Lesson 8: What Is ...?

Objective: Learn to read and write Japanese "What is ..." questions.

Key Words

  • なん = what



なん is used when what is immediately followed by a noun or sentence marker, such as です or ですか, or when it is not the object of a verb.


  • これはなんですか? = What is this?

    [kore wa nan desuka]

  • あなたのなまえはなんですか? = What is your name?

    [anata no namae wa nan desuka?]

Translation Practice

Write the following sentences in Japanese using hiragana/katakana.

  1. What is that person's name?
  2. What is that?
  3. What is this dog's name?
  4. What is this?
  5. What is that (over there)?

Translate the following Japanese sentences to English.

  1. この本はなんですか。
  2. そのイギリスじんのなまえはなんですか。
  3. それはなんですか。
  4. あのやまのなまえはなんですか。やまはうつくしいです。
  5. このへびのなまえはなんですか。


Write the following sentences using hiragana/katakana.

  1. Hello! Is your name Shinji? Nice to meet you!
  2. My name is Ben. I am Irish.
  3. Is your boat very old?
  4. Thank you! This book is interesting.
  5. Sorry. My car is very small.
  6. I'm happy. Are you happy?
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