Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 1: 12/12

Question marking particle

か is also often used to mark uncertainty/doubt

Phrase +
Part of Speech Particle
Word Type Sentence Ending Particle
Register Standard
品詞 助詞
単語の種類 終助詞
使用域 一般
is a particle that frequently comes at the end of sentences in Japanese, and carries the same meaning as a question mark in English. (It is not limited to appearing at the end of sentences, however). In addition to questions, can also express uncertainty about something, without strictly being a question.
  • これコップです
    Is this a cup? (Plain question)
  • あなたアパート大(おお)きです
    Is your apartment big? (Plain question)
  • 美味(おい)し分(わ)からない。
    I don't know if this is good or bad. (Expressing uncertainty, but not a question)
  • これは何(なに)分(わ)からない。
    I don't know what this is. (Expressing uncertainty, but not a question)
regularly comes after the polite form of words, such as ~です, ~ます. However, in casual conversation can be used directly after the word that the speaker is showing uncertainty about.
  • 大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)です
    Are you okay? (Standard pattern)
  • 大丈夫(だいじょうぶ)
    Are you okay? (Very casual pattern)
Both examples are grammatically correct, but the sentence without です may be considered rude by some people (as it sounds too familiar/direct).
Slow Male
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Is this a book?
Is this your book?
Is this also your book?
Genki I
Page 15
みんなの日本語 I
Page 14 [CH 1]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 14, 45 & 166
Genki I 2nd Edition
Page 43
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 96