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Desu Ka VS Desu Ga: Usage & Meaning

Desu Ka VS Desu Ga: Usage & Meaning

The Japanese Language is one of the oldest and the hardest languages to learn. Modern Japanese literature was introduced in the 5th century and the beginning of the Japanese writing language started in the 7th century. Although some might well argue that Japanese and Chinese languages are the same.

But let me tell you—no, they are not the same language. Although they have almost similar sounding phoneme principles and a large number of vocabulary is originated from Chinese, they are not the same language.

When talking about the Japanese language, has many words which are similar in spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings and usage, The Japanese words Desu ka and Desu ga are perfect examples of what I stated above. Although both the words sound similar, they are not the same.

One main difference between them is that the word Desu ka is used to express or ask any question while the word Desuga is used to continue or connect two sentences.

This is just one difference between Desu ka and Desu ga. To know more about these words stick with me till the end as we will go through everything you need to know about the words Desu ka and Desu ga.

What do the Japanese mean when saying ‘Desu ka’

 ‘Desu’ is a word from the Japanese language and often demonstrates a question and the end of a sentence. It is basically a civil and polite form of the verb present-tense “to be”.                                                                                        

‘Ka’ is a word in Japanese which have the meaning ‘what’ and is often used to make a .sentence into a question and to form other words in Japanese. You can also add words like “Sou Desu ka” and the end of the sentences which mean “is that so” or “really” so that your question could more appropriate and understandable.

Lanterns with letters hanging on them
Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn.

How to pronounce ‘Desu ka’ properly

In Japanese, it is spelled 2 syllables but the actual pronunciation for the word “Desu” is “Dess” leaving the ‘u’ sound silent or left off this is because in, this is because in spoken Japanese language ‘u’ sound follows the voiceless consonant like Ku, Su, Tsu, Fu and the end of a phrase or voiceless consonants.

This is because when you say this word you pronounce the vowel ‘u’ but the local cords don’t vibrate making the ‘u’ sound not able to hear well. The word ka is pronounced normally.

If you still have a problem pronouncing this word check out this video below which tells the proper way to pronounce “Desu”.

Video on how to pronounce the word “Desu”

How to use “Desu ka” in a sentence

With its correct pronunciation, it is important for you to know the correct usage of the word “desu ka” in your sentences. Below are the sentences which will help you to use the word “desu ka” in your sentences.

  • ·Kawa de oyoide iru shōnen wa dare desu ka. (“Who is the boy swimming in the river?”)
  • Senpō no o denwa bangō wa nan-ban desu ka. (“What’s the number of the party you are trying to arrive at?”)
  • Sensei, Chūtō jōsei ni tsuite ikaga o kangae desu ka. (“Professor, what is your opinion on the situation in the Middle East?”)
  • Sekai-teki ni kadai ni hyōka sa reta Chūgoku-sho to ieba,magoko desu ka ne. (“When it comes to Chinese books that are overvalued worldwide I think it’s Sun Tzu, isn’t it?“)
  • Nē”tte, boku o minagara iwa rete mo moshikashite, mata daburubukkingu desu ka. (“It’s no good saying ‘Isn’t it?’ to me … have you double-booked again?”)
  • Ashita no tenki wa dō desu ka. (“What’s the weather prediction for tomorrow?”)
  • Ashita kara shigoto o hajimeru no wa anata ni totte tsugōgayoi desu ka. (“Will it be suitable for you to start work tomorrow?”)
  • Minchō otaku ni ukagatte mo yoroshī desu ka. (“May I call on you at your house tomorrow morning?”)

What do the Japanese mean when saying ‘Desu Ga’

Lanterns hanging on the branch of a cherry blossom tree
Japanese are generally very polite.

Ga’ is a word in Japanese, it is used to start a conversation between 2 people or groups and it also marks the grammatical subject of a sentence.

‘Desu’ is a word from the Japanese language and often demonstrates a question and the end of a sentence. It is basically a civil and polite form of the verb present-tense “to be”. 

 The word ‘desu ga’ is used or put between a sentence at the phrase so it could mean ‘but/and’ thus acts as a conjunction, depending on the circumstances of the sentence or the situation you are in.

How to use ‘Desu Ga’ in a sentence

There are many ways in which you can use the word ‘Desu Ga’ in your sentences. You must be well aware of these ways for it’s correct in your sentences.

To finish sentences, use “desu” after nouns. In that sense, it functions as a verb.

You don’t require “desu” if you conclude a phrase with a verb, regardless of how it’s conjugated (officially or informally). You may also end a statement with “taberu” or “tabemasu” without worrying about desu.

  • Senpatsu to setto no yoyaku o shitai no desu ga.

“I’d like to make a session for a shampoo and a set.”

  • Seki o tsumete itadakereba, min’na ga suwareru no desu ga.

“If you would move over, there would be space for everyone.”

  • Shinsatsu wa gogo no kata ga arigatai no desu ga.

“An afternoon session is more suitable for me.”

  • Sūbun-kan, jikan o saite kuremasen ka. Tasukete itadakitai no desu ga

“Can you give me a few minutes? I need your help.”

  • Yoyaku o 3-paku kara 5-paku ni henkō shitai nodesuga.

“I’d like to change my booking from three to five nights.”

  • Ryokō-shadesuga shinsatsu o onegai shitai no desu ga.

“I’m traveling, and I’d like to make a session.”

  • Ashita made ite kudasaruto ureshī no desu ga.

“I should be thankful if you would stay until tomorrow.”

  • Ashita no ban tēburu o 4-ri-bun yoyaku shitai no desu ga.

“I would like to reserve a table for four for tomorrow night.”

  • Ashita no 6-ji ni yoyaku shitai no desu ga.

“I’d like to make a session for 6 p.m. tomorrow.”

Nan’ or ‘Nani’: Which is appropriate?

Both ‘Nani’ and ‘Nan’ have the same meaning of ‘what’. Now the question arises which of these is suitable to use with desu ka?

Both are correct depending on the situation you are facing.    

The word ‘Nani’ is used when asking a question in a more polite and mannerly way. But sometimes you are going to find yourself in a situation in which the word ‘Nan’ will be more appropriate and suitable if the word generally if the word begins with the word ‘what’ with a syllable from the t, n, and d groups, use the word ‘Nan’.

Two people walking down a narrow alley with umbrellas
Sometimes there’s more than one way for saying a word.

Desu Ka Vs Desu Ga: What is the difference?

Both words, desu ga, and desu ka are similar in terms of their spelling and pronunciation, you might be thinking of both as the same.

But both words are actually different in terms of their meanings and spelling.

                                 Desu Ka                                   Desu Ga
Used to form questionsUsed to connect 2 sentences
Used at the beginning of the sentenceUsed in the middle of the sentence
‘Ka’ in the word means ‘what’ Ga’ in the word means ‘but’
It is used in interrogative sentenceIt is used depending on the sentences
Key distinctions between the words ‘Desu ka’ and ‘Desu ga.

Wrap Up

Both the words Desu ga and Desu ka are different in terms of their meanings and usage.

No matter whether you use the word Desu ga and Desu ka, the correct usage of the word is what matters the most as the usage of words play a great role in building your personality.

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