Today’s Question

コーヒーは いかが ですか。
Which response doesn’t suit the question?

  1. はい、おいしい です。
  2. はい、おねがい します。
  3. はい、おさとう ふたつと ミルクを おねがいします。

Two meanings of the question

In Japanese there are many sentences which have more than one meaning and you need to decipher the meaning from the context. コーヒーは いかが ですか is one of them. It can mean:

How is the coffee? (Asking how the coffee is after it is served)
How about coffee? (Asking if you want to have coffee)

The answers to each

For the first interpretation, a. はい、おいしいです。 (Yes, it’s nice) is appropriate and;
for the second interpretation, b. はい、おねがいします。(yes, please) is appropriate. And if you don’t want coffee in the same situation, you can politely decline the offer by saying: ありがとうございます。でも、けっこうです。

The answer to Today’s question

So the inappropriate response is c. はい、おさとう ふたつと ミルクを おねがいします。 (Yes, 2 sugars and milk, please.)  This response would be appropriate if the question was “how would you like your coffee?” but in Japanese there is no set expression for that question. If you are in a posh café, they may ask you: コーヒーは いかが なさいますか。Your friend may ask: コーヒーは どうするの?But most likely they will ask questions like:

コーヒーに おさとうや ミルクを おいれになりますか。(super polite)
おさとうや ミルク いる?(super casual)

And for a number of sugar:

おさとうは いくつ いれましょうか。(polite)
おさとう いくつ?(super casual)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: