like, the final state of something, like at the end of a story. E.g. In the end, the butler was the murderer after all. Or, He was happy in the end.

February 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cfoviana

Thanks!! You helped me a lot! I need to start learning not only according to Japanese grammar, but also to colloquial language haha

I was get confused about "it" and "this" because in Portuguese (my native language) we don't have the pronoun "it", we use "he", "she" or "this" for everything haha (I read in your profile that you speak Spanish, so you know what I'm talking about). About "on" and "in", I have problems with prepositions too haha, thanks again!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Woofumzz

Ahh, cool, I've been thinking of starting Portuguese since I'd probably be able to pick it up pretty easily due to its similarity to Spanish, but also didn't want to totally overload myself either, hahah.

Does Portuguese have anything like the Spanish 'lo'? Because in Spanish, I would say, "Alguien lo puede explicar?" and if so, that would make even more sense why you might have though that, because 'lo' is often translated as 'it,' but can also be 'this' or 'that' in some contexts like this one.

And yeaaaah, prepositions are the hardest part of learning any language IMO. They never line up perfectly the way you want them to. I'd almost go so far as to say the point at which I feel totally confident about prepositions in a language is the point at which I can consider myself mostly fluent because it means I have a very good feel for the flow of speech. (And if you spent enough time learning to understand all the different uses of prepositions, you probably have a pretty big vocabulary, too.)

(Also, "I was confused," "I got confused," or "I was getting confused" would all work and mean basically the same thing here, but "I was get confused" doesn't. ;) )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cfoviana

I think learning Portuguese would be easy for you. I can understand Spanish because of the similarity, but I can't speak haha! Yeah, we have that pronoun in Portuguese. I think I would say "Alguém o pode explicar?" (Actually, I would say "Alguém pode explicar isso?" - "explain this"-, or just "(...) pode explicar?", because it sounds more natural here in Brazil). Prepositions are hard to learn because, most of the times, there is only a general rule. The other situations you need to realize what sentence sounds more natural. About "was", I don't know why I wrote that! Lol... I was supposed to write "always"... I think I was sleepy, I don't know haha. Thank you again!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BJCUAl

I see no problem with using your first answer, as Duolingo seems to encourage using personal pronouns in its lessons. I also agree that your second answer should be accepted, as using a question mark is optional when using か at the end of a sentence.

Unless there was something else going on (mispelling, etc), I would report it when you encounter it again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faisane

The trouble with this forum: going back, even googling, I can never find anything. For example, I seem to remember (but can't come up with the post) that you said that あの should actually be あのう - am I remembering this correctly?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BJCUAl

That was me. I went on a tirade about it until someone pointed out that it can actually be spelled あの. That particular spelling, however, is less common than lengthening the last vowel into あのう or あのー.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/testmoogle

I answered a different question just an hour ago and for that one Duo told me off for using お名前, saying that it wanted me to use あなたの名前 instead! For that sentence it was the exact opposite!

It's not that your answer was wrong nor that mine was wrong either; it's simply that the contributors haven't gotten around to adding so many of the reported correct alternatives to the lists of acceptable answers.

Really wish they'd take on some reported-sentence-fixer monkeys, who could work purely on getting the correct answer acceptance up to a much more reasonable level. The contributors don't seem to have the time to look at the sentence reports. Otherwise this sentence (like so many others), even though it was probably already reported over half a year ago and many times since, might still take several more months before it gets fixed. ^^;

* EDIT: Just after clicking 'post', I suddenly remembered the sentence I answered:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23246084
"Please say your name."
→ あなたの名前を言ってください。
(お名前を言ってください。= not accepted...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cfoviana

Thanks! It would be perfect if the Japanese course were graduated from Beta :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MasafumiMu

I have never said "あなたの”, when I ask name to someone as a native. Without あなた sounds natural for us. And お名前は何ですか is the kinda formal phrase, I think. Even more polite phases such as お名前を頂戴できますか or お名前を教えていただけますか don't include "you" in the sentence. But, as you said, the question mark isn't necessary. 〜 か。is more formal and polite than ?. This point should be improved.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nate504667

I think it is correct Grammarly but sounds little strange. dropping subject "you" would sound much more natural... in my opinion. In Japanese culture, they think it is obvious that "you" and "i" are talking so dropping subject is common. that is why so many times they say "who?" or "me" in public space if you don't keep eye contact. Just like in Korean, they don't even say the subject 99% of the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cfoviana

That's very interesting! Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keith_APP

So as many users explained there is nothing wrong with your sentence grammatically (except あのう is not usually shortened to あの, but which Duo was the same as you).

Duo has always been blamed that the translation is lack of comprehensiveness. So I don't think it is necessary to over-analyze it. It's just as simple as that they weren't able to include all possible translations.

As to the social appropriateness, it is not covered in the course of Duo. We have questions with sentences in quite a bit of variation on politeness, from familiar to a bit formal, and Duo never gives us the context where the sentence is appropriate. So it is not quite meaningful to say your sentence is wrong because its is not socially appropriate. Maybe you have watched the movie 君の名は? The name of the movie is the same question used here, and it is more familiar than yours but is still appropriate (it was a question between 2 high school students). It is true that in an ordinary situation of a conversation between 2 adults, Duo's sentence is better than yours, mainly because (1) Omitting あなた is more natural (2) A more important one, to use お名前 is often necessary to show respect to a person you are not close to. However, Duo's sentence can also be not polite enough in certain scenarios, e.g. If you are a receptionist of a company or a hotel, Duo's sentence is still too direct, and maybe seen as rude for some people. Using the appropriate expression is very important in Japan, but it is something to worry about a bit later. It is an art actually, which I am still learning.

BTW, translating あのう to Um can be a bit misleading. Saying あのう does not really mean that the speaker is thinking about something, and of course not an attitude or a modal expression of dislike or something. It shows to the listener that the speaker hesitates to ask (for personal information), and is merely a gesture of indicating respectfulness.

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