Japanese Lesson 9 (Questions and Misunderstanding)

Duration: 30 mins

This 9th lesson teaches an important aspect in Japanese which is the interrogative form also called questions. In addition, there is a list of vocabulary terms about misunderstanding and finally some commonly used phrases. I will try to give examples using both vocabulary and grammar. That way it will be easy for you to see the words when they are separate and when they are in a sentence. Going through the whole page should take about 30 min. Make sure to read the pronunciation and hear the audio as well. If you have any question about this course, please email me directly at Japanese Classes.


Being able to ask questions is what makes us curious beings, which in turns broadens our knowledge. It is no different when it comes to learning Japanese. You will always be asking questions, and the following are some tools to help you in that quest.

The following are the 5 Ws + "how" commonly used adverbs to express the interrogative form. Most likely, whenever a question needs to be asked, one of them should be used. The table contains 3 columns (English, Japanese, and Audio). Make sure you repeat each word after hearing it by either clicking on the audio button or by reading the pronunciation. That should help with memorization as well as improving your pronunciation.

Interrogative Form in Japanese

Questions Japanese
How?どのように? [dono you ni?]
What?何が? [nani ga?]
When?いつ? [itsu?]
Where?どこで? [doko de ?]
Who?誰が? [dare ga?]
Why?なぜ? [naze?]

Now we will try to implement the adverbs above into full Japanese sentences. That way you will be able to use the word not only by itself but embedded in a structure.

Japanese Questions in a Sentence

Can I come?行ってもいいですか? [Ittemo iidesu ka?]
Can I help you?何か手伝いましょうか? [Nani ka tetsudai mashoo ka?]
Can you help me?手伝ってくれますか? [Tetsudatte kure masu ka?]
Do you know her?あなたは彼女を知っていますか? [Anata wa konojo wo sitte imasu ka?]
Do you speak English?あなたは英語を話しますか? [Anata wa eigo wo hanasi masu ka?]
How difficult is it?それはどのように難しいですか? [Sore wa dono youni mutsukasii desu ka?]
How far is this?これはどれくらい遠いですか? [Kore wa dore kurai tooi desu ka?]
How much is this?これはいくらですか? [Kore wa ikura desu ka?]
How would you like to pay?どのような支払いをされますか? [Dono you na siharai wo sare masu ka?]
What is this called?これは何と呼ばれていますか? [Kore wa nan to yobarete imasu ka?]
What is your name?あなたの名前は何ですか? [Anata no namae wa nan desu ka?]
What time is it?何時ですか? [Nan ji desu ka?]
When can we meet?いつあなたに会えますか? [Itsu anata ni ae masu ka?]
Where do you live?あなたはどこに住んでますか? [Atata wa dokoni sunde masu ka?]
Who is knocking at the door?ドアをノックしているのは誰ですか? [Doa wo nokku shiteiru noha dare desu ka?]
Why is it expensive?なぜ高いのですか? [Naze takai no desu ka?]


If you have any questions, please contact me If you simply want to ask a question, please Japanese contact form on the header above.

Vocabulary List about Misunderstanding

There are times when you will not understand what a person said in Japanese, or simply that you want them to repeat a word. The following are 24 expressions used to clear misunderstandings. Very essential to any conversation!

Misunderstanding in Japanese

Misunderstanding Japanese
Can you repeat?もう一度言ってもらえますか? [Mou ichido itte moraemasu ka?]
Can you speak slowly?ゆっくり話してもらえますか? [Yukkuri hanasi-te morae masu ka?]
Did you understand what I said?私の話したことを、分かりますか? [Watasi no hanasita-koto wo wakarimasu ka?]
Don't worry!心配しないで! [Sinpai sinai de!]
Excuse me? (i.e. I beg your pardon?)すみません!(ちょっと失礼します) [Sumimasen! (Chotto shitsurei shimasu.)]
How do you say "OK" in French?フランスごでOKはどう言いますか? [Furansu-go de OK wa dou iimasuka?]
I don't know!知りません。 [Shiri masen.]
I don't understand!分かりません。 [Wakari masen.]
I need to practice my French私はフランス語の練習が必要です。 [Watasi wa Furansu go no renshuu ga hitsuyou desu.]
Is that right?それは本当ですか? [Sore wa hontou desuka?]
Is that wrong?それは間違いですか? [Sore wa machigai desuka?]
Mistake間違い、誤り [machigai, ayamari]
My French is bad私はフランス語が下手です。 [Watasi wa Furansu go ga heta desu.]
No problem!大丈夫です。(問題ありません) [Daijyoubu desu. (Mondai arimasen.)]
Quickly早く、速く [hayaku, hayaku]
Slowlyゆっくりと [Yukkuri to]
Sorry (to apologize)すみません。(謝る場合) [Sumimasen. (Ayamaru baai)]
To speak話すこと [hanasu koto]
What does that word mean in English?その言葉は英語では何ですか? [Sono kotoba wa Eigo de nan desuka?]
What is this?これは何ですか? [Kore wa nan desuka?]
What should I say?何と言えば良いのでしょうか? [Nan to ieba iino deshoo ka?]
What?何? [Nani?]
What's that called in French?あれはフランスごで何と言うのですか? [Are wa Furansu go de nan to iu no desuka?]
Write it down please!ここに書いてください。 [Kokoi kaite kudasai.]


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Daily Conversation in Japanese

Finally, a list of some common phrases that you might come across from time to time. For a complete list of commonly used sentences, please visit our Japanese Phrases page. Enjoy!

Common Expressions in Japanese

English Japanese
Thisこれ [kore]
Thatあれ [are]
Hereここに [koko ni]
Thereそこに [sokoni]
In The Morning午前中に [gozenchuu ni]
In the evening午後に [gogo ni]
At Night夜に [yoru ni]
Really!用意! [youi!]
Look!見て! [mite!]
Hurry up!急いで! [isoide!]

Fun Facts

Language Quote: The oldest written language was believed to be written in about 4500 BC.

Congratulations! You finished your 9th lesson in Japanese about questions, and misunderstanding. Are you ready for the next lesson? We recommend Japanese Lesson 10. You can also simply click on one of the links below or go back to our Learn Japanese homepage.