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  5. Why is it 何時ですか instead of 時何…


Why is it 何時ですか instead of 時何ですか?

Hello, I thought subject always came first, so why is "nani" in front of the kanji for time? Is nani just one of those rare exceptions, where it's always in front of the subject?

Thank you!!

March 30, 2018


[deactivated user]

    In japanese, you usually replace the Word you are looking for with the question word.

    ex. これは何ですか。 What is this, これはペンです。 This is a pen; 男性のお名前は何ですか。 What is the man's name, 男性のお名前はスミスさんです。 The man's name is smith; 女性が何を食べていますか。What is the woman eating, 女性が草を食べています。The woman is eating grass.


    Wow. What you said is very insightful. I understood that this was the way to ask the time because I've heard and used it so much, but I had not previously considered why.


    I hope this helps you understand the difference between 「何(nani)」 and 「何(nann)」.

    What time is it? 何(what)時(time)ですか?

    It is 10 o'click. 10時です。

    What year is it? 何(What)年(year)ですか?

    It is 2018. 2018年です。

    In these sentenses, 「何」 is pronounced 「なん(nann)」.

    何時(なんじ) - nann-ji

    何年(なんねん) - nann-nenn


    Usually you only use one "n" for ん, although you need to tap the key twice to write it. So it would be "nan-ji", "nan-nen" (for 何時、何年).

    Besides, this seems to be the best answer here


    Haha. Thank you for the correction, Hype331786. I wasn't sure how to write 「ん」 in Romaji... (^_-)


    Sometimes you need to dissect sentence patterns, and other times it’s not helpful to dissect the language, but just accept it and memorize it. That’s the way it is. This is one of hose times. That’s how it’s used, always. Nobody ever says 時何.


    In this context it's nan ji rather than nani ji. 時何 would make no sense at all.


    Im still a beginner, so take this with a grain of salt, also I'm not sure about which word would be the subject in that sentence of yours, but first of all, 何 (read as nan and not nani) is used before counters and such things, like 何歳 何回 何キロ etc. so I would take that expression as a whole.

    And then, if you said 時何 , that sounds totally wrong if you take it as being two separate words, because usually words cannot be followed by other words, but there's generally particles or auxiliaries and stuff. And then I think 時 cannot go alone in that context. you cannot say 時は何ですか to ask the time, even less 時何ですか

    Sorry for the unclear answer, I m not a native English speaker

    [deactivated user]

      "what time is it" This sentence actually follows the same syntax as in English. 何 = what 時 = time


      Because in Chinese 何時 is one word mean what time.

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