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Japanese Particles that Indicate a Question or Uncertainty

Japanese Particles that Indicate a Question or Uncertainty

1a-b. か (ka)

2. かな (kana)

3. かしら (kashira)

4. の (no)

5. って (tte)

1a. か (ka)

Indicates a question at the end of a sentence. Its tone has the politeness expected in everyday conversation with strangers or social superiors, in contrast to the casualness indicated by particles 2, 5.

i)

山本:最近さいきん仕事しごとはいかがいです

竹下:以前いぜんほど順調じゅんちょうではないですね。

Yamamoto: How is work going these days?

Takeshita: Not as smoothly as before.

ii)

京子:昨日きのう試合しあい、どっちがったんです

直美:もちろんAチームですよ。

Kyoko: Who won yesterday’s game?

Naomi: The A team, of course.

1b. か (ka)

Indicating a question, doubt, or uncertainty in mid-sentence.

i)

今日きょう風邪かぜいたのあさからのどがいたい。

Maybe I’ve caught a cold—I’ve had a sore throat today since morning.

ii)

明日あした会合かいごう何人なんにんるの、わからない。

I don’t know how many people are coming to tomorrow’s gathering.

2. かな (kana)

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