Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Hiroko: Have you ever had trouble finding a specific item in the supermarket? In this lesson, you are going to learn how to ask questions, is this such and such and what’s this? Let’s take a look at the conversation between Yuchi and me. Yuchi san, can I see what’s in your bag?
Yuichi: Sure.
Hiroko: これはアイポッドですか。 (Kore wa Aipoddo desu ka.)
Yuichi: それはアイホンです。 (Sore wa Aihon desu.)
Hiroko: これはアイホンです。 (Kore wa Aihon desu.) To make a question, you just add か (ka) to the end of the sentence. So これはアイホンですか。 (Kore wa Aihon desu ka.) Now let’s practice. これはシーディーですか。 (Kore wa shīdī desu ka.)
Yuichi: それはディーブイディーです。 (Sore wa dībuidī desu.)
Hiroko: What if you don’t have any idea about what it is. ゆういちさん。 (Yūichi san.) これは、なんですか。 (Kore wa, nan desu ka.)
Yuichi: それは、おまもりです。 (Sore wa, omamori desu.)
Hiroko: Let’s take a closer look at how to ask what something is. When you have no idea about what it is, you use the word なん (nan) instead of the name of the item and add か (ka) to the end of the sentence. Okay let’s practice ゆういちさん。 (Yūichi-san.) それは、なんですか。 (Sore wa, nan desu ka.)
Yuichi: これは、ほんです。 (Kore wa, hon desu.)
Hiroko: Now it’s time for Hiroko’s tip. When you want to ask what something is in the casual manner, you can say これは、なに。 (Kore wa, nani.) or これ、なに。 (kore, nani.) . Here you don’t say なん (nan) but you say なに (nani) . See you next time.
Yuichi: じゃあ、また。 (Jā, mata.)

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 14th, 2010 at 06:30 PM
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Mina-san,

Now you know how to ask what things are in Japanese! How did you like this video? :smile:

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 7th, 2020 at 07:22 PM
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Konnichiwa ペテル


Thank you for your comment. Both mean "what" but there are some differences:

なに means "what" (Objects, reasons, feeling etc) and "なん" means "how many". Such as

なにいろ(何色)=What colour.

なんしょく(何色)=How many colours.


But なん can be used when sentence end by です. Like これは なん です か?

Also when な/N行,だ/D行,た/T行 comes after なん. Like...

これは なんの(n) 本?

これは なんで(d) すか?

これは なんと(t) 言いますか?


Keep up the good work and Feel free to ask us any questions.

Sono

Team JapanesePod101.com

ペテル
September 21st, 2020 at 06:24 AM
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what is the difference between "なん" and "なに"? When do I use which one? Thanks!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 30th, 2020 at 09:35 AM
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raafさん


Thank you so much for your comment😄

The studio has been changed. We hope you'll like it 👍

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

raaf
June 26th, 2020 at 08:54 PM
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what happened to her old (real) class room?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 10th, 2018 at 06:20 PM
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Hi Hussain,

Thank you for your comment!


Yes, you can. "Kore wa satō desu ka?" means "Is this sugar?"

Must-know phrase to visit a cafe?


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Hussain
February 7th, 2018 at 10:04 PM
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Hello


Can I say "Kore wa Sato desu"?


Thank you,

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 20th, 2018 at 10:16 AM
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Thank you for your comments, everyone!


> Hi Kristel,

As you might know, "、" is a comma in Japanese. There aren't any specific rules to punctuate and it is used to separate a sentence for readability. In the example sentences you posted, I guess the first one is all written in hiragana and the writer thought "、" makes it easy to read while the second one is written in hiragana and katakana mixed up and that makes it easy to read already.


>Hi Jane,

If you want to say "Excuse me.", you can say "sumimasen". When you say "kore wa nan desu ka", "sumimasen" is unnecessary. Of course you can use them together though.


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Jane
January 17th, 2018 at 03:28 AM
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If I want to say “Excuse me, what is this?”

Can I say sumimasen, nan desu ka?

Or should it be only sumimasen, kore wa nan desu ka?

Kristel
January 13th, 2018 at 02:21 AM
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Hello, JapanesePod,


Thank you very much for all these lessons. It's been really very helpful for my studies. :)


Btw, I just noticed that some sentences has this "、" symbol like in:


それは、おまもりです。


But in some sentences, it does not have that like in:


それはディーブイディーです。


Is there any rule as to when to put the "、" symbol when writing in Japanese?


Thanks,

Kristel

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 30th, 2017 at 11:58 AM
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Hi AhmedUmer,

Thank you for your comment!


Good job! If you want to ask "What is this?" politely, you can say "Kore wa nan desu ka?" which is more polite than "Kore wa nani?"

And please note that "candy" is written "candī" in romanization.


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com