I have read about the different uses of the different particles in Japanese but often become confused as to how it should be translated in different sentences. In other words the actual intent of the particle sometimes looks ambigious to me. Now the particle と has atleast these four uses:
1) Quotation particle. It could be quoting a thought or speach. 2) Conditional particle. It expresses natural cause and effect statements only. 3) List of things. It can be used to express the word "and" for an exhaustive list of things. 4) With. Expressing relationship between two things, translated as "with" in English.
Now often I get confused which way the particle is being used when we have sentence before and also after the particle.
If I have just one sentence ending verb after the particle like 書く、思う、話す、言う、then I know we are quoting something. If we have list of nouns seperated by と then we know that here we have an exhaustive list of things. The problem is that while this is true, the particle is used in more complex situations as well with in paragraphs and then sometimes I cannot make out how to translate it.
Could you elaborate on how to know for sure which way the particle is being used?