10
votes
3answers
301 views

私は猫が好き and 猫は私が好き

I'm an absolute beginner. I've learned Japanese in my spare time for less than two months. This is my first question here. Even though I think this question is potentially trivial, it's perhaps the ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

Why is the particle の used instead of が in these phrases? [duplicate]

Why is the particle の used instead of が in phrases like 身寄りのない人 or the sentence 琵琶湖の向こう岸に虹の立つのを、麻子は見た。? While I understand the meanings of these examples, I would have expected to find the nominative ...
10
votes
2answers
290 views

Double subject construction?

I've recently been having trouble with constructions that seem to mark two subjects in the same clause. I've only encountered them in ~の方が... constructions, but I can't seem to make sense of them ...
7
votes
4answers
343 views

Analyzing sentences like 日本がピンチだ and 明日は雨だ

How are sentences like 日本がピンチだ (Japan is in a pinch) and 明日は雨だ (tomorrow it will rain) analyzed? Translating them trivially, as 日本がピンチだ Japan is a pinch 明日は雨だ Tomorrow is rain doesn't make ...
9
votes
3answers
451 views

Problems with は and が

Consider: [A] 猫が好きだ To me this means [A']"I like cats." Contrast this to: [B] 猫は好きだ To me this means [B']"I like cats (among other animals)" I based my understanding of [B] from Derek ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I say “I am the best” ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺?

I'm making a shirt for a (rather egotistical) friend of mine and so am trying to do something with the slogan "I am the best" for fun. I need something with four characters only, and would like to ask ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Extracting from, and introducing to Universe of Discourse using は and が with こそあど-demonstratives

Consider the following: このりんご( は / が )食べないでください。 Person A: どちらが東ですか。  Person B: こちら( は / が )東です。 Workbook answers are は for 1. and が for 2. In 1., I would expect the person to ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

When is disjunctive-が appropriate in connecting sentences?

Consider the following: [1] 僕は日本人ではなく, シンガポール人です。 (I'm not Japanese, I'm Singaporean) [2] 僕は日本人ではないが, シンガポール人です。 (I'm not Japanese but Singaporean) Comparing my sentences to the worked ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Particle-が in restaurant's name. Genitive particle?

I was at a Japanese restaurant called 星岡 (ほしがおか). And I was trying to figure out what the が does in it. I instinctively translated it to "Starry hill" (Not sure of my translation though). ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is it 日本語がわかります instead of 日本語をわかります?

From what I understand, は is the topic marker, が is the subject marker, and を is the object marker. One of the first sentences I learned doesn't seem to fit the rules I described above. The sentence ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb.

When using the potential form of a verb, I was taught that the particle を becomes が. However, in real life this seems to not always be the case. I've even heard Japanese people use を instead of が ...
67
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)?

When is it correct to use は but not が, and when is it correct to use が but not は? Are there any times when you can use either without changing the meaning of the sentence? How does switching change ...