June 28, 2021

JLPT N5 Grammar: だれ・どなた dare; donata – who


The pronoun question word, "who," is primarily (だれ) in Japanese. The honorific form is どなた. This is usually written in hiragana, but the kanji is 何方(どなた) (literally, what honorable person). Another honorific used in the same way is どちら(さま).

Use どなた both to show respect to the person with whom you are conversing and for the person you are referring to.

For example, you might say どなたですか? when speaking to or asking about someone who is older or higher up socially. Also, in situations such as answering the phone or the door when you are uncertain who you are talking to, use どなた or どちら様.


(だれ)()きですか? Who do you like?
(だれ)でしょう? Who do you think?

Other Forms:

(だれ)も no one [Takes a negative verb.]
  ->  (だれ)()ませんでした。 No one came
(だれ)でも anyone
  ->  (だれ)でも()れてきてください。 Bring anyone.

(だれ)か someone
  ->  (だれ)英語(えいご)(はな)せる(ひと)はいますか? Is there someone who can speak English?

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