Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 9: 6/16

と~と~どちらが

Between ~ which one

Structure

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

Details

  • Register

    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About と~と、どちらが

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 polite speech form of (だれ) 'who', and a slightly newer form of どっち that basically means 'which'.
- The 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()です
    Between pizza and ramen, which do you prefer?
  • 漢字(かんじ)()こと漢字(かんじ)()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)()動物園(どうぶつえん)()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.
  • (から)(もの)(あま)(もの)どっち()
    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.
  • (わたし)彼女(かのじょ)どっち()
    Between me and her, who do you like?
Fun Fact
As どちら is the polite speech form of (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(さま)です
    I'm sorry, who are you?
Caution
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(ほう)()たいです
    Between wine and beer, which would you want to drink more?

Examples

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  • コーヒー(ちゃ)どちらほしいです

    Between coffee and tea, which do you want?

    • マンガ()こと新聞(しんぶん)()ことどちら()です

      Between reading manga and reading the newspaper, which do you like?

      • スポーツすることゲームすることどちら上手(じょうず)です

        Between playing sports and playing video games, which are you better at?

        • ひらがなカタカナどちら(おぼ)えにくいです

          Between hiragana and katakana, which one is more difficult to remember?

          • エベレストK2どちら(たか)

            Between Everest and K2, which one is taller?

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            と~と、どちらが – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

            • Johnathan-Weir

              Johnathan-Weir

              Seems like that should be provided as alternate option

            • modboy

              modboy

              Does を ‘block’ the が here or is something else going on?

              犯人はんにんげるの警察けいさつくのとどちらえらぶでしょう。

            • gyroninja

              gyroninja

              There is no “blocking” going on. You are just using どちら with the を particle instead of the が particle.

              With 選ぶ, が marks who is making the choice and を marks what is being chosen.

              Edit: This might not be the entire story though. Take for example this example sentence from bunpro:

              二階にかいてのマンション 普通ふつういえとどちらが んでみたい?

              Normally, に marks where you are living and が marks who is the one living. In this example it is using が with a location. Searching twitter どちらに住む is much more common than どちらが住む for choosing between two locations. Maybe this is just a case of どちらが being so common that people accidentally use it like this and common accidents eventually become standard use.

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