Japanese Language/How to express "or" in Japanese
Hi, I have been learning Japanese and have encountered a problem that I see vaguely and in contradictory ways online. I am interested in knowing how to say or express the English "or", as in X or Y. If I were to way "water or milk" or something similar, or larger like "would you like water or milk", how would it be stated? Thanks so much!
To express the sentiment of "or", you would use か (ka) between nouns.
Water or milk is thus
Traditionally, you would end the second option with another か as well, which would read as
but this second method has fallen out of favor in common everyday speech.
One place it is more common to see か used after each option is in a question statement. So your example of, "Would you like water or milk?" can accurately be asked as,
This sounds strange to English speakers since you essentially have to ask the same question twice, with one new option listed each time. Because of this, it is more common to hear the question phrased a bit differently, as a "which"-type question:
(どっちがほしいですか？みずかぎゅうにゅう[か])? <-- Notice the optional, second "ka" at the end.