Non-trivial words starting with 何

Preface: I’m pairing Wanikani with a 10k Anki deck, ordered by WK level and without the words already covered by WK, which I use to study additional vocabulary at a flexible pace. I’ll write more details when I’m ready to publish it, as it’s derived from another resource I found in this forum.

But now that I’ve completed L5, I’ve unlocked a number of words using 何 that I’m finding hard to tell apart.

This is the word list:

:green_circle: 何か___ something
:green_circle: 何とか__ somehow, please
:green_circle: 何しろ__ anyhow, as you may know
:green_circle: 何で___ why, what for
:red_circle: 何となく_ for some reason
:red_circle: 何と___ how, surprisingly
:red_circle: 何だか__ somehow, for some reason
:green_circle: 何より__ above all, most of all
:red_circle: 何て___ what, how?
:green_circle: 何べん__ (how) many times
:green_circle: 何でも__ anything, whatever
:red_circle: 何とも__ extremely, (not) at all
:red_circle: 何かと__ in various ways
:red_circle: 何ら___ of any kind, whatever

I already knew 何か, 何で, 何でも, so I’ve been looking for mnemonic or grammar rules for all the others.

Here are some I came up with myself:

何とか__ in one way or another (とか = or such)
何しろ__ as you may know (しろ = 知ろう?)
何より__ most of all (より = more than)
何べん__ how many times (へん = future kanji 遍 meaning times)

But for the following I draw a blank, mainly because I don’t understand the meaning of と in this context:

何と
何とも
何となく
何かと

As well as these, no idea at all:

何だか
何て
何ら

Can anybody help me find explanations or mnemonic rules for these words?

10 Likes

I had this bookmarked as I thought it would be a really interesting discussion. I’m surprised you didn’t get any responses!

I don’t know if I can help with any of those. I had a quick read up about なんら and, when used in the negative, it seems similar to the English phrase “none what so ever” / “nothing what so ever”?

1 Like

The dictionary (大辞泉) says it’s from the command form of する, しろ.

1 Like