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I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example, recently I've seen

その覚悟はしてました
I was prepared for that

楽な道は選ぶな
don't choose an easy road

Is there a difference? And if there is, what's the "rule" when to use は instead of を?

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5  
It's a question of emphasis. "I am prepared for that." "Do not choose the easy way." – Zhen Lin Jul 15 '14 at 18:17
up vote 0 down vote accepted

は is normally used a subject marker, but its also used for emphasis by slightly subverting its standard usage. When used this way, it's usually to show contrast the object with some other object. In your example sentence (その覚悟はしてました), the speaker indicates that they're prepared for the eventuality that their conversation partner just mentioned, but maybe not some others.
「無線機をなくしたら、どうしますか?」
「その覚悟はしてます。シグナル鏡を持っていくつもりです。」
「シグナル鏡をなくしたら?」
「そのときは、仕方がありません。」

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Okay. Thanks for the answer! – RadonBust Jul 15 '14 at 19:33
6  
は is often a topic marker not a subject marker, that is が. – Tim Jul 15 '14 at 21:46

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