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Lesson 11: The question particle か

In Japanese, you can turn a sentence into a question by adding the question particle to the end of the sentence.

English Japanese
Is this a book? これはほんですか?
kore ha hon desu ka?

The word is pronounced either as nan or as nani in Japanese. You will get a feeling for when to use which pronunciation soon, but in case you want to know, nan is used before desu and before counters, about which you will learn more later.

English Japanese
What? なに
What is this? これはなんですか?
kore ha nan desu ka?

The most common ways to say yes in Japanese are はい and ええ. はい is more formal than ええ, and can also be used in response to someone calling your name and in response to someone knocking on your door.

English Japanese
yes はい
yes ええ
Question Answer