Japanese/Lessons/Introduction/Ogenki desu ka/Questions using ka

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In this unit, you will learn how to ask and answer yes/no questions.

Try It[edit]

Try to ask and answer the following questions using the vocabulary given. For questions, use 〜ですか。 〜 desu ka?, and for answers, use はい、〜です。 hai,desu. If you are in a classroom, participate with your fellow students. If you are studying independently, converse with yourself. It may help to record yourself with a tape recorder, cell phone, computer, etc.

Ex: Are you well? Yes, I am. (元気(げんき))

  • 元気(げんき)ですか。
  • はい、元気(げんき)です。
  1. Are you happy? Yes, I am. ((しあわ))
  2. Are you sick? Yes, I am. (病気 (びょうき))
  3. Is she pretty? Yes, she is. (奇麗(きれい))
  4. Is he cheerful? Yes, he is. (陽気(ようき))
  5. Are you students? Yes, we are. (学生(がくせい))
  6. Is that rude? Yes, it is. (失礼 (しつれい))

Understand[edit]

Duration: 3-5 minutes

Grammar[edit]

Particles[edit]

Japanese particles (助詞 joshi) are a Japanese part of speech consisting of suffixes or short words which follow other words such as nouns, verbs and adjectives, to indicate a wide range of grammatical and discursive (communicative) functions. For instance, particles are used to indicate, or mark, the subject, direct object, and so on; in English, this task is normally performed by word order. Particles may also indicate the speaker's assertiveness, certitude, or other feelings. Note that a particle cannot exist by itself, it always follows another word or phrase.

Question Marker: か ka[edit]

One example of a particle is the question marker か ka, so-called because it is placed at the end of a phrase to indicate that that phrase is a question. Look at the following examples:

  • 元気(げんき)です。 "I'm fine."
  • 元気(げんき)ですか。"How are you?"
  • 学生(がくせい)です。 "She is a student."
  • 学生(がくせい)ですか。 "Is she a student?"
  • スミスさんです。 "That's Mr. Smith."
  • スミスさんですか。 "Is that Mr. Smith?"

Because か ka always comes at the end of a sentence, it is called a sentence-final particle. You have already been exposed to another sentence-final particle (ね ne) in the first lesson. More details about this, as well as other examples of sentence-final particles, will be given in future lessons.

Discuss[edit]

Duration: 0-5 minutes

If in the classroom, use this time to discuss questions the students may have.

Please post any questions you have about the lesson here, and a contributor will answer.