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"What time is it now?"

Translation:今は何時ですか?

March 5, 2018

85 Comments


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

The "wa" is not in the word bank.


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

My ok option was 今何時ですか。 shouldn it be an は between ima and nani?


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

Grammatically you are correct. As this is a strictly colloquial (spoken) phrase, however, it has evolved to not necessitate the は here. は can be used, and often is, but is purely for decoration at this point.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John857569

Why would they heckin do this to me after drilling the freakin particles into my head?? This app doesnt make sense sometimes.


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

Actually, there are two versions of the question : you can say "今は何時ですか。" or you can say "今、何時ですか。" In the word bank however, they did not put the comma, and as they expected you to enter the second possibility, they did not put the は either...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddMitche13

Punctuation marks are not necessary on Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

Why would you need a comma?


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

It is normally written without the comma, but a comma could be added without problem. Commas, in Japanese, do not serve as strict of a grammatical function as they do in English. They usually just serve to indicate a slight pause in the dialogue.

As particles such as は are often omitted in casual language, often the omission would create a 'gap' in the flow of the sentence.

For now, and specifically in this set phrase, I would simply remember 今何時ですか as the default way of saying it.


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

I've been using a Japanese keyboard instead of the word bank because I find I learn better when I have to find the characters for myself. And I put in "今は何時です" without the か at the end and got it right. So it seems there's some things Duolingo is more relaxed on, but still seems weird


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bre10101

Just reported it for not having "wa." But, after reading the comments, I don't think that was really necessary. Sorry, Duolingo, lol.


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

i remember this one from listening to baby metal tbh


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

Yea same. It's how I came up with just answering 今何時? and Duolingo accepts that as well lol


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

You did? What song? I'm drawing a blank.

So disappointed with myself right now, haha


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

So why is it this instead of 今何時ですか?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spicy.birb

Why does the 何 have to come before the 時?


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

If you are asking why it can't be 時何 instead of 何時, it is natural in Japanese that the principal question word (character) 'what' be placed first in these compounds.

何人(なんにん)How many people?

何度(なんど)How many times? / Which time? / What temperature?

何個(なんこ)How many pieces?

If you're asking for an etymological explanation as to why that is, I am not knowledgeable about that and the question seems superfluous for a basic Japanese program discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewOrt13

this really helped! ありがと ございます


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

なんじ=what time?

じなに=hour what?!


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

This is really confusing... What she's saying is not what's spelled there. What's going on? It's spelled 今は何時ですか but when you click "listen" she says ima wa i tsu de su ka


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

何時 is the correct kanji for いつ (in addition to being the correct kanji for なんじ). Writing いつ in kanji is somewhat irregular and can be confusing for Japanese as well, so it is almost always represented in hiragana. Duolingo is correct on the reading, just not reading it correctly given context ;)-

If you come across it again I would suggest reporting it.


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

There is no "は" in the word bank. I deserve an A+++ ranking and this is clear sabotage.


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

Why does 今 come first in this sentence?


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

Because it is the topic, hence the は. You could move the topic and corresponding marker to the end, but it would not sound as natural, just as 'Now what time is it?' means the same thing as 'What time is it now?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

Now what time is it sounds slightly ironic though.


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

I was too fast and only answered 今は何時です, but apparently, that was correct? I thought か was always used at the end of a question, but now I'm confused...


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

In informal Japanese, a rising intonation at the end of the final word can indicate a question without the need for か. Informal Japanese, however, wouldn't normally use です and would omit the は particle, so you should be using か in this sentence.

I have a feeling that they may have created a rule that allows question sentences without か, as it is allowable on occasion under certain circumstances.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephLoPr1

I just put nanji desu ka and got it right. Do I need Ima wa or is it implied? Sorry, not much explanation to go off!


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

Do I really need to use 今? Can I say just 何時ですか ?


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

You shouldn't. Casually, it is often shortened to 「今何時?」.

As Japanese is actually spoken, 今 is included by default when referencing the current time.

http://www.punipunijapan.com/asking-time-in-japanese/


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

The sentence "何時ですか" makes sense because it means "What time is it ?". When you ask that question, it is often implied that you ask about the current time, so the "now" isn't really needed. However this exercise emphasized the "now" and therefore it suggested that you had to add "今" (now).


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

Your first sentence begs the question. Because it makes sense to you doesn't mean it is used that way or even that it does make sense.

I would appeal to my years living in the country and communicating exclusively in Japanese (aside from short English lessons), but more convincing evidence can be found by simply searching the internet or textbooks.

As I don't like to make unsupported assertions, I just asked this question on HiNative. It's in Japanese, but it confirms that it is not only better to add 今, but will alleviate potential confusion. https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/11791997


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

Wouldn't the meaning of 何時ですか in depend on the topic that we are talking about? If we are talking about lunch and you ask this, wouldn't people assume you were asking at what time (hour) we were going to have lunch? In some sense 何時ですか literally does translate to "What time is it?". In the English sentence however, the meaning of it automatically references to right now. This is just like you said. In Japanese however, the imaginary it in this sentence references what we were talking about, which in this case was lunch.

By including 今, we specifically want to know what time it is now. Again, like you said, this isn't needed in English where the it automatically states this.

On the other hand, if I out of nowhere would ask someone: 何時ですか, wouldn't they assume that I meant right now?

You seem to have a lot of experience so I this is more of a question to you.


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

For the most part your understanding is spot-on. When the context is already clear the 'it' can be omitted.

About the last part though, someone might assume that you mean the time 'right now', but they will also likely feel that you could have phrased the question more clearly/specifically.


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

Ok and thanks for the answer! I guess 今は三時です is better than just 三時です as well. If we are talking about now of course.

Edit: never mind. If someone asks 今何時ですか, then we already know that we are talking about 今 and thus we don’t have to say it in the answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akira-Akira

今は何時ですか? 今、何時ですか? 今何時ですか? どれも通じます。

殆どの日本人はこれらの違いをあまり意識していません。 書くなら「今は何時ですか?」、話すなら「今、何時ですか?」、「今何時ですか?」が多いです。


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

whats the romanji for this?


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

Ima wa nan ji desu ka


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

It is called 'romaji', not 'romanji'. The answer is: Ima wa nanji desu ka?

'nani ji' is just wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasuSamaruk0

いまはなんじですか。


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

"Ima, nanji des ka"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lonneke175110

Ima wa nani ji desu ka


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

Imahananjidesuka? I think


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

Ima ha Nani ji desu ka


[deactivated user]

    Today is Friday 31st August 2018 - still finding errors in the Japanese course - 152 days now (Yes, I know ...it's a beta course...)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CayKav100

    I wrote "Nani Ji desu ka" and got it correct but it looks like everyone answered differently. What is "ima" in this sentence? I'm writing in romaji because i can't get the Japanese keyboard :/


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

    Many people asked the same question... The sentence requires "今 (いま)" because it means "now" which is a part of the original English sentence.


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

    Why is it 「なんじ」instead of 「なにじ」? Is this also rendaku?


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

    Both なん and なに are kun'yomi readings for 何. 何, when combined to form a compound, is subject to the determined pronunciation of said compound. One compound might have an on'yomi reading as well as a kun'yomi reading, but they are each subject to their own determined pronunciation rule.

    It is not rendaku. Rendaku is generally an inflection on a non-primary mora that is not necessarily part of any normal reading.

    Take 時々(ときどき)and 花火(はなび), for example. Neither どき nor び are included in on'yomi or kun'yomi readings.


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

    That explains why my いまはなにですか has been flagged as false.


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

    would someone please explain why, "時ですか。", would be incorrect, cus I am confusion lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe264823

    Because I believe ji can't stand alone. And if it could, it would mean ' is it time?'

    You have to add Nan to it, to make it what time is it.

    Hope it helps, if not just ask again.


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

    'Is it time?' would be 「(お)時間ですか?」.
    時 by itself is pronounced とき, and refers to 'a time', not 'time' in and of itself, and should accompany another reference to clarify which time is being referenced.

    時ですか? just isn't grammatically correct and makes no sense.


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

    my answer was accepted without adding か to end the sentence, error or? I wrote 今何時です


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LadyLux3

    It doesn't need "ka" at the end?


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

    Technically, in highly casual spoken Japanese, if you put enough rising intonation at the end of the sentence (without か) it will sound like a question, thereby becoming acceptable as a question.
    In written Japanese and standard spoken Japanese you should not omit the か.
    DuoLingo, IMO, shouldn't accept it without the か.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris553632

    I put 今は何じですか。My answer should accepted, yes?


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

    It appears that they are looking for 何時 as a compound kanji word. If you're going to use kanji for 今 and 何, it looks a bit odd for 時 to be in hiragana.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris553632

    When I was typing, I thought I put down 時. But when I got it wrong, I realized that I forgot to auto correct the hiragana to kanji. But a speaker should be able to realize that じ means 時, in this context right?


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

    A speaker can glean your intent, but that doesn't make it correct. A teacher would likely either mark it wrong or instruct you to write the word either in all kanji or all hiragana.


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

    I tried 今何じですか? But it was not accepted, why?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris553632

    You forgot the は particle. は signifies the topic of the sentence. I found this website to be extremely helpful in this topic. Also, it helps to convert the じ into 時 if talking about time.

    https://nihongoichiban.com/home/japanese-grammar-particles/


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

    Forgot か (ka) at the end, and it accepts


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

    'wa' tile was not available...sure everyone else mentioned it to but i didn't want to fell left out ('. ')


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David335962

    いまなんじ


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert982805

    Nani was not in the word bank


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris553632

    That is because you write is as nanji (なんじ) in romanji, which translates into 何時 into kanji. You also say it as nanji instead of naniji, as it sounds much more natural.


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

    Just one correction: 'romanji'→'romaji'. [ローマ字]


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brd113231

    Got it on the first try. I'm proud of myself


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ExpertLearner20

    今何時ですか。少し難しいかもしれません


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lonneke175110

    ji stands for "time" in this case it can also mean o'clock i think. The kanj for nani is the third caracter in the sentence. If used before desu the i in nani wil be lost it means "what."


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

    何人(なにじん)ですか? proves you wrong. Even though the same sound follows 何 and です does as well, there is no correlation.

    By the way, there are two possible readings for 何人: なにじん(Type of person; breed of human); or なんにん (how many people).

    Whether the い gets dropped or not largely depends on frequency of use and how it sounds to a natives ears. You just have to learn as you go.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lonneke175110

    i am sorry, but i do not understand why you bring the kanji 人 in this discussion. It is not used in this frase. However you are correct it can be read as hito if it stands alone, as nin if before a nummer or nummerical, or as jin before for example a country to denote that person lives there or has lived there. As for the discussion on the kanji 何, i have asked my japanese teacher and she told me that if used before です, the い is silent just like the u sound is with desu. But it is possible that i understood her incorrectly i am still in my first year after all.


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

    If used directly before です, your point is correct, for example 「何ですか?」. The sentence in question, however, does not place 何 directly prior to です. There is a counter placed between 何 and です, so the pronunciation of 何 will be informed by the counter, not the copula です。


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

    Shouldnt it be desu ka rather than des ka?


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

    It is. If you are referring to pronunciation, sometimes some vowels (particularly the う sound) are not voiced or voiced minimally. This is equivalent to asking why knife has a silent k.


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

    It is not the same as the word "knife". If you pronounce the k in "knife", you are wrong, while if you voice the "u" in です, you are right even though it is not the usual way in casual conversations.


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

    Historically, the currently 'silent k' was pronounced, and over time became omitted by more and more people and gradually fell silent.

    To be clear, I didn't mean say that 'desu' is the same as 'knife'. I said that asking the question about why they are voiced/devoiced is the same. .. On second thought, I should have said 'roughly equivalent' (In 100 years they may be fully equivalent).


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

    Well, you're not incorrected if you pronounce the k at the start of knife either. You just sound weird using the original pronunciation instead of the modern one.


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

    As I know des ka is the correct one. About desu ka, the one who want to sound cute says it, so you can hear it a lot of time in anime.


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

    何時ですか. This answers works as well. The "now" is not really needed in English either.


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

    Not correct. Japanese is not English. After being in an exclusively Japanese-speaking environment for a decade, I can assure you that if you conflate 何時ですか with 今(は)何時ですか you would be wrong.

    The word 'it' is by its very nature context-reliant. In English and some other languages, the 'it' part of 'What time is it?' has been tacitly accepted as meaning 'the current time' (barring other context). The 'now' is implied, but not directly stated.

    In Japanese, however, there is no such tacit understanding. The response to 'What time is it?' (何時ですか) without clear context would be the equivalent of 'What time is what?'.

    While some people might make the assumption that you are talking about the current time, that does not make the sentence correct in itself.

    There is a reason that all of the Japanese language texts and online resources (including this one) include the context (今). Dismissing this would be reckless. Telling others to dismiss it would be disingenuous.


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

    It accepts 何時ですか as a correct answer. Is that a mistake in the course, then?


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

    I would say that it is an oversight in the course if it doesn't suggest that you use 今.

    I understand the reluctance of many who don't understand the need to incorporate the 'now' aspect to the question and consider it should be obvious. That is because 'now' has become implied in English when lacking a specified time indicator. In Japanese, it is not naturally implied.

    Look pretty much anywhere for language instruction and they will tell you that the way to ask the time is 今(は)何時ですか?Until Japanese language changes to assume that a time inquiry without specification implies the present this will remain the de facto way to ask the question.

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