Basic Expression Course

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Marshall
JLPT Basic, JLPT Course
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Basic Expression Course

Lesson 3: Nounですか

In this lesson, I will teach you how to ask questions in Japanese.

Pattern 1Noun + ですか。
Pattern 2Noun 1 + は + Noun 2 + ですか。
Notes: ①か is a particle,it’s used to ask a question.
②In questions, [。] is more often used than [?], but both are okay.

Examples:

A:なかさんは大学生だいがくせいですか。
Is Mr.Tanaka a university student?
B:はい、大学生だいがくせいです。
Yes, he is a university student.

In English, the Yes or No is based on the truth. But in Japanese, the はい or いいえ is based on the question form(Positive or Negative)
 
はい
はい is used when the question asked matches the answer.
なかさんですか。
Are you Mr.Tanaka?
はい、なかです。
Yes, I’m Tanaka.
 
トムは学生がくせいではありませんか。
Tom isn’t a student, right?
はい、学生がくせいではありません。
No, He is not a student.
 
 いいえ
いいえ is used when the question asked doesn’t match the answer.
なかさんですか。
Are you Mr.Tanaka?
いいえ、谷口たにぐちです。
No, I’m Taniguchi.
 
トムは学生がくせいではありませんか。
Tom isn’t a student, right?
いいえ、学生がくせいです。
Yes, he is a student.

Note:

The intonation of the question is rising.

なかさんですか。
トムは学生がくせいではありませんか。
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9 thoughts on “Lesson 3: Nounですか

  1. はい is used when the question asked matches the answer.

    I’m confused about this example:

    トムは学生がくせいではありませんか。
    Isn’t Tom a student?

    はい、学生がくせいではありません。
    No, He is not a student.

    I don’t understand how the question maches the answer in this case? Could you in more detail, please?

    Maybe the question in this case should be something like “Tom isn’t a student, right?” or “Tom is not a student, isn’t he?”

    2+

    1. Admin bar avatar

      Yeah, I changed it based on your suggestion, In English, the Yes or No is based on the truth, But in Japanese, the はい or いいえ is based on the question form(Positive or Negative)

      6+

  2. I found this on the internet

    Japanese does not have words for yes and no. The words “はい” (hai) and “いいえ” (iie) are mistaken by English speakers for equivalents to yes and no, but they actually signify agreement or disagreement with the proposition put by the question – i.e. “That’s correct.” or “That’s incorrect.” In answer to positively phrased questions, therefore, they map directly to yes and no. But in answer to negatively phrased questions the mapping is reversed.

    What do you think? Is it correct?

    9+

    1. Admin bar avatar

      It’s correct!

      5+

  3. when do japanese put “?” in their sentences?

    1+

  4. Man those negative sentences really hurt my brain

    1+

    1. This comment by deception really helped me understand:

      “Japanese does not have words for yes and no. The words “はい” (hai) and “いいえ” (iie) are mistaken by English speakers for equivalents to yes and no, but they actually signify agreement or disagreement with the proposition put by the question – i.e. “That’s correct.” or “That’s incorrect.” In answer to positively phrased questions, therefore, they map directly to yes and no. But in answer to negatively phrased questions the mapping is reversed.”

      0

    2. I’m trying to compare it with an example sentence in English, but what’s tripping me up is the opposite part, since a negative sentence can be answered like this in English:

      Are you happy?
      Yes (I am happy)
      No (I am not happy)

      Aren’t you happy?
      Yes (I am happy)
      No (I am not happy)

      According to that lesson in Japanese would be the opposite for the negative question, like this:

      嬉しいですか
      はい (嬉しいです)
      いいえ (嬉しいではありません)

      嬉しいではありませんか
      はい (嬉しいではありません)
      いええ (嬉しいです)

      Are you happy?
      Yes (I am happy)
      No (I am not happy)

      Aren’t you happy?
      Yes (I am not happy)
      No (I am happy)

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    3. To reply to Penguiniey:
      I think it’s best to not use English contractions for these questions since English is notorious for taking seemingly opposite meanings for things as you’ve pointed out.

      Thinking of it like
      Are you happy? (Yes = happy /No = not happy)
      vs.
      Are you not happy? (Yes = NOT happy / No = happy)

      instead of “aren’t you happy?” makes it make a lot more sense for me.

      0

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