What in Japanese - Nande? Nani? Nandesuka? Nandayo?


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If you live with or consume Japanese material you must have heard the expression “Nani? Nande? Nandesuka? Nandayo? Nanda?”And many others that apparently mean "What?". In this article we are going to do a very thorough study related to these Japanese words.

All these words that we mentioned in the title of the article are derived from the ideogram nani [何] that means "what“,“how many“,“which”And many other expressions related to questions. The differences between them are in the choice of particles and verbs.

To facilitate navigation of this article we will leave a summary below:

We recommend that you also read our article on Doushite, Naze and Nande.

Differences between nande, nanda, nani ...

In Japanese, there are several ways to express questions, opinions and even surprises using the “what” ideogram. If we are going to ask “what” formally we can simply say nandesuka [何ですか], if we want to speak in the most informal way possible can we just say nani? [何?] That can give you an idea of surprise.

O que em japonês - nande? Nani? Nandesuka? Nandayo?

Nanda [何だ] is nothing more than an informal abbreviation for nandesuka, if you still have doubts just read our article on desu [です] and [だ]. Sometimes nanda [何だ] can be spoken exclamatively, passing on an idea of “which is it?” or a frustration, especially if the yo [よ] particle is added, turning a nandayo [何だよ].

Nandayo can mean "what is it?" but it is very informal, rough and abrupt. Women have a habit of saying also naniyo [何よ]. To better understand the meaning of yo in these expressions, we recommend reading our article on ending sentences with particles.

You can still use the particle huh [ね] in expressions like nandayone [何だよね] where the particle huh gives an idea of agreement and affirmation. The ka [か] particle is always used when asking questions, but it is not always necessary. Everything will depend on the key you pronounce the word nanda, nande, nani ...

O que em japonês - nande? Nani? Nandesuka? Nandayo?

Although the mo [も] particle gives the idea of also, when used in expressions involving nani [何] and other particles that precede nani, it gives an idea to anyone or everyone. The [で] de nande [何で] particle gives the idea of “why?”, “For what?” It is like?" in an informal way.

Besides nande [何で], there are other ways to write “why” as doushite [如何して] which is a little informal and naze [何故] which is formal. It seems quite complicated to understand the differences between these words, but with time and custom in your daily life you get the hang of it.

Sample sentences involving nande, nani, nanda…

To understand a little the words we mentioned earlier, we will leave several phrases that can help you understand the use of them. We will try to leave several examples of nande, nani, nanda and variations, as well as naze and doushite.

You're the one I want欲しいのは君だけなんだ。Hoshī no wa kimi dake nanda.
In a word, you hate me, don't you?要するに君は私が嫌いなんだね。Yōsuruni kimi wa watashi ga kirai nandane.
I am not involved in this.俺この件に関してノータッチなんでPray kono-ken ni kanshite nōtatchi nande
What are you serving today?本日のランチの内容はなんですか。Honjitsu no ranchi no naiyō wa nandesuka.
What is this?これは何ですかKore wa nandesuka
It is true? Because?本当?なぜ?Hontō? Naze?
Why does the moon shine at night?どうして月は夜輝くのかDōshite tsuki wa yoru kagayaku no ka
Why are people deceived by these schemes?何でそんな安っぽいペテンにひっかかるんだ。Nande son'na yasuppoi peten ni hikkakaru nda.
Take what you want.欲しいものは何でも持っていきなさい。Hoshī mono wa nandemo motte iki nasai.
O que em japonês - nande? Nani? Nandesuka? Nandayo?

How do you know if the reading of [何] is Nan or Nani?

The ideogram of “what”Has several readings such as: nani; nan; ka; at; of; i; ka. Some wonder when I will know that reading is nan rather than nani? Just observe if the next word starts with t, d or n, in which case it will be pronounced nan (Examples: Nanno 何の; Nandesuka 何ですか; Nande 何で; Nanto 何と).

If other particles follow the ideogram [何] as [が; を; も; ga; wo; mo] the reading will be nani. Of course, there are several exceptions for both cases, especially if what comes from the ideogram [何] is another kanji that forms a single word. There are cases where the two pronunciations exist as in [何語], but beware that the meaning may change.

If what comes from [何 ]’s kanji is a counter, the pronunciation will be nan (Examples: Nannin 何人; Nankai 何回; Nandai 何台; Nanmai 何枚). If it is followed by a noun, nani (nani-iro 何色) is used, of course there are exceptions such as nanyoubi [何曜日].

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O que em japonês - nande? Nani? Nandesuka? Nandayo?

Using nani [何] to ask what or how many

The "what" [何] character in Japanese is often used in conjunction with other words to ask certain things such as:

How old?何歳ですか?nansaidesuka
What's the number?何番nanban
What day of the week何曜日nanyoubi
What a day; How many days何日nannichi
How many words何語nango
How many minutes何分nanbun
How many people; Amount of people何人nannin
How many times何回nankai
How many (machine counter)何台nandai
How many (thin and flat object counter)何枚nanmai
O que em japonês – nande? Nani? Nandesuka? Nandayo?

Other words derived from nani kanji [何]

To end the article, we will share a list of words related to questions that derive from nani [何] 's ideogram:

Where; which place何処doko
Because; like何故naze
Is nothing; without anything;何もnanimo
Because?; for what?何でnande
When; Like何時itsu
What; like; whatever it is何とnanto
Like; what (exclamatory)何てnante
Which way; which direction; Where何方dochira
Which (among); anyone (+ も)何れ[も]dore [mo]
Something; Thing何かnanika
Anything); whatever; I understand何でもnandemo
Something; somehow何とかnantoka
Where; which; what; both; any; eventually何れizure
How many times何回nankai
How many times何度Nando
Something; some reason何やらnanyara
How many hours?何時nanji
How much time; How far; how muchどれ位dorekurai
Anywhere; all the places; completely何処までもdokomademo
Something; nothing何物nanimono
What; let me see何れ何れdoredore
What about; this and that; what what ?; What problem?何々naninani
Is nothing; nothing何でもないnandemonai
How much time? Until when?何時までitsumade
anything; all; almost everything何もかもnanimokamo
anyway何せnanise; nanse

Thank you for reading our article on nande, nani, nanda and derivatives. Any questions just comment. We appreciate the shares and finally we invite you to read our article about the meme omae wa mou shindeiru: