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Thread: Quick question!

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    Default Quick question!

    I'm nowhere near fluent in Japanese, but I'm pretty familiar with the simple question words (what, why, where, when, how). But it seems there are a few ways to say "why", so I would just like to make sure on the proper ways to use them.

    As far as I know, there are three ways to say "why": Doushite, Naze, and Nande. I've seen these used in plenty of anime and manga, but I'm not sure if they mean slightly different things, or if they differ in terms of politeness.

    My thoughts are that

    どうして? = Doushite? = Why is that? (polite/formal)

    なぜ? = Naze? = Why? (casual)

    なんで? = Nande? = Why in hell?! (rude, obv)

    If it's different or if I'm missing something, please let me know!

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    Default Re: Quick question!

    naze is the generic word for "why"; it's also the most "proper" of the three.
    nande is pretty much for spoken only; it's the most casual and blunt.
    doushite is also more for spoken than written, but it still sounds more formal than nande.

    In other words, in everyday casual conversation, nande is probably used the most often.

    When the situation calls for more formality/restraint, use naze for a generic question such as "Why does the earth revolve around the sun?" and doushite for a more personal inquiry "Why did you do that?".

    Or, this is the sense I have for these 3 words. We'll need a native speaker (@Datenshi -san) to comment on my speculation lol.
    Last edited by animeyay; 09-02-2011 at 09:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Quick question!

    Google led me to this:
    http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp...il/q1414575104

    Nande = Asking a reason or cause of something, Spoken only, also implies that you have doubts or your own thoughts about the issue.

    Naze = Asking a reason or cause. Used in writing. When spoken, sounds very logical and detached.

    Doushite = Asking a reason or cause, however this implies "What happened before X in order that X could happen." So the answer to a doushite might explain a chain of events or thought process that leads to the answer. However, a lot of people don't think to much into this and answer it similar to a Nande question etc.


    Overall: Nande and Doushite = spoken "Why" with different undertones (however, people ignore those undertones all the time)
    Naze and Doushite = written "Why". (whereas Naze can also be spoken, and sounds logical or smart-ish)


    Final Decision: they're all pretty much the same, Japanese people use them without thinking.
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