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October 31, 2011
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Kore, sore, are, dore

You're probably heard at least some of these terms before if you've ever listened/read/over heard/etc any Japanese as these terms are quite common, as as their English meaning is in English. Let's go through them one at a time.


"Kore" means "this" and is used when referring to things that are close to the speaker (and often when they are holding the item or standing very close to it). The particle "wa" always comes after it. (Least as far as I know. I have yet to encounter a case where this isn't so.)

Kore wa nan desu ka?
What is this?

Kore wa ikura desu ka?
How much is this?

Ikura = how much (as in amount of money)


"Sore" means "that" and is used when referring to things that are further away from you but still relatively close. (Often to something close to the person you are speaking to; "that thing in front of you")

Sore wa watashi no kasa desu.
That is my umbrella.

Sore wa anata no enpitsu desu ka?
Is that your pencil?


Don't get this confused with "sore"! They are two different things!
"Are" means "that" as in "that over there". It is something that is far away from both you and the person you are talking to. There is no limit on the distance, it could range from a few meters to a few miles to even farther.

Are wa ginkou desu ka?
Is that (over there) a/the bank?

Are wa samu-san no jitensha desu.
That (over there) is Sam's bicycle.


"Dore" means "which" as in "which one?" or "which do you like?".

Dore desu ka?
Which is it?

Dore has some more complicated uses, but for now we'll keep things simple. Question words like "dore" and "nani" cannot be followed by the particle "wa" but instead be followed with "ga". (I'll go more into detail about why that is at a later time. But for now, you'll just have to remember this.)

Dore ga anata no pen desu ka?
Which one is your pen?
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, etc., feel free to leave a comment below or send me a note. Iím no expert, but I will do my best to answer questions.

If you liked this feel free to :+fav: or comment!

If you see any mistakes please let me know!


More grammar here: [link]
You can find vocabulary to practice here: [link]
Add a Comment:
Kokoya1223 Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
So, basically, Japanese is just taking words like Neko or pen (a object) using a verb and then a particle to describe it. Right? (i want to study abroad in 2014, trying to learn fastest i can) Is this a proper sentence? Please correct me if i'm wrong.

I have one cat= (had to use Japanese For Dummies for the Piki part)
Watashi ga ichi-piki neko desu.
LearningJapanese Featured By Owner May 21, 2012
Not all words will have a corresponding particle and there are also occasions where, at least in speech, the particles tend to be dropped. But for a beginner, that is a fair way to describe it.

There is a specific thing with pets. You would actually use a different verb to say that you "have" a pet. You would use the verb "kau" (written as 飼う; do not confused with the other "kau" [買う] which means "to buy") which translates to "to own (a pet)." Also be careful with your counters. To say one cat (the counter for small animals), it's actually ippiki (written as いっぴき or 一匹).

So the sentence (I would say):

Watashi ga ippiki neko wo katteimasu.

You could also have it in this form (which would be more understandable for you, most likely):

Watashi ga ippiki neko wo kaimasu.

BUT the first sentence is better (as it means you have one "right now").
If you'd like to look up more information on that grammar point, it is the "te-form" + "iru".
Kokoya1223 Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
i see. I'm still confused with the whole particle thing V_V what does Katteimasu mean? I know Masu is a type of particle ending. A verb ending for present affirmative.
LearningJapanese Featured By Owner May 21, 2012
Particles take some getting used to. Try not to rush through it. Sitting down and practicing can make a big difference.

I wouldn't worry about the other sentence for now. It's a little more advanced than where you seem to be at. The second sentence is understandable enough to use :)

Try not to mix up verb endings and particles though. "Masu" is a type of verb ending. Completely separate from particles.
Kokoya1223 Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I have a hard time studying. But i do realize from looking at this video: [link] that i do know a lot of Japanese, i can't grasp exactly what they are saying, but i get the concept. Like how at the beginning the man is asking the woman if she speaks English. She replies no she doesn't. Then the man says he is learning Japanese.

Then introductions :dummy:
LearningJapanese Featured By Owner May 22, 2012
That's a step :D Keep at it ^^
Kokoya1223 Featured By Owner May 22, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Kiriain Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012
Also, I'm not sure if you know, but another name for the Kore, Sore, Are, Dore words is こそあど KoSoADo.
LearningJapanese Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012
I didn't, but what a cute name :XD: Thank you for sharing :D
jenatstare Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:star:featured here [link] :star:
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