Thursday, 29 November 2012


Today I'm learning some useful phrases for my trip to Japan. One of the first useful things I learnt was how to say where is ___?

This is an easy phrase to learn!

どこです?Simply means 'where is?' or 'where is it?'

どこ this means 'where.'
です 'to be.'
か question marker.

You will probably want to ask where something is, though, so let's run through that.

トイレはどこですか?Where is the toilet?

All you need to do is add Place + は to the start of どこですか。

Also, another thing to note; written Japanese doesn't need an actual question mark. Usually, you wouldn't see どこですか? you would see どこですか。

Also, in Japan, people often asked me どこですか to ask me where I was from. As an English speaker it's hard to figure out what they mean because you expect a place name or maybe something else in the sentence, but Japanese seems to be shortened a lot and relies on context a lot more.

I guess what we really need to know now, is places. It's all very well asking the question, but you need to know the answer too!

Simply, people may say あそこ、そこ、or ここ while pointing. (Over there, right near you, right here.)

But, things can get more complicated.

So, let's go through this.

First we need to know all the location words, so:

ひだり: Left
みぎ: Right
まえ: Front
うしろ: Back
なか: Inside
うえ: On
した: Under
ちかく: Near; Nearby
となり: Next to
あいだ: Between

Now, we just need to form a sentence with the particle の。

ぎんこうはとしょかんのとなりです。The library is next to the bank.

かさはテーブルのしたです。The umbrella is under the table.

So this is how you can understand an answer you may get :)


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