どれ (“do-re”; “Which one”)
Today’s word is:
This word is used when the topic of conversation involves multiple items, but you don’t know which item is being referred to.
Once again- to the ramen conversation!:
A:「 これは辛いですか？」(“ko-re wa ka-ra-i de-su ka?”; “Is this spicy?”)
B:「 はい、それは辛いです。」(“ha-i, so-re wa ka-ra-i de-su.”; “Yes, that is spicy”)
A:「あれは？」(“a-re wa?”; “How about that ramen over there (away from both speaker and listener)?”)
B:「どれ？」(“do-re?”; “Which one?”)
Because A is asking about a bowl of ramen far away, and there may be multiple bowls of ramen at the surrounding tables, B cannot be sure which one A is talking about.