I frequently hear 「あれ?」 when human being find other that catches their attention, often even when a hearne party is no present. It seems to have a similar role to "what?", "what"s that?", or "huh?".

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Since あれ isn"t a "question word" itself, was this あれ contracted from a much longer sentence? The the next I might think that is 「あれはなんだ?」, yet I"m unsure. If the isn"t from a longer sentence, is there an explanation behind あれ together a question?

I am also interested in if it was historically contracted from something.


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I think it"s less a inquiry than that is a means to show surprise or confusion. Additionally I don"t think it"s contracted from anything, this dictionary specifies it together a <感動詞>かんどうし or interjection which would certainly hint that it"s no a contraction of a bigger sentence.


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