Hey guys, how are you? Welcome today’s online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo. Today, we are going to be learning how to ask one of the most fundamental questions in Japanese, “Where is the …” This is an extremely useful phrase and is also essential for basic survival in Japan.

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The common phrase “wa doko desu ka?どこですか?” in Japanese

Learn Japanese – 5W1H – Japanese Question Words – What,Where,When,Who,Why,How

Firstly, we are going to be looking at breaking down the phrase to see how it is made up.  Secondly, we will be then looking at where to use this phrase. Next, we will look at some examples and finally move onto a good exercise that will challenge you to use this practically. So guys, if you are ready, let’s jump into today’s amazing online Japanese lesson!

Let’s break down “ … wa doko desu ka” in Japanese

So firstly, we are going to be looking at breaking down the sentence 。。。はどこですか.

Let’s look at each word in the structure and break them down.

WaTopic Marker
KaQuestion marker

“Wa” indicates the topic of the sentence

“doko” is the word for “where” in Japanese

“desu” Is used at the end of the sentence and translates to “is / it is”

“ka” is the question marker and signifies that the sentence is a question.

Now we know the elements of the sentence and understand how it is made up, we are now going to look at how and when to use this in Japanese.

How and when to use “ … wa doko desu ka” in Japanese

To express “where is X?” in Japanese, you need to add a noun to the beginning of the sentence, this will allow you to then ask where something specific is in Japanese. For example:

えき は どこ です か
Eki wa doko desu ka
Where is the train station?

It’s really that simple, and you can replace “Eki” with anything you like. That can be anything from an item or a place to even an animal or someone’s name.

If you want to ask the same question in the last tense, you would simply turn です into でした.

えき は どこ でした か
Eki wa doko deshita ka
Where was the train station?

This tense obviously has limited uses in the past tense but would be useful when talking about somewhere you have been before but have forgotten where that is. “Where was the park again?”

Now we are going to look at making some Japanese sentences with どこですか with lots of different nouns.  

Let’s make some sentences with “ … wa doko desu ka” in Japanese

Hey guys, let’s now look at some ultra-cool sentences that you can use practically in your Japanese. Make sure to read these aloud as this will help with your learning process.

Toshokan wa doko desu ka
Where is the library?

This is very useful if you want to ask about major landmarks / places in your area.

Ben san wa doko desu ka
Where is Ben?

If you’re friend has gone missing, you can use their name at the beginning of the sentence too.

Sensei wa doko desu ka
Where was the teacher?

She was here a minute ago … this is great for asking where someone went.

Hon wa doko desu ka
Where is the book?

Lost an item? No problem, you can ask where it is by placing a noun at the beginning of the sentence.

Amerika wa doko desu ka
Where is America?

Imagine looking at a map, place a country name at the front of the sentence to enquire as to where it may be.

We are now going to challenge you to come up with your own sentences. Be sure you have read each of these example sentences out loud at least 6 times each too, this will really help with recognising the pattern.

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It’s time to challenge yourself with はどこですか

Okay guys, are you fired up? It’s time to challenge yourselves now and start making some sentences of your own. We want you to use today’s structure and make 12 sentences of your own. First, we want 3 with places, then 3 with names of friends, 3 with items and lastly 3 with animals. Once you have written these out in Japanese, write the translation in English too. Be sure to read the sentences out loud many times and once mastered, read the English counterpart and translate that back to Japanese without looking. Through this technique you will become really proficient with this.

So guys, that’s it. We hope you have enjoyed today’s online lesson on “doko desu ka” If you have any questions or any new ideas for content that you would like to suggest, please do get int touch with us as we love hearing your ideas. Remember to always keep pushing forward and keep in mind that it’s okay to make mistakes, in fact, we encourage it. Have an amazing day everyone and we will see you in the next online Japanese lesson from Bondlingo

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