When using だろう
(the conjugated auxiliary verb) is grouped with か
(the question particle), it presents the statement before it as something that the speaker is unsure about. In this way, it sounds similar to ‘I wonder if (A)’ in English.
To use this construction, the statement before だろうか
must be nominalized (turned into a noun-phrase). This is done through the use of の
, or なの
(in the case of な-Adjectives
I wonder if our team can win.
I wonder if she actually wants a boyfriend.
I wonder if that person is okay.
I wonder if that is really food.
Despite the grammatical rule relating to nominalization using の
), this part of the phrase is often omitted.
I wonder if Tom will invite me. (の omitted)
I wonder if that person is actually a lawyer. (なの omitted)
is quite masculine, so in order to sound more polite/ladylike, でしょうか
may also be used instead.
I wonder if Tom will buy a pencil that expensive.
I wonder if that car belongs to Kim.
Although だろうか is quite masculine, it does not strictly mean that でしょうか is feminine. でしょうか may be used confidently by either women or men.
may be used to ask a question, or simply to express the speaker's inner thoughts.
I wonder if what this person is saying is true. (Said while talking to oneself)
I wonder if I can take my son there. (Said while talking to oneself)
is most commonly used to express a personal ‘I wonder’, in a similar way to かな
. Because of this, even if it is used as a question, the listener may assume that you are not specifically looking for an answer from them.