I don't know the grammar point in this dailogue

The dialogue is as follows:

男:今晩のパーティー、八時半からだね [ tonight’s party starts at 8:30]
女:うん。でも始まる前に 15 分か 20 分ぐらいお茶飲むか行かない? [???]
男:そうだね。じゃー、パーティーが始まる 30 分前に会うか? [I see, well lets meet up 30 minutes before]

I have no idea what is going on in this part: お茶飲むか行かない

What grammar point is that? What does it mean?

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I’m not very sure at all, but googling gave me the following:

If you go to section ‘ka’ part 3, it’s said that ka after a longer part of the sentence can indicate uncertainty. So in this case, the man establishes the start time of the party. The woman acknowledges, but suggests to go for some tea, where the ka emphasizes her uncertainty whether that’s a good idea.

I think it makes sense in context, but I’m not sure at all if correct. Any opinions?
Is this even what you’re having trouble with?


I’m not sure how the verbs interact with each other drink and go.
Is it an invitation to drink tea?

I think you’re quite correct. That dialogue is very colloquial, so the sentence might not be 100% grammatically correct. 飲みに行かない would probably be more correct, but also sound too formal?

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Yes, I would interpret it as an invitation.

…行かない? is an invitation to go somewhere. For example 海に行かない? is an invitation to go to the sea (or beach or whatever). The interpretation in combination with お茶飲む would be to go drink some tea (somewhere).
Note that the question here is pivotal. A more formal version of this construction is 行きませんか. In such a construction, the question is explicit in the か.

The exact translation would probably depend on bigger context. Is it likely they’d go somewhere to drink tea? It might as well be at one of their homes.

I think it just sounds odd. Unless its some dialect, I think the text OP posted is just wrong?

It’s from some Chinese resource for learning Japanese, for example here:


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Hm ok.
You don’t really need it to answer to question, but unless I’ve missed something obvious, using this construction seems pretty questionable for a test of this level tbh (assuming the か is correct).


Yeah I just passed that around the table, and my expert in house 日本人 agrees it’s wrong. However, she might just be agreeing with me to make me make her food so who really knows


Yeah, it’s also possible that it’s just a typo in the original resource.

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I can ask my tutor tomorrow. The sentence does seem a little funny, but Japanese is impossible so who knows. I do recommend reading Tae Kim’s lesson on using か in the middle of the sentence. http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/question

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I copied and pasted from the online resource so it’s likely the source. It’s definately had other typos so I’ll go with it.


I’m pretty sure the か is used to mean “drinking (or something)”, whereas 読むに行かない would be more specifically asking if they want to go for drinks.

Edit: か is used for listening alternatives, and goes after the plain dictionary form for verbs when doing so, e.g. 手紙を書くか電話をかけるかどちらかして下さい (either write a letter or call, please). In this case, it just had a single item listed, so the “or something” is implied.

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That’d be 飲に.

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