Question endings difference

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by ihitokage, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

    what's up? I just wondered what is the difference between all those question forms in Japanese. To be exact I mean these:
    and I think there are more.

    I am kinda curios especially about that のか. Does that の have a similar meaning as こと in this case? I saw that sometimes you can replace them with each other.

    Thanks ^^
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    I think the usage of each particle can result in a book.
    And the context and writing style change these particles' usages greatly.
  3. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית

    Like YangMuye said, the difference between these question forms consists in a few linguistic areas. If you, however, are interested in the grammatical aspect only, here are some explanations.

    Easier things first. As opposed to the rest, んだい is used in WH sentences. In other words, sentences with んだい does not elicit yes/no answers but answers in terms of when, how, why, whom, who etc.
    What did you buy?

    It is incorrect to say 買ったんだい? (in sense of "Did you buy it?").

    の in のか cannot be replaced with こと. See for example,
    彼が来たのか? -- Did/has he come?
    彼が来たことか? -- Are you referring to the fact that he came?

    なのか is のか when it comes immediately after a noun or a na-adjective.
    Compare 彼が来たのか? with 男なのか? (Is it a man?) or 安全なのか? (Is it safe?).

    That leaves us only か, の, のか. Still it is a formidable question to compare them. Do you remember a sentence or sentences that have made you wonder about their differences? They would certainly help us better understand what you are interested in.

    Finally, sorry for all the administrative oversights.

  4. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

    Thank you guys ^^
  5. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

    Sorry for late response. I didn't have much time so I just thanked without reading :D.
    About the か, の, のか.
    here are some examples:

    or sometimes even のですか

    I don't feel the difference. We always learned only about か so why is there also の sometimes?

  6. YangMuye

    YangMuye Senior Member

    The question marks in the polite form are a little different from in the plain form.
    Questions in their polite form usually end with ですか or ますか, which is easier for a beginner to learn.

    I haven't done much research on it, but I feel that:
    Questions in their plain forms use more の(です)か than in polite forms.
    Wh- questions use の more often than yes-no questions.
    か are usually preserved in polite forms, writing and indirect quotation, but often dropped in plain forms because I sounds rather direct.

    And as far as I know, の, のか and のですか are very different from each other in many aspects.

    Please refer to the "~うか" grammar.
    This か is often preserved in plain forms.
    e.g. 行こうか

    I think the difference between のか and か here is roughly "I don't know and I want to know" and "Tell me".
    And か is often dropped to make the question sound softer. You can replace the か with other similar particles like かしら, かな, etc.
    As I said before, Wh- questions usually end with のですか・の(か) and questions in plain forms use more の(です)か than in polite forms. I think it's mainly because of the politeness.

    This type of の(です)か is mainly used in
    1. questions containing question word like なんで, どう, いつ, だれ…
    2. the question word cannot be directly connected to (です)か, e.g. 何ですか, 誰ですか, いつですか
    3. nor can it be connected to noun+ですか by の, e.g. いつのことですか
    In short, they are questions that can be transformed into ~のは疑問詞ですか.

    The 1st, 2nd and 3rd sentence are simple questions. You just want to know the answer.
    The last one sounds like a confirmation. You ask the question because you know or you think he has eaten.
    I'm not sure about the 4th and 5th one.
    The 5th one might be similar to the last one.
    The 4th one might be similar to the last one, but it might also be a curious or casual "食べた?", although I'm not sure.

    There is another type of の(です)か which can be safely used in any type of questions. It usually implies the answer is not explicit or hard to know. It's often used with "いったい". e.g. いったい誰なの
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  7. ihitokage

    ihitokage Senior Member

    Alright thank you very much.

Share This Page