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質問があります

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質問があります

Postby meganliu » Thu 12.10.2009 4:44 am

1.I'm wondering how is the question form of plain form, simply adding "ka" or should be "desuka"?

浜崎さんは日本に住んでるですか? それども 浜崎さんは日本に住んでるか?

あなたは携帯をあるか? それども あなたは携帯をあるですか?

2. a question about "たり...たり...します..., たり...たり....です"

朝新聞を読んだり、テレビを見たりします。 それども 朝新聞を読んだり、テレビを見たりです。

部屋の中で暑かったり、寒かったりします。  それども 部屋の中で暑かったり、寒かったりです。

この街は賑やかだったり、静かだったりします。 それども この街は賑やかだったり、静かだったりです。

3. asking about the meanings of something

How do Japanese ask meanings in reality? I give some examples below and wonder whether they're right or not. Please help.

それはという意味ですか?
その意味は何ですか?
それの意味は何ですか?

I listed 3 questions which I not quite understand. Please give me replys if you know. I hope these questions won't be too stupid.
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Re: 質問があります

Postby kurisuto » Thu 12.10.2009 1:07 pm

1) Just append か (住んでるか, あるか).

Minor corrections : it's それとも, not それども, and がある, not をある (but you could say を持っている).

2) I would have said たり...たりします; that's how I learned it, and I think that's the only form I've ever seen -- but I googled たりです and got a lot of hits, and I even found a grammatical explanation here. Just in case, it basically says that たりです is correct only when you list several things, whereas with たりします, you can have either one or more elements (暑かったり寒かったりします, 寒かったりします and 暑かったり寒かったりです are all correct, but *寒かったりです is incorrect).

If it weren't for your question, I probably would have considered たりです a mistake, so thanks for that !

3) It's どういう意味ですか, but you can also say 何という意味ですか (be careful : in the first one it's "dou" and in the second, "to"). There are other ways to ask this, but I think these are the most common (I would say particularly the first one).

meganliu wrote:I hope these questions won't be too stupid.


Of course they aren't ! :) If you have questions, just ask them ; don't worry about what your readers might think of them.

[edit] typo
Last edited by kurisuto on Thu 12.10.2009 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 質問があります

Postby furrykef » Thu 12.10.2009 2:03 pm

kurisuto wrote:1) Just append か (住んでるか, あるか).


Actually, this isn't recommended. Using か after a plain form verb can sound rough and abrupt. It can sometimes be compared to using a phrase like "the hell": どこに行くか? could be interpreted as "Where the hell do you think you're going?"

That's not the only meaning of か after a plain verb, but that you could end up saying such a thing is a good sign that you should wait until you know what you're doing. ;)

Instead, you can use の (if you're seeking an explanation) or nothing at all. Either way, you pronounce it with a rise in intonation on the last syllable to make it clear that it's a question (and in writing you'd use a question mark, whereas question marks are optional with か -- though not using a question mark with か is more characteristic of formal writing).

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Re: 質問があります

Postby meganliu » Thu 12.10.2009 10:29 pm

Thank you so much, kurisuto san and furrykef san. I didn't expect that. 感動中.....

But I still wonder その意味は何ですか? と それの意味は何ですか?correct or not.
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Re: 質問があります

Postby chikara » Thu 12.10.2009 10:47 pm

meganliu wrote:.... But I still wonder その意味は何ですか? と それの意味は何ですか?correct or not.

I would read the first one as "what is that meaning?" where as the second I would read as "what is the meaning of that?".

So it depends in what context you are asking the question. Are you trying to ask the meaning of a word or a sentence or of something else?

Q. 人生の意味は何ですか
A. 四十に

:D
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Re: 質問があります

Postby meganliu » Thu 12.10.2009 11:03 pm

I just wondered whether these two sentences are gramatically correct and whether or not people say like that in reality?

By the way, why 人生の意味 is 四十に?
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Re: 質問があります

Postby chikara » Thu 12.10.2009 11:35 pm

meganliu wrote:I just wondered whether these two sentences are gramatically correct and whether or not people say like that in reality? ....

Well I get 648K Google hits for "その意味は何ですか" and only 6 for "それの意味は何ですか" (one is your post so it will be 7 now :)) but you would need to look at the context of those phrase hits to see if they are saying the same as you are wanting to say. While the latter sounds more like what I would say in English it appears that the former is what is actually used.

meganliu wrote:.... By the way, why 人生の意味 is 四十に?

Sorry, it is probably a bit obscure. :oops:

From Meaning of Life - Wikipedia;
.... In Douglas Adams' popular comedy book series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything has the numeric solution of 42, which was derived over seven and a half million years by a giant supercomputer called Deep Thought. ....
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Re: 質問があります

Postby magamo » Fri 12.11.2009 1:13 am

chikara wrote:
meganliu wrote:I just wondered whether these two sentences are gramatically correct and whether or not people say like that in reality? ....

Well I get 648K Google hits for "その意味は何ですか" and only 6 for "それの意味は何ですか" (one is your post so it will be 7 now :)) but you would need to look at the context of those phrase hits to see if they are saying the same as you are wanting to say. While the latter sounds more like what I would say in English it appears that the former is what is actually used.

None of the 6 examples is written by a native Japanese speaker except possibly the one in the German-Japanese translation list. As for the more common wording "その意味は何ですか," you'll know it's not that common if you check how many of them are really "hits;" go to the 14th page (if you're viewing 10 results per page), and you'll know google only has 133 unique results.

They're both grammatically correct (depending on your definition of "grammar"). I'll give a couple examples where "その意味は何ですか" is used in a later post.
Last edited by magamo on Fri 12.11.2009 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 質問があります

Postby chikara » Fri 12.11.2009 1:40 am

magamo wrote:...... .

Thank you for your reply.
Last edited by chikara on Fri 12.11.2009 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 質問があります

Postby magamo » Fri 12.11.2009 3:13 am

"その意味は何ですか" and "それはどういう意味ですか" are slightly different in meaning:

命。その意味は何ですか。
Life. What does it mean? (The speaker is a missionary or something.)

"それはどういう意味ですか" is rarer in this kind of context. You can use "その意味は何ですか" to mean "それはどういう意味ですか" too if it sounds ok. For example:

自分語、つまり自分しか使わない単語がありますか?もしあれば、その意味は何ですか。(or それはどういう意味ですか。)
Do you have "your own word" no one except you uses? If you do, what's the meaning of the personal word?
Last edited by magamo on Fri 12.11.2009 7:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 質問があります

Postby chikara » Fri 12.11.2009 6:28 am

Can I please have my shoes back?
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Re: 質問があります

Postby magamo » Fri 12.11.2009 7:37 am

chikara wrote:Can I please have my shoes back?

If the shoe fi... No. Just kidding. I edited my posts. Sorry about that.
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Re: 質問があります

Postby chikara » Fri 12.11.2009 9:15 am

magamo wrote:If the shoe fi... .

:D
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Re: 質問があります

Postby meganliu » Sat 12.12.2009 3:24 am

Though you all have talked a lot about どういう意味ですか と その意味は何ですか と それの意味は何ですか, I still can not quite understand. So can I conclude them to this:

どういう意味ですか is the most common way of asking meaning. It almost fits into every situation when you want to ask the meanings of something.

While

その意味は何ですか is grammatically correct and native people can understand if you have to say like that. But it sounds very foreign and native people usually won't say it but the one どういう意味ですか。

As to それの意味は何ですか。 It's a complete wrong sentence though in some way it makes sense. Just forget about that sentence.

So am I right?
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Re: 質問があります

Postby OitaFish » Sat 12.12.2009 9:24 am

In my opinion, you should drop the それ, replace it with what is is you want to know about, and add の意味は何(なん)ですか。 I use that very frequently and I am always understood.
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