Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - When to use か?

When to use か?

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!

When to use か?

Postby cybermat » Fri 10.28.2005 9:47 pm

I am trying to figure out when "ka" is used and when "wa" is used as a particle. I know one way is when you are trying to say "or". Kin youbi ka ka youbi ....

Please help

Thanks
cybermat
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu 10.27.2005 10:35 pm

RE: When to use か?

Postby appleraja » Fri 10.28.2005 9:57 pm

isnt ka for questions and wa to show the subject
appleraja
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon 08.29.2005 1:42 pm

RE: When to use か?

Postby JoshM » Fri 10.28.2005 9:59 pm

Basically, "ka" is used for alternative sentences or interrogative. If I ask you now: 「あなたはなんさいですか」 I don't even must to input an interrogative marker 'cause any Japanese would know this is a question. So, when it comes to alternatives, it's how you described: 「金曜日か火曜日でうみへいきましょう!」. "Friday or Tuesday, let's go to the sea!".
There is also another function to this particle, but it will just confuse you.

"Wa" is an entirely different one and it's very hard to confuse them. You could try to find articles in this very site about the use of "wa".
Last edited by JoshM on Fri 10.28.2005 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JoshM
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri 10.28.2005 10:32 am

RE: When to use か?

Postby cybermat » Sat 10.29.2005 8:33 am

First of all, thanks for all your responses.

Sorry I should have compared か to が. Specifically this is a sample question I got from past level 4 proficiency test, I couldn't figure it out why か should be used instead of が.

dare ka mado o shimete kudasai.

JoshM, is か being used for the other function that you mention about in the above sentence?

Cheers
cybermat
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu 10.27.2005 10:35 pm

RE: When to use か?

Postby InsanityRanch » Sat 10.29.2005 9:36 am

"dareka" means somebody.

("dokoka" = somewhere, "nanika" something, "itsuka" sometime, "nazeka" somehow...)
"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto
InsanityRanch
 
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue 04.19.2005 2:17 pm

RE: When to use か?

Postby Kates » Sat 10.29.2005 9:54 am

Dare KA mado wo shimete kudasai. = Someone please close the window.
KA is used because the sentence is not specifying someone to do it, just asking for anyone at all to do it.

Dare GA = who, so you would use it like this, in a sentence like that:
Dare GA mado wo shimemashita? = Who shut the window?

Dare GA mado wo shimete kudasai. wouldn't make much sense because "dare ga" is kind of a question itself (meaning you don't know who), but 'shimete kudasai' is asking a favor. Does that make sense? ^^;
User avatar
Kates
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Fri 08.12.2005 3:54 pm

RE: When to use か?

Postby cybermat » Sat 10.29.2005 12:46 pm

Hai, wakarimashita. Domo arigatou gozaimashita.
cybermat
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu 10.27.2005 10:35 pm

RE: When to use か?

Postby JoshM » Sat 10.29.2005 4:00 pm

Cyber, the other function is a bit more complicated. I, myself, have not yet mastered that use, but it acts a bit as "whether or not" in English. You'll gona use "ka dou ka" (かどうか) in this sense. As I can't explain it very well, I ask to someone help me in further explanation.

かれがコーヒーをのみますかどうか知りません。
("Whether he drinks coffee, I don't know.")
今日にうちへかえるかどうかほんとう分からない。
("I don't really know whether I'll be back home today.")

You're welcome, by the way. ;)
Last edited by JoshM on Sat 10.29.2005 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JoshM
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri 10.28.2005 10:32 am

RE: When to use か?

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 10.30.2005 8:25 pm

JoshM,

The difference between か and かどうか is that かどうか is used when there are only two options.

The most clear translation would be:
か - whether
かどうか - whether or not

Although in English "whether" can be used for both of them.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: When to use か?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 10.31.2005 10:26 am

Frustrated former newspaper editor rant:

There *is* no "whether or not" in proper English. The existence of the whether *implies* there is a possibility of a "not" so saying "or not" is redundant. It would get blue-penciled at any magazine or newspaper I worked for.


Tony
Last edited by AJBryant on Mon 10.31.2005 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: When to use か?

Postby Kates » Mon 10.31.2005 10:39 am

That sounds... odd. >_> So the sentence: "Whether or not we're successful, we can be sure we did our best" ... the 'or not' should be removed? I disagree with whoever was blue-pencilling you.

What about: "I'm going, whether you like it or not." ?

What's an example of when 'or not' could/should be removed?
User avatar
Kates
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Fri 08.12.2005 3:54 pm

RE: When to use か?

Postby mandolin » Mon 10.31.2005 12:06 pm

I disagreed, too, Kates. So I decided to do a trusty Google and came up with this.

A snippet from the end of the article:

[snip] ... let me quote Theodore Bernstein (The Careful Writer, 1965): "Usually the or not is a space waster. . . . When, however, the intention is to give equal stress to the alternatives, the or not is mandatory. . . . One way [besides Cecil's] to test whether the or not is necessary is to substitute if for whether. If the change to if produces a different meaning . . . the or not must be supplied." Your sentence #2 once again passes the test.


Note, sentence #2 referenced there was: I will see you on Monday, whether or not it rains.

EDIT:

Found a site completely dedicated to grammar, for a more weighted opinion.

This site is here for reference.

It states "whether...or" as being one of the possible correlative conjunctions for parallel sentence construction. Other correlative conjunctions more widely used are either...or, neither...nor, not only...but also

Isiah wondered whether it was better to tell his girlfriend that he forgot or if he should make up some excuse.

In comparison to the above quote, the 'or not' will be used as expressing the other 'option' of the sentence.

A: "I will see you on monday whether or not it rains."

B: "I will see you on monday whether it rains or snows."

To say that sentence A here is grammatically different than sentence B would be wrong. It is exactly the same as B, -without- superfluous information. A could be verbosely written as:

A2: "I will see you on monday whether it rains or does not rain."

But then A loses its parallel structure (rains vs rain) and sounds awkward.
Last edited by mandolin on Mon 10.31.2005 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
mandolin
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon 06.20.2005 3:44 am

RE: When to use か?

Postby JoshM » Mon 10.31.2005 1:16 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
JoshM,

The difference between か and かどうか is that かどうか is used when there are only two options.

The most clear translation would be:
か - whether
かどうか - whether or not

Although in English "whether" can be used for both of them.


Thanks for providing me backup, Harisenbon. As I stated, I was very vague in my explanation 'cause I have to study this use yet. But my examples were correct, right? Thanks anyway, I really appreciate that.

About the discussion about the use of "whether" with a conjecture "or not", I don't really know 'cause English is not my native language, but I remember to have read "whether (or not)" being used in literary books. I'm not saying that famous writes can't make mistakes, but I guess that although the common rule is to state "whether" alone, in some expressions, "whether (or not)" is plainly right.

Also researching about, I've found this at this page: http://www.writersblock.ca/tips/monthtip/tipapr96.htm

"Whether or Not"

According to Fowler's Modern English Usage (see note), "whether or not" is not strictly incorrect. The pertinent article acknowledges that "whether or not" can be a legitimate contraction of "whether it will or will not". Nevertheless, you should avoid the construction, as it is less often used than abused.
Last edited by JoshM on Mon 10.31.2005 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JoshM
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri 10.28.2005 10:32 am

RE: When to use か?

Postby AJBryant » Mon 10.31.2005 8:10 pm

Yeah, there are cases where it works. The trouble is, most people just use "whether or not" ithout a second thought. And there's always a work-around. For example, "Regardless of whether you go..." is the workaround for "whether or not you go..." (And don't get me started on people who write "regardless of whether or not" -- They need a nun to slap 'em on the hands with a ruler.)

I generally find that trying to discourage writing "whether or not" forces people to think more about what they're writing -- and often they will come up with something better and more correct when they do so.

Tony
Last edited by AJBryant on Mon 10.31.2005 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: When to use か?

Postby IkimashoZ » Tue 11.01.2005 6:12 am

か can mark any interrogative, including subclauses. With factual subclauses, use と. With interrogative subclauses, use か.
Ist das einen Kanji, dass ich gefunden habe??
User avatar
IkimashoZ
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri 10.28.2005 2:00 am


Return to Grammar Questions and Problems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests