Bug? Differences between そんな and そういう in review sentences?

So, I have been struggling a lot with these two grammar points because I dont see difference and hints in how to choose either one.

そんな + Noun
こんな + Noun
あんな + Noun
どんな + Noun

For example in review



こういう + Noun
そういう + Noun
ああいう + Noun
どういう + Noun


What kind of clothes will you buy for me?



That kind of table would definitely not fit in our dining room. [away from both speaker and listener]

why either answer can’t be accepted in all above sentences?

I even tried to look for it in tobira grammar mastery book but couldn’t find any exercise I could practice :frowning:

I thought since it is “this kind of” it could be あんな or ああいう

or こんな or こういう etc


Ditto. As a beginner, I’m sure there’s some subtle nuance, but it seems safe to treat them as direct synonyms until somebody can provide a nuanced explanation.

I think both can work in real life, it’s just trying to get you to use each respective grammar point. It not accepting one or the other doesn’t necessarily make them not synonyms.

It’s not something I’d lose my mind over, lol. I’m sure you’re not but I think it’s funny that your post comes off as a little frantic.


I see.

I think my problem is, since they are synonyms, both ways should be accepted for each case.

Since I get them wrong, typing one instead of the other, there are no hints for the real answer required actually. So I get lost.

Trying to find exemples in tobira book also no success.

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Really? For me, if I type the wrong one in, Bunpro tells me to use a synonym or some other hint so I know to use the other one.

But either way, when that happens for me, I don’t get them marked wrong. Maybe check your settings. Or it may be a bug.


the sentences




dont show any hint, that’s why if I answer in the first sentence こういう。Then it is wrong, there is no alternate answer fot it. It shows as answer あんな. Even ああいうnot accepted.

Then the second I answer どんな。Again, wrong. No alternate answer. The answer shows どういう

Maybe It was not clear when I stated the problem with those grammar points in reviews.


Once again, that’s strange and I don’t really have that issue. Maybe @mrnoone or someone else can take a look for you.

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I’ve been having that issue too, so it’s not just you. Maybe I’m missing something about the differences between the two, but I feel like it should at least tell us to use a synonym or give a hint about which to use


Update: I didn’t remember which sentences I had issues with so I tried using cram mode so I could find them and mention them here, but I can’t find them. Either the issue’s already been fixed or it was something I was doing on my end.

(Or maybe it only works in cram mode but not review mode, but idk if that’s possible)

Also, it looks like it’s asking for a different answer now both the sentences mentioned above instead of just marking them as incorrect and are showing hints

This is one of those nuances that I don’t know either, but there is a good discussion on stack exchange that seems to help shed some light. Can’t speak to how accurate it is, but could help out a bit!


I tried out these points in Cram mode, and, you’re right, different sentences behave differently – some only want one answer, and some accept both answers. (@mrnoone help?)

As far as nuance, this is my two cents, こんな・そんな・あんな sounds more for “this/that kind of” general category – eg. red cars, big houses, loud people. With こういう・そういう・ああいう, those sound like a more specific description – eg. ‘an example described like this…’.
(Note that いう is often used with introducing the name of a place: ビッグボイというレストランを知っている?“Do you know a place called Big Boy?”)

So, say as a reaction to a bad date, you could hear either reaction:
あっ、そんな 人 だったの? “He was that kind of person?” (yeah, rude guys are terrible!)
あっ、そういう 人 だったの? “He was that kind of person?” (oh! I didn’t imagine that he’d cut his toenails at dinner!)

@BORN2PEEPEE That link has a good discussion!


but in this sentence it is related to a noun, right?

どういう ふくってくれますか

not a specific description, so the sentence’s answer is wrong?

Thanks as always Fred for helping out around here, happy new year!

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Without any extra context, I would say both of these are okay, just different nuance:
どういう 服を買ってくれますか - What kind of clothes are you buying for me? (which one do you specifically mean? the shirt? the pants?)
どんな 服を買ってくれますか - What kind of clothes are you buying for me? (what category? street clothes? dress clothes? school clothes?)


The main differences here come from the いう portion of this grammar point.

For most grammar points that use いう, they are describing something that cannot be identified (by either the speaker, or the listener), it doesn’t need to be both.

こういう or ああいう wouldn’t work for something that is clearly identifiable, like the table in the example. The only reason どういう works is because どういう always highlights something that the speaker is unsure about.

Perhaps the main difference is bredth of information that they can convey. いう implies something that cannot be simply described in one or two words. な implies something that can easily be described in one or two words.

こういう、そういう、ああいう (something that requires description, there is more to it than meets the eye)

こんな、そんな、あんな (something that doesn’t really require description, it is what it is at first glance)

どういう、どんな (seeing as both of these are questions, they imply lack of knowledge about whether something is what it is at first glance, or if there actually is more than meets the eye. Due to this, they are far more interchangable than the こ、そ、あ structures)

This is actually a grammar rule, but a quite advanced one that extends into how to use こ、そ、あ、ど words correctly.

Edit: for that second sentence, どんな服 should also be accepted as correct (imo). I’ll add it to the list of right answers.