Post Reply Japanese particles
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Posted 10/14/08 , edited 10/14/08


"Wa" is used to mark something that has already been introduced into the conversation, or is familiar with both a speaker and a listener. (proper nouns, genetic names etc.)
EX-I am a student.
Watashi wa gakusei desu.

Wa as Contrast
Beside being a topic marker, "wa" is used to show contrast or to emphasize the subject.
EX-I drink beer,
but I don't drink wine.
Biiru wa nomimasu ga,
wain wa nomimasen.

"Ga" is used when a situation or happening is just noticed or newly introduced.
EX-Once upon a time, there lived an old man. He was very kind.
Mukashi mukashi, ojii-san ga sunde imashita. Ojii-san wa totemo shinsetsu deshita.

Ga with Question Words
When a question word such as "who" and "what" is the subject of a sentence, it is always followed by "ga," never by "wa." To answer the question, it also has to be followed by "ga."
EX-Who is coming?
Dare ga kimasu ka.

Ga as Emphasis
"Ga" is used for emphasis, to distinguish a person or thing from all others. If a topic is marked with "wa," the comment is the most important part of the sentence. On the other hand, if a subject is marked with "ga," the subject is the most important part of the sentence. In English, these differences are sometimes expressed in tone of voice.
EX-Taro is the one
who went to school.
Taro ga gakkou ni ikimashita.

Ga in a Special Circumstance
The object of the sentence is usually marked by the particle "o," but some verbs and adjectives (expressing like/dislike, desire, potential, necessity, fear, envy etc.) take "ga" instead of "o."
EX-I understand Japanese.
Nihongo ga wakarimasu.

Ga in Subordinate Clauses
The subject of a subordinate clause normally takes "ga" to show that the subjects of the subordinate and main clauses are different.
EX-I didn't know that Mika got married.
Watashi wa Mika ga kekkon shita koto o shiranakatta.


* Topic marker
* Contrast


* Subject marker
* With question words
* Emphasize
* Instead of "o"

Ne = When you're saying information already known, like isn't it? or don't you agree?
Kare no namae wa Tim desu ne = His name is Tim, isn't it?

Wa = subject marker. Not exactly like "is" but often comes out translated as that. Neko wa kowai desu = The cat is scary.

Wo = direct object marker, used mainly with verbs. Inu wa neko wo tabemashita = The dog ate the cat.

Yo = an audible exclamation mark. Kawaii desu yo = It's cute!

Ni = location marker, also used for time dates. Gakkou ni ikimasu = I go to school.

O is for your direct objects. It's used with verbs. Ramen o tabemashita. Tabemashita is your verb showing what you did directly to ramen. (You ATE it.)

ka-when asking a question add か at the end
EX.where are you from?
shusshin wa dochira desu ka

の-No is your possesive or "of".
EX.MY dog
Watashi no inu

と-"to" is used for and.
Ex. The cat and horse.
neko to uma desu
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Posted 10/14/08 , edited 10/15/08
jdramagirl! this is actually a very good lesson.
haya-chan, you should maybe sticky this one!

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Posted 11/17/08 , edited 11/17/08
thank you. It helps me a lot.
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