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When to you use nan

melon
Asked 6 years ago

 

Is there a rule for when you can use nan/nani?

 

In this lessons it comes after the particle

http://www.nihongomaster.com/lesson/view/70/what-is-this

 

Then in this lesson (in the first example) it comes before the particle

https://www.nihongomaster.com/lesson/view/95/the-verb-%E3%81%97%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99

 

I don't understand why this is or when you can do it.

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

2 Answers

1
Vote
+0

The main reason why is because in the first example it uses the particle [は] and in the second example it uses the particle [を].  To know where to use "nan"/"nani", imagine you have the answer to your question and replace the answer word(s) with "nan"/"nani". (Not sure if what I'm saying makes sense)

Ex 1- [これは本です]-Imagine this is the answer to the question "What is this?". The specific answer is the word "book" ∴ you would replace [] with [なん], giving you [これはなんです]- What is this?

Ex 2- [きょう、しごとをします]- Imagine this is the answer to "What will you do today?". The answer is "work/job" ∴ you'd replace [しごと] with [なに], giving you [きょう、なにをしますか]- What will you do today?

I hope this kind of helped.  Perhaps someone else can either correct me or explain it better than I can.

Matt
Answered 6 years ago

Thanks that's an easy answer!

melon
Commented 6 years ago

0
Votes

I have answered the same question before.  Here the copy of my answer.

There is a rule.

1) When 何(nani/nan) has "D" sound (ダ・ヂ・ヅ・デ・ド)、"T" sound (タ・チ・ツ・テ・ト)、and "N" sound (ナ・ニ・ヌ・ネ・ノ) after it, it is usually pronunced as なん (nan).

For example,

これはなんすか。

なんいいましたか。


When 何(nan/nani) is followed by other sounds, it is usually pronounced as "nani."

なにたべますか。

なにいいですか。

 

2) When you are asking "how many?" with 何, it is usually pronunced as なん, too. For example, なんにん (how many people?), なんさつ (how many books?), and なんぼん (how many bottles?) なん also is used to ask "day of the week" or "month" (なんようび, なんがつ).

There always are exceptions, but this is the basic rule. Hope this helps.

Masako
Answered 6 years ago

Thanks for your answer!

melon
Commented 6 years ago

Thanks for your answer!

melon
Commented 6 years ago