Naze x Doushite x Nande - "Why?" and “How” in Japanese

Know how to say "Because?" In japanese? In this article, we’ll talk about the two most popular ways to express why and their differences, we’ll talk about the famous “doushite” [どうして], “naze“[何故] and nande [なんで].

We previously wrote an article talking about the differences between nande, nani, nanda and derivatives. Where do they mean “what?”, “Which”, “how”, etc. There we also briefly mention doushite and naze.

What does Doushite mean?

Depending on the situation, Doushite [如何して] can mean why; for what reason; for what purpose; for what; like; in what way; by what means. Doushite it is not so formal, but it is also not informal.

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The word doushite it also has other uses and complements. You can say for example, doushitemo [どうしても] which means no matter how; by all means; at any cost; Certainly; no way; in no case; willing or not; eventually, etc.

The ideogram [如] present in doushite [如何して] gives a meaning of similarity, as, as if, better and equal. There is also the word ikan [如何] written with the same ideograms and means how, in what way and circumstances.

Naze x doushite x nande - “why? ”And“ how ”in Japanese

The word doushite [どうして] is literally the junction of the word dou [どう] which means like; in what way, together with shite [して] which is the verb suru. So much so that there is the word dousuru [どうする] which means “What to do?“.

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There are variations like doushita and doushitano [どうしたの] which means "What is the problem?", "What is wrong?", "What is it?", "What happened?" and "Somehow" ...

What does Nande mean?

This is the most comprehensive way of saying why, also the most informal. Not to be confused with nandesuka [なんですか], since the one present in the expression, refers to the particle in [で].

O nande it is the most informal way of all. You should only use it between close friends and in very informal situations. O doushite it sounds a little more informal and can be used with teachers, bosses and older people, if you have a little intimacy.

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There are other expressions derived from nande like nandemonai [なんでもない] which means is nothing or insignificant. Do not be confused nande with nanda [なんだ] which means “what?”.

Naze x doushite x nande - “why? ”And“ how ”in Japanese

What does Naze mean?

Depending on the situation, Naze [何故] means why; like; in what way; why. This is the most formal way of expressing why or how. This form is not used with close friends or depending on the situation.

If you need to be much more formal, please use Nazedesuka [何故ですか] instead of just naze. It may be a little rude to use only naze in a very formal situation.

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The word nazenara [なぜなら] literally means reason and why. The expression nazeka [なぜか] is not a question and means something; for some reason; without knowing why and for the reason.

Naze x doushite x nande - “why? ”And“ how ”in Japanese

What is the difference between Naze x Doushite and NANDE?

Although they both mean almost the same thing, naze seems to be more of a why than doushite. The word doushite is more informal and can give an idea of "like" or “as well?“.

Doushite it ends up being used when talking directly to someone, when you ask the person directly what happened or what the problem is. Already naze is used as a simple why.

You will not say doushite when your boss doesn't want to increase your salary. You can say doushite if your boss is going through a situation, you have a certain intimacy and are trying to understand what happened and why he is upset.

Reaffirming and summarizing: Naze is closer to because and dohshite is closer to likeNande it is very informal and chaotic, but it is very common to hear.

Think on the bright side, at least we don’t have 4 whys in Japanese the same as in Portuguese. Fortunately, the options for whys do not oblige us to understand the writing and form of the sentence. Just remember the best time to use it.