Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 10: 12/18

(Question-Phrase) + か

Including questions within sentences

Do not attach だ or です to nouns or な-adjectives preceding か


Question Word + + わかる(1)

(1) (おぼ)える、()める、()っている and so on


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About Question-phrase + か

Often, the adverbial particle is used in the middle of a sentence, in the same way that it is as a sentence ending particle. The main differences are as follows:
Adverbial Particle: 副助詞(ふくじょし) - Highlights uncertain things '不確(ふたし)かであること'. This is the same か as in どこか 'somewhere'.
Sentence Ending Particle: 終助詞(しゅうじょし) - Highlights doubts and questions '疑問(ぎもん)質問(しつもん)'. This is a direct question.
In the case of the adverbial particle and 'uncertain things', this will almost always be followed by a word that is seeking information about the uncertain thing.
  • 忘年会(ぼうねんかい)社長(しゃちょう)()()かります
    Do you know if the CEO is coming to the end of year party? (Literally, 'If the CEO is coming, do you know?')
  • これ()()
    Do you know if this is enough? (Literally, 'If this is enough, do you know?')
  • (なん)このビル(こわ)()ています
    Do you know why they are destroying this building? (Literally, 'Why they are destroying it, do you know?')
  • (まつ)何時(なんじ)()()てる
    Do you know what time the festival is going to end? (Literally, 'What time it will end, do you know?')
As can be seen in these examples, sometimes the adverbial particle will appear by itself, and sometimes it will appear together with the sentence ending particle in the same sentence. However, due to the 'uncertainty' being displayed by the adverbial particle, the question marker at the end of the sentence is not required.
This should not be preceded by (or です), this is why words like どこか and (だれ) are not どこだか and (だれ)だか.


  • (ぼく)どこいるわかる

    Do you know where I am?

    • いつ美術館(びじゅつかん)()()めました

      Have you decided when you are going to the art museum?

      • (かれ)(この)(あじ)(なに)わかる

        Do you know what kind of flavor(s) he likes?

        • (かれ)(だれ)こと()わかりません

          I do not know who he likes.

          • (なに)()した()っている

            Do you know what was erased?

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            Question-phrase + か – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

            • Pushindawood


              @DonChanHype Thank you for your comment! I have added かどうか and some other grammar points to the related section. I have also included the Tae Kim link that you provided in the Readings section. Cheers!

            • DonChanHype


              Thanks as always!

            • WireMouse


              It might be helpful to include sentences that use the nominalization のか as well, since I’ve been getting confused when seeing that out in the wild. For example, this WaniKani sentence: 「字がきたなすぎて、薬方に何が書いてあるのかさっぱり分かりません。」

              In this grammar point, か comes right after the verb, with no nominalizer, but のか can happen as well, right?

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