Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 9: 6/15

between ~ which one

Noun (A) + + Noun (B) + + どちら(1) +
Verb1 + こと(1) + + Verb2 + こと(1) + + どちら(1) +

(1) どちらのほう、どっち、どっちのほう
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使用域 一般
と~と、どちらが is an expression in Japanese that is made from the following parts:
- The particle (x2) in its meaning of ‘and’.
どちら - The 丁寧語(ていねいご) form of 誰(だれ) ‘who’, and a slightly newer form of どっち that basically means ‘which’.
- The 格助詞(かくじょし) (case-marking particle)
This structure is used when the speaker is asking a question about whether someone will choose (A) or (B). It is only used when there are no more than two possible choices.
  • ピザラーメンどちら好(す)きです
    Between pizza and ramen, which do you prefer?
  • 漢字(かんじ)書(か)くこと漢字(かんじ)読(よ)むことどちら得意(とくい)です
    Between writing and reading kanji, which are you more confident with?
  • 遊園地(ゆうえんち)に行(い)く動物園(どうぶつえん)に行(い)くどちらいいです
    Between going to the amusement park, and going to the zoo, which is better?
As can be seen above, verbs may be used as part of this structure if they are nominalized with こと, or . Additionally, the polite form does not specifically need to be used, and どっち may be used instead.
  • 辛(から)物(もの)甘(あま)物(もの)どっち好(す)き
    Between something spicy and something sweet, which do you like more?
The second itself is quite often omitted, as どちら (or どっち) implies that both (A) and (B) are part of the same structure.
  • 私(わたし)彼女(かのじょ)どっち好(す)き
    Between me and her, who do you like?
Fun Fact
As どちら is the 丁寧語(ていねいご) form of 誰(だれ), it is also frequently used as a polite way to ask questions about unknown people.
  • すみません、どちら様(さま)です
    I’m sorry, who are you?
どちらのほう (or どっちのほう) may also be used, but this does not really change the overall nuance. It merely puts slightly more emphasis on the ‘direction’ of the choice. This is similar to expressions like ‘which one are you leaning towards?’ in English.
  • ワインビールどちらの方(ほう)が飲(の)みたいです
    Between wine and beer, which would you want to drink more?
Slow Male
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Between coffee and tea, which do you want?
Between reading manga and reading the newspaper, which do you like?
Between playing sports and playing video games, which are you better at?
Marugoto Elementary 1 (A2) Rikai
Page 109
Marugoto Elementary 2 (A2) Rikai
Page 116