Japanese Lesson – Where is it?

Hello Everyone,

In today’s lesson we are going to learn how to ask the location of objects or persons and how to answer using kosoado. Let’s go!

Where is it?

Tor ask someone the location of some object or person in Japanese, one will state the searched ochect or person followed by the  question “どこ です か。” [doko desu ka. ] /where is it?/. For instance, if you are looking for your glasses, you will ask:

眼鏡めがね[megane]/ glasses /
 
[wa]/ {topic} /
[,]/ , /
どこどこ[doko]/ where /
 
ですです[desu]/ to be /
 
[ka]/ {question} /
 
[.]/ . /

/Where are my glasses?/

Quite simple isn’t it?

If you want to sound more casual, you can strip down the polite ending and just say: “めがね は どこ?” , and sound even more casual by stripping down particles: “めがね、どこ?”.

Your glasses are here/there/over there…

We will now see how to give an answer to such question by indicating the position relatively to our interlocutor and ourself. This will be achieved by using the 3 locators of the kosoado (as in the lesson What’s This?):

  • ここ [koko] /here/, indicating a place close to the person who answers,
  • そこ [soko] /there/, indicating a place close to the person who asked the question,
  • あそこ [asoko] /over there/, indicating a place away from both the person who asked the question and the person who answers.

So if you were asked the question above and the glasses are laying on a table close to you you would answer:

ここ[koko]/ here /
 
です[desu]/ to be /
[.]/ . /

Or more casually just: ここ。

If there could be some ambiguity in the answer, for example if both you and your interlocutor have glasses, or if you heard your interlocutor muttering about some lost object and asking “どこ?” or “どこ です か。”, you could precise the topic of your answer:

あなたあなた[anata]/ you /
[no]/ {relation} /
眼鏡めがね[megane]/ glasses /
 
[wa]/ {topic} /
ここここ[koko]/ here /
 
ですです[desu]/ to be /
[.]/ . /

/Your glasses are here./

Now if the glasses are nearby your interlocutor you will answer: “そこ です。”.

And if the glasses are on a table away from both you and your interlocutor you will answer: “あそこ です。”.

With a little bit of practice you will quickly understand the difference between ここ, そこ and あそこ and answering such question will become trivial.

Exercises

Have a look at the picture above.

Vocabulary:

アリス [ARISU] /Alice/ Alice
しろ
うさぎ
[shiro usagi ] /white/rabbit/ the White Rabbit
帽子ぼうし [bo~shi-ya] /hat/shop/ the Hatter
ほん [hon] /book/ book
帽子ぼうし [bo~shi] /hat/ hat

 

しろ
うさぎ
: ほん は どこ です か。

Translation
Answer
Where is the book?

アリス: The book is here.

Translation
Answer
ほん は、ここ です。

しろ
うさぎ
: Where is the hat?

Translation
Answer
帽子ぼうし は どこ です か。

アリス: 帽子ぼうし は、そこ です。

Translation
Answer
The hat is there.

しろ
うさぎ
: Where is the Hatter?

Translation
Answer
帽子ぼうしさん は どこ です か。

アリス: The Hatter is over there.

Translation
Answer
帽子ぼうしさん は、あそこ です。

Here it is with this lesson. I hope you enjoyed it!

Cheers,
Stéphane

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