1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "Do you prefer the big box or…

"Do you prefer the big box or the small box?"


April 4, 2018



Does this literally mean "big box and little box, which is good"?


Pretty much.

I would translate と as "or" in this context, since you are being asked to pick one.

Also, いい has quite a few possible translation. I'd be inclined to use "agreeable" in this case, although "good" does work.

So, "Big box or little box, which (of these) is agreeable?"

The sentence does not specify "you" or "do you" at all. You could translate いい as "prefer" or "prefered" but it is a stretch. There are better ways of expressing your preferences in Japanese but it would probably require higher level grammar than what Duolingo has covered to this point.

[deactivated user]

    Why is it 大きな/小さな instead of the 大きい/小さい い-adjectives?


    Semantically they are the same. Some people will tell you that there is a slight difference in magnitude (大きな meaning a little bit "bigger" than 大きい), but I have found no evidence of that in any grammar book. None of my Japanese friends and colleagues confirmed that either.

    Grammatically, 大きな / 小さな are a bit special version of rentaishi (連体詞, so-called "na-adjectives"). Special in a sense that unlike other rentaishi you may only use them as adnominals but not in predicates (for historical reasons, apparently).

    In other words, you may only say 大きな connected to a substantive, e.g. 大きな箱, but not at the end of a sentence, so something like 箱が大きだ is a no-go. Instead, say 箱が大きい(です).


    Is it ok to mix both forms? I put 大きい箱と小さな箱 and got marked incorrect, is this just an oversight or do I have to be consistent with the い/な forms?


    If you are using it to describe a substantive attached to it like in this sentence, apparently it always has to be な.. If you are using it with other markers to describe something then you apparently use い For example :

    "a big box exists" 大きな箱があります "the box is big" 箱は大きいです

    This is what I picked up, hopefully it's correct


    大きな is only used before a noun. 大きい can be used either before a noun or after. Both 大きい箱 and 大きな箱 are correct.

    But for things that can't be seen or are more abstract 大きな is the better option.


    It's just one of those irregular usages that you have to remember.


    Why is "大きな箱と小さな箱、どちらが好きですか" wrong?


    Shouldn't どっち and どちら be interchangeable? My answer looking exactly like the above sentence with どちら instead of どっち was not accepted.


    I thought the same but I noticed I used 小さい instead of 小さな. It was my mistake. どちら was accepted when I corrected my other mistakes


    Is it alright to replace と with か, as in 大きなはこか小さなはこか、どっちがいいですか?


    When you are trying to join two questions together then you use the か particle however when you are saying and/or you need to use と


    Shouldn't exist a particle after the nouns? For example は


    The comma is enough, in this case.


    I put が and it didn't accept it.


    The reason why が isn't acceptable here is that どっち is the subject of the sentence, not 箱, therefore どっち is linked to the predicate (いいですか). Multiple subjects are acceptable only in compound sentences, and this is not a compound sentence.

    箱 can only be the topic, if you so desire, marked with は.


    For me 大きな箱と小さな箱はどっちがいいですか wasn't accepted.


    I have trouble figuring out which part of the English sentence is the subject, topic or object, and thus can't decide which of the three particles to use (が、は、を). I especially have a hard time with the sentences where は is not used at all. I always seem to want to put it after the first noun in the sentence.


    Agreed. This sounds awkward.


    Is this okay? 大きな箱と小さな箱、どちらが好きですか


    Is box needed to be said twice? This came up as inncorret 大きなと小さなはこどっちがいいですか?


    If anything you'd keep the first instance of はこ (because the second can be implied then), but you can't just leave a な adjective hanging like that. You can substitute a noun for the particle の however, and say 大きなはこと小さなのどっちがいいですか http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/nounparticles#The_particle


    I put in 大きな箱と小さなの、どっちがいいですか but was marked wrong. :-(


    To my understanding so far, も Is sort of like "include in pool", and is what i would naturally gravitate to using here. Why is と more correct? How incorrect would using も be here?


    と is used when making an exhaustive list (i.e. you are listing every option). も is an "also/too/as well", but not really in a list-type fashion. Maybe if the sentence was "There is a big box. And there is also a small box. Which do you prefer?" the も particle would be best.

    Here's a link to a simple breakdown and a StackExchange answer.


    Any reason why we cannot reverse it such that we start with "docchi ga ii desuka" and have the rest (the options) follow it?


    The verb should be at the end in a Japanese sentence. In this case, the "verb" is the copula, desu. So desu ka needs to be at the end and the rest should appear at some point prior to that.

    Generally speaking, Japanese is much more flexible about word order, compared with English, because the particles indicate grammatical relationships, rather than the word order itself. However, there are still some restrictions and common sentence patterns.


    Why is using どれ instead of どっち incorrect?


    I think どっち is used when there are only two options, どれ when there are more.


    どっち->which one どれ->what is


    Hey DUO, if you are going to require a comma in the answer, how about putting it in the freaking word bank.


    I haven't come across DOTTI before. Is it just the same as DOTIRA?


    Didn’t accept 「大きな箱と小さな箱、どちらが宜しいですか。」


    Is 「大きな箱とか小さな箱とかはいいですか」 correct ?


    とか means "or something like that" so your sentence practically means "Would you like a big box or a small box or something like that?"


    Why wouldn't どっち come after が


    what's wrong with "きな箱と小さな箱はどっちがいいですか?"?


    I know it's been a while (a decade or so) since I took formal Japanese language classes in school but this was something we did in like the first or second semester. I was taught to ask this more like:
    大きな箱も小さな箱もどちら方がいいですか。OR 大きな箱も小さな箱もどちら好きですか。(Although to be perfectly honest I was also taught only the i-adjective forms of ookii and chiisai.)




    What I understood is that the な suffix is used when you're talking about what the noun the adjective is referring to together with the adjective, if that makes sense. Example: I forgot the big box: 大きな箱を忘れました I put the small cup on the table: テーブルに小さなカップ を置きました


    "both" _every cat ever




    大きな箱と小さな箱とどちらがいいですか。 should be accepted right?


    It makes me happy that many exercises accept kanji and grammar constructs that are not taught in the lesson but this one does not accept most of the alternatives I had in mind - いいの? - の方がいいの? - の方が好きなの? Are not accepted. Or perhaps they're unnatural or indeed wrong?


    Here's what I understand from my learning. Sometimes words have different writing (different kanjis or here, the hiragana VS kanji) depending on the context or the grammatical rules. Here for this one, 方 is not used. It would be in hiragana. And, as you mentioned the objet at the beginning, の is not necessary at the end.


    と is "and" か is "or" There is a duolingo error


    That is kind of over-simplifying と and か, don't you think?

    Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.