dono and doo

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by Huda, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Huda Senior Member

    Please help me

    what do these question words mean exactly in English?
    dono & doo

    thanks in advance
  2. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hi, Huda.

    Welcome to the WR Japanese forum!

    I would definitely like to see these two words in context as they have so many functions that an exact translation into another language will be a dictionary-like definition in that language.

    Simply put (really simply, with many logical holes), dono is "which" (attributive interrogative adjective) and is "how" (interrogative adverb) and a predicative interrogative adjective.

    If you have questions about details that you may find in their definitions in dictionary, I suggest you should bring here the sentences in which the words are used and you have doubt with.

  3. Huda Senior Member

    please tell me what do you mean by "attributive interrogative adjective". I read in a English semantics book that Japanese has one of the more perect deictic systems. The central part of the system includes the following demonstrative expressions. I will not be able to draw the table drawn in the book here.
    they said if you found out that doko means where, what could you guess the meaning for dochira?
    I guess the meaning for dochira is "which direction", because it is written that kochira, sochira, are pronouns that indicate direction, this way, your way respectively.
    Now I need your help in finding the meaning of "dono" and "doo".
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  4. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    [Please quote only specific portions that you have responses/questions with. Quoting an entire post just to show you are responding to it tends to clutter the thread.]

    By "attributive interrogative adjective" I meant "which" as in:
    (Presenting three pens) Which pen do you like best, the red one, the green one or the blue one?
    A Japanese equivalent sentence starts with: dono pen

    I wanted to say that dono is not used independent from a noun, i.e., as the Wh-expression to enquire an adjective. Come to think of it, English does not use which in this case either. It uses how.
    How is your brother?
    He is fine.
    In order to get a "He is fine" response in Japanese, you have to make an interrogative sentence with doo.

    Yes, you are right.

    I think you already have the answers but you seem to need other words belonging to the same class. So here they are:
    deictic attributive adjectives: (belonging or related to) speaker, listener, neither, unknown;
    kono, sono, ano, dono

    deictic adverbs: speaker, listener, neither, unknown;
    kō, sō, ā, dō
  5. Huda Senior Member

    I still can't understand the differece between dono and dochira. I'm sorry Flamius.
  6. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    If dono is the adjective which, then dochira is the pronoun which.
    Dono pen-ga hoshii? [Which pen do you like?]
    Dore-ga hoshii? [Which (object) do you like?]

    Apparently "which direction" is too vague a translation for dochira with a lot of derived meanings but that's likely the answer you get when you ask the meaning without context.

    I concentrated on the difference with dono as I don't want to write a dictionary definition of the word.
  7. Huda Senior Member

    Thanks a million Flam for your helpful answer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2010
  8. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Ops, wait, Huda. There is one thing I want to correct in my last post.
    This explanation is true but I was supposed to explain dochira, not dore. Now, dochira can be used in the second sentence instead of dore without changing the overall meaning. The difference is that dochira belongs to the politer register (Dochira-ga hoshii desu-ka? [I shall spear the discussion about politeness in Japanese]).

    Etymologically, dochira is perhaps "which direction" in its origin but it can be used as a politer variation of dore as well as doko. Politeness of dochira is achieved by way of periphrasis in both cases.
    E.g. (Both sentences mean "Where are you come from?"):
    Doko-kara kita-no?
    Dochira-kara kimashita-ka?

    Note that the plain kita ("came") is supplanted by the politer kimashita in the sentence with dochira, which initiates a politer speech.

    Now that dochira has so many derived senses, the original sense "which direction/way" is expressed by docchi is casual speeches. (EDIT) This of course has rolled out to mean "which" (adjective) as well.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  9. Huda Senior Member

    Yes I wanted to tell you that you should have compared dono and dochira, but I refrained from saying so.

    Thanks for letting me know this information. This question means "which pen do you prefer, but in a politer way. right?
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  10. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    In this context, yes. But in general, no. It means: "Which do you prefer?"

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