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Japanese Phrases: Top 20 Japanese Questions & Answers Part 2

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learn with japanesepod101 Hello Junkie!

Welcome to Part 2! Read part 1 here!

Knowing Japanese questions (and phrases) is important to speaking and understanding Japanese. Why?

  • You’ll be asked questions.
  • You’ll need answers.
  • You’ll ask questions too.
  • And you’ll be speaking more Japanese.

Here’s part 2, the top 20 Japanese questions, really common ones, that you should know. About you. About your family, your preferences and more. You use them in English all the time. You should know them in Japanese too.

✅ ….And hey, if you want to learn & speak Japanese with a complete learning system, (2,000+ audio/video courses, apps, study tools and more) Sign up at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning! I recommend ’em as a teacher & learner.

11.How old are you?

  • 何歳ですか。
  • Nan sai desu ka?

how old are you?

Literally, you’re asked “what’s your age?” This is used often when you meet new people.

Easy way to say what your age, or how old you are, in Japanese is…

  • 私は_ 歳です。
  • Watashi wa __ sai desu.
  • I am __ years old.
    • For example:
      • 私は18歳です。
        • Watashi wa juuhassai desu.
        • I’m 18.
      • 私は25です。
        • Watashi wa nijuugo sai desu.
        • I’m 25.
      • 私は30歳です。
        • Watashi wa sanjuu sai desu.
        • I’m 30.

12. Asking “How are you?” in Japanese

how are you?

Okay, there are a few ways to ask this.

  • 元気ですか。
    • Genki desu ka?
    • Literally asking “Are you genki (healthy)?” or “Are you doing good?”
      • More casually, you can just ask 元気 or Genki?
  • 最近どうですか。
    • Saikin dou desu ka?
    • Meaning, how are you recently? Or, how are recent things going on with you?

To answer, or to say how you are in Japanese, you can simply parrot back with with “Genki” or use any adjective that describes your life.

For example…

  • 元気です!
    • Genki desu!
    • I’m good!
  • 最近忙しいです。
    • Saikin isogashii desu.
    • I’ve been busy lately.

13. Asking “When is your birthday?” in Japanese

  • 誕生日は、いつですか。
  • Tanjoubi wa itsu desu ka?

13. Asking "When is your birthday?" in Japanese

This one might be a bit complicated. You need to know Japanese months (not too hard) and day numbers (a tad complex – there are unique names for some days that follow no pattern). If we were to skip years, you could just say…

  • 私の誕生日は(month)(day)です。
    • 私の誕生日は5月の3日です。
    • Watashi no tanjoubi wa go gatsu no mikka desu.
    • My birthday is on May 3rd.
    • 私の誕生日は10月の22日です。
    • Watashi no tanjoubi wa juugatsu no nijuuni-nichi desu.
    • My birthday is on October 22nd.
    • 私の誕生日は一月の9日です。
    • Watashi no tanjoubi wa ichigatsu no kokonoka desu.
    • My birthday is January 9th.

14. Do you have any siblings?

  • 兄弟はいますか。
  • Kyoudai wa imasu ka?

14. Do you have any siblings?

Do you have any brothers or sisters? Oh, a sister? Is she single?

You can say…

  • いいえ、いません。
    • Iie, imasen.
    • No, I don’t have.
  • はい、妹がいます。
    • Hai, imouto ga imasu.
    • Yes, I have a younger sister.
  • はい、お姉さんがいます。
    • Hai, oneesan ga imasu.
    • Yes, I have an older sister.
  • はい、お兄さんがいます。
    • Hai, oniisan ga imasu.
    • Yes, I have an older brother.
  • はい、弟がいます。
    • Hai, otouto ga imasu.
    • Yes, I have a younger brother.

15. How tall are you?

  • 身長はどのくらいですか。
  • Shinchou wa dono kurai desu ka?

How tall are you?

A quick note for this is that you’ll need to know your height in centimeters. Japan operates on the metric system. So, most likely, your height will be somewhere in the hundreds. Here’s how you answer:

  • 175センチです
    • Hyaku nanajuu go senchi desu.
    • I’m 175 centimeters. (About 5’9)
  • 180センチです
    • Hyaku hachijuu senchi desu.
    • I’m 180 centimeters. (About 5’11)

16. Do you have a cellphone?

  • 携帯を持っていますか。
  • Keitai wo motte imasu ka?

16. Do you have a cellphone?

However, since we’re in the age of smartphones – iPhones and Androids (at the time of this writing – good lord – what will be next?!), you can be even more specific and ask:

  • スマホ を持っていますか
    • Sumaho wo motte imasu ka?
    • Do you have a smartphone?
  • iPhoneを持っていますか
    • iPhone wo motte imasu ka?
  • Android (携帯)を持っていますか。
    • Android (keitai) wo motte imasu ka?

The answer is easy, depending on what you have.

  • はいもっています。
    • Hai, motte imasu.
    • Yes, I have (one).
  • はい、iPhoneを持っています。
    • Hai, iPhone wo motte imasu.
    • Yes, I have an iPhone.
  • はい、Androidを持っています。
    • Hai, Android wo motte imasu.
    • Yes, I have an android.

17. Asking “What’s your number?” in Japanese?

  • あなたの番号はなんですか。
  • Anata no bangou wa nan desu ka?

Asking "What's your number?" in Japanese?

This is pretty direct. You may also want to try a more polite way by asking the following below. Good for when you meet new people and aren’t too quick to get really friendly with them.

  • 番号をおしえてくれませんか。
  • Bangou wo oshiete kuremasenka?
  • Can you tell your number?

Two ways to answer this. To deny. Or to give your phone number. Luckily, as with English, Japanese phone numbers are said as each number separately (like … five, five, five, six, five, three)

  • ごめんなんですが、番号を出せないんだけど。
    • Gomen nandesu ga, bangou wo dasenain dakedo.
    • Sorry, but I don’t give out my number.
  • 番号は090ー1111−2222です。
    • Bangou wa zero kyuu zero, ichi ichi ichi ichi, ni ni ni ni desu.
    • The number is 0 9 0, 1 1 1 1, 2 2 2 2.

18. Asking what time it is in Japanese?

  • 何時ですか。
  • Nanji desu ka?

Asking what time it is in Japanese?

Or, you know, you can always check your phone! A more casual way would be…

  • 今何時。
  • Ima nanji? – What time’s it now?

The answer here is easy as long as you know your Japanese numbers. In Japan, they operate on a 24 hour clock but a 12 hour clock is also understandable.

  • 今は5時です。
    • It’s 5 o’clock now.
  • 10時半です。
    • It’s 10:30.

19. Do you want to hang out sometime?

  • いつか遊びにいきませんか。
  • Itsuka asobi ni ikimasen ka?

Do you want to hang out sometime?

There’s no Japanese word or phrase for “hanging out.” The one that comes close is 遊ぶ (asobu) which means to go have fun, to go out or to play. Play is not the meaning you want here. The overall meaning, of course, means going to hang with friends.

Some answers include:

  • うん、遊ぼう。
    • Un, asobou.
    • Yea, let’s hang.
  • うん、いつがいいですか。
    • Un, itsu ga ii desu ka?
    • Yeah, when is good?
  • 最近がいそがしくなってきたんですが。。
    • Saikin ga isogashiku natte kitan desu ga..
    • I’m a bit busy lately so… (in other words, indirectly saying now)
  • 来月はどうですか。
    • Raigetsu wa dou desu ka?
    • How’s next month? (another way of blowing someone off)

20. What are you doing?

  • 何をしているんですか。
  • Nani wo shite irun desu ka?
What are you doing?
I’m drinking. Stop texting me.

Whether you’re texting a friend and just want to know… or you caught your friend eating your sandwich. As in English, this is applicable for all situations where you’d like an explanation. Here are some answers:

  • 別に
    • Betsu ni.
    • Not much.
  • 今なにもないんです。
    • Ima nani mo naindesu.
    • Nothing going on right now.
  • 今はちょっと忙しいんだけど。
    • Ima wa chotto isogashiin dakedo.
    • I’m a bit busy right now… (a.k.a sorry, can’t talk, please go away).

And that’s it for part 2!

These are the top questions that come up in conversations. It’s best to know Japanese questions and the answers to them if you want to improve.

Did I miss any? Any questions? Want more?

Read part 2 here.

Leave a comment below, share this and learn more Japanese!

– The Junkie

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