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Question words + particles (nani)

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Hi all,

I'm in the phase where I'm starting to realize the real power and utility of particles and I have some questions to check if I'm using them correctly or not.

For instance let's talk about nani (what):
Nani+ga i.e. Naniga suki desuka

Now if I can combine nani+ga then may I also combine it with other particles, for instance may I use?
nani+to (with what?)
nani+no (of what?)

And what if I use it with a noun+particle?
naniiroga suki desuka (what color do you like?)
korewa naniiroto suki desuka (with what color do you like this?)
korewa naniirono suki desuka (of what color do you like this?)

I also found that you may use:
Nanika (Something)
Nanimo (nothing)
Nandemo (anything)
Nan+counter

Wondering if there are more possibilities
Nani+ni *does it even make sense?
Nani+de

Thanks for reading and if you reply this post thanks a lot in advance.
 
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Hi all,

Now if I can combine nani+ga then may I also combine it with other particles, for instance may I use?
nani+to (with what?)
nani+no (of what?)
何 becomes 'nan' in these cases, but it is possible.

And what if I use it with a noun+particle?
naniiroga suki desuka (what color do you like?)
This should be 'nan no iro ga suki desu ka?' ; 'nan(i)' cannot directly be used to modify a noun.

korewa naniiroto suki desuka (with what color do you like this?)
korewa naniirono suki desuka (of what color do you like this?)
These sentences aren't right. The right sentence would depend on the situation, but these are ungrammatical. In addition to the same mistake as above, 'to suki desu' and 'no suki desu' don't make sense.

Wondering if there are more possibilities
Nani+ni *does it even make sense?
Nani+de
Yeah, sure. Just think of a sentence with "(noun) + ni" or "(noun) + de" and then ask a question about the same situation.
ocha wo chawan ni irimasu -> I'll pour the tea into a teacup.
ocha wo nani ni irimasu ka -> What will you pour the tea into?
kono shiromono de tsukurimashita -> I made it with this stuff.
nani de tsukirimashita -> What did you make it with?
 

Toritoribe

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"Nani" does not always change to "nan". "Nani no" or "nani to" are actually used.

There is no problem with "nani iro". "Nani" can be attached to some nouns directly, as in nani bu(club), nani ka(section), nani mono(both people and things/objects), nani jin(nationality/ethnicity), nani go(language), etc. As you can see, these words work more likely as a suffix rather than just as a noun, for instance, tenisu bu (tennis club), kaikei ka (accounts section), kiremono (shrewd person), kowaremono(fragile article), nihonjin(Japanese people), eigo(English). The same goes to "iro", just like sorairo (sky blue), aiiro (indigo blue) or chairo (brown, literally tea color). So, it might be better to consider that the "iro" is a suffix in that case.

Another interrogative "donna" is also used for "What color do you like?" (Donna iro ga suki desu ka?), but "nan no iro" is not commonly used. It's more likely asking to choose an object of a favorite color among some things.
e.g.
Ao no naka de, nan no iro ga suki desu ka?
What do you like among blue things/objects?
Umi ga suki desu.
I like the sea (= I like the blue of the sea).
 
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"Nani" does not always change to "nan". "Nani no" or "nani to" are actually used.
Ahh, oops. Thanks for the corrections. Am I right though in thinking that なんの and なんと are at least more common? Or is it just that those happen to be used in some common phrases that stuck with me?

I did know that 'nani' made some compounds like 'nanimono', but I didn't realize it could be done generally, I always thought of those as separate words. 勉強になりました.
 

Toritoribe

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なんの and なんと work as a single word such like "not at all" or "how", as in なんの問題もない or なんと(=なんて)大きな部屋だ. なにの/なにと is not used for these cases. In the case of "なに + particle", なにの/なにと is often preferred in formal situation, I think.
 
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Ahh, I see now. I'll have to listen carefully for these formal uses. I've been reading 何と and 何の the same way every time for a long time now. Thanks!
 
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From what I have learned and found this is what I think:

Nan is used in 3 cases:
Nan+desu+ka (only when there is no adjective, nor anything between Nan and the verb desu)
Nan+counters (Almost any counter uses nan+counter i.e. Nannichi, Nanyoubi, Nannen)
Nan+demo (anything, everything) when followed of a possitive verb.

As for Nani I have found:
Nani+ga (when is followed by an adjective Naniga oishii desuka)
Nani+ga (when the verb is not desu i.e. Naniga arimasuka)
Nani+to (I think this is some sort of "with what" i.e. Nanito tabemasuka (with what you eat it?)
Nani+wo (i.e. naniwo tabemasuka what will you eat?)
Nani+ka (something)
Nani+noun+desuka (nani iro deshitaka what color was it?)
Nani+noun+ga (nani iro ga suki desuka)
Nani+mo+negative verb (nothing i.e. nanimo tabemasen nothing to eat)

Not sure if there are more combinations I can't find if are valid nor think in the us of:
Nani+ni (do you guys think is feasible?)
Nani+kara
Nani+te or Nani+de
 

Toritoribe

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examples of particles that can be attached to なに
が, の, を, に, へ, と, か, から, より, で, や, まで, だけ, くらい, やら, は, でも, しか, さえ
(なに can change to なん when with の, に, と, か, で, だけ, やら, でも.)

なに/なん usually can't be attached to nouns in general except suffix-like ones, as chiris-san and I pointed out above.
 
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