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How to say “What” in Japanese

How to say “What” in Japanese

「何」: What
There are two different ways to say「何」:「なん」/nan/ and「なに」/nani/.

Now, the real question is how can we know when to use what?

Here are some quick tips for you guys:

When it stands after words that have “d”, “t” and “n” sound.
1.なんですか。/nan desu ka./ – What is it?

2.なんといいますか。/nan to īmasuka./ – How do you say?

3.なんの本ですか。/nan no hon desu ka./ – What book is it?

When it concerns “number”.

1.なんさいですか。 /nan sai desu ka./ – How old are you?

2.なんばんですか。 /nan ban desu ka./ – What number is it?

3.なんがつですか。 /nan gatsu desu ka./ – What month is it?

Except for the two cases above, the rest are pronounced as /nani/.

1.なにか食べたいですか。/nani ka tabe tai desu ka./ – Want to eat something? (「なにか」= something)

2.なにもしませんでした。/nani mo shimasendeshita./ – I didn’t do anything.

3.なにをよみましたか。/nani o yomimashita ka./ – What did you read?