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Can you ask questions? – How to continue asking questions in Japanese

Have you ever been in a situation where you found yourself unable to maintain a conversation with a Japanese person? No matter what level of Japanese-speaking ability you may possess, this is a problem you are bound to encounter more than once. Delivering an appropriate comment, paraphrasing or rephrasing, expressing agreement, and repeating—holding down a conversation requires a variety of skills, but one of the most important is “to continue asking questions.”


We will introduce appropriate ways of asking questions (to fit certain situations) in the form of a quiz. We will present different ways of questioning that would be expected at various levels of language skills. But of course, there is more than one way to ask a question. If you want to ask us questions (such as: “Can I ask a question in this way?” “How about this manner of expression?”) please send us an email to

We’re looking forward to seeing you challenge yourselves!


Now then, here are the 2 subjects for today.

What would be the appropriate question to the following answers?



(I am) a Japanese language teacher.

(Watashi wa) Nihongo no sensei desu.

The situation: You have met someone at a party hosted by a mutual acquaintance, and are exchanging simple greetings and asking information about each other.





お仕事は?(o shigoto wa?) 

仕事は何ですか?(shigoto wa nan desuka?)


お仕事は何をしてるんですか?(oshigoto wa nani o shiteru n desuka?)


どういった(関係の)お仕事を(なさってるんですか)?(dou itta kankei no oshigoto o nasatteru n desuka?)



(I will order) red wine.

(watashi wa aka wine ni shimasu.)

The situation: You are at a dinner party with colleagues from the office.





何を飲みますか?(nani o nomimasu ka?)


飲み物は、何にしますか。(nomimono wa nan ni shimasu ka?)


飲み物、決まりましたか。(nomimono kimarimashita ka?) 

何(を)飲むか、決めましたか。(nani o nomu ka kimemashita ka?)


If you want to ask us questions (such as: “Can I ask a question in this way?” “How about this manner of expression?”) , please send us an email to