助詞「は」. Indicates the topic of a sentence or shows contrast in the universe of discourse.

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What does the は in this sentence do?

力任せに壁面に罅{ひび}を刻んでは一つ、また一つと体のパーツを外気に晒{さら}していく。 What does は do here? Is it contrasting? Thanks!
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Specifying location: Do you use ga/wa and does the word order matter?

Here are some Japanese sentences: A) Uses ga. Subject comes first Who is (existing) over there? / Dare-ga asoko-ni imasu ka? だれが あそこに います か。 B) Uses ga. Location comes first There is ...
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73 views

Topic particle after “expression of time”

I am reading chapter 4 from the JLPT N5 book, where I found the following sentence: 昨日勉強しましたか。 After 昨日, why wasn't there a topic particle? Is "昨日は勉強しましたか。" an incorrect sentence?
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Why としては instead of として

Please consider the following sentence: 呼びかけの言葉としては、貴方、が好きですが... As a form of address, I like 貴方 (then goes on to explain that he means when written in kanji, not hiragana) According to ...
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159 views

Can を be used when asking for how many of an object?

First Japanese Stack Exchange question :D I'm reading a Japanese book and one of the chapter got me thinking. The book wrote it like this: How many pencils are there ? えんぴつはなんぼんですか。 Can we not ...
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Can you transform “[wanter]-wa [wanted thing]-ga hoshii” to “[wanter]-ni [wanted thing]-ga hoshii”? Or anything else?

So a normal way to say "Bob wants a burger" might be: bobu-wa hanbaaga-ga hoshii bob-TOPIC burger-NOMINATIVE is_wanted as for Bob, a burger is wanted [I'm only vaguely familiar with ...
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51 views

Correct verb for the subject

I'm a bit confused with 「V酵素は、・・・高純度のものを持っています」 part in the following passage. Since the subject is V酵素, shouldn't it be 「酵素は、年を経て強力になったヴァンパイアほど高純度のものになる。」, or maybe I'm mistaken something? Fast ...
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Nominalisation and は

I posted a question a long time ago about why we need の in this sentence: 毎日、同じ物を食べるのは、面白くない Eating the same thing everyday is not interesting. To which I was told that adding の here ...
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113 views

Meaning of 誰もいはしない in this sentence

どうせ誰もいはしないと高をくくっていたところもある。 This one's throwing me for a bit of a loop. The translation says "He also didn't really take the possibility of anyone being there seriously." It makes sense to me except ...
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336 views

What does the word 「してやせんっ」mean?

I have came across the word in a manga. It is said by a boy who was talking about the future plan of selling prizes awarded from playing Pachinko. Here is the sentence including the word: いつまでも ...
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What does the word 「ありゃしねえ」mean?

It is a situation which a salesperson announces to a group of people to attract them to buy his goods. Here is the full sentence. こんなお買【か】いどくはどこの世【せ】界【かい】へいったって ありゃしねえよ
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根も葉も火種も — is it proverbial?

I suspect「根も葉も火種も」 is an allusion to something I do not recognize. To what does it refer? Consider this couplet from an amusing song released in March by IOSYS called 「ステマの女」(CD and promotional ...
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What is this や in 大きすぎや?

Is this a contraction along the same lines of なければ → なきゃ? 反乱を抑えるためだけが目的だとしたらリスクが大きすぎやしないか Also, can you contract 言えば or あれば?
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Contraction of や, the variant of は

In an answer to this question, Tsuyoshi Ito correctly points out that you can sometimes change the consonant や, a variant of は, into a glide but sometimes you cannot. 聞きやしない 聞きゃ(ー)しない  ...
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What does the “〜やしない” conjugation mean?

In episode 76 of Fairy Tail, Gildarts said this to Natsu: 本気でそう思ったら、止めやしないよ。 (honki de sou omottara, tomeyashinai yo) Which was translated in the subtitle as: If that's what you honestly ...
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What is this form : Verb + はせん?

I am currently trying to read Bleach in Japanese. So far I haven't ran into any difficulty that a good dictionary cannot overcome. However in this particular scene I am puzzled by a particular scene, ...
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連用形+は+せん (殺しはせん。) meaning? [duplicate]

The line 「殺しはせん。」 is said by a character in anime. What is せん here (I assume it's somehow related to negative form of する)? Plain negative (I'm not killing you)? Volitional neg. (I'm not intending to ...
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236 views

Why is が used here?

I still have trouble with the は and が particles. ほどなくして神様達はこの下界に住み付いた。多くの神様達が永住することを決めたらしい。 Why does が have to be used here? What difference would it make if it were replaced with は instead?
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文章の話題語の変化はどう解釈されていますか?

日本語では、話題語がとても重要だと考えられていると思います。文章で話題語がなければ、ほとんどの人には不自然、もしくは不快に聞こえると思います。 しかし、文章が一文より長い場合、話題語の選択は私にはかなり難しくなります。話題語をいつ変えればいいかがいつもよく分かりません。普段、直感的に選びますが、母語話者じゃありませんので、かなり危険なやり方だと思います。したがって、ある種の指針を求めています。 ...
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あなたはすき vs あなたをすき [duplicate]

I'm learning Japanese and one point that confuses me is the use of particles. For this example, if I want to express 'I like you', which one should I use? Grammatically, 'あなたをすき' seems to be the ...
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Use of は particle when talking about doing things on a certain day

One thing that I still don't exactly understand is when to use は when talking about doing things on a certain day. For example, 明日は学校に行く。 or 明後日は映画館に行く。 Should the は be included or ...
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Is the “wa-particle” in katakana ワ or ハ?

Is the "wa-particle" in katakana ワ or ハ? (Just a quick question - I think I have seen both used, but if ワ is correct then I have just seen the results of a computer o/p automatically using ハ)
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Explanation/Usage of 瞬きしては

Could it become 瞬【まばた】いている? Why is there 瞬きする instead of 瞬く? And why is there a は at the end? sentence from the song キラキラ星【ぼし】: きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ まばたきしては みんなをみてる きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ
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How do は and もの work in this sentence?

Consider the following bolded sentence from Fate/stay night (previous and next 2 sentences provided for some context). 古来より、魂というものは扱いが難しい。 在るとされ、魔術において必要な要素と言われているが、魂《それ》を確立させた魔術師は一人しかいない程だ。 ...
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What does the 'あ' do in this sentence 「そいつあけっこうだね」?

I am not sure if the 'あ' being used instead of 'は' or there is a meaning in the word 'そいつあ'. In addition, is it possible that the 'あ' is a kind of particle or suffix?
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144 views

Omitting は when the topic did not change

I am on Dr. Kim's Japanese site and want to make sure that I have this right. Am I correct in understanding that as long as the topic of conversation does not change, は need only be used once in a ...
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What is the real correct translation of “彼は好きじゃない”?

I found this sentence in Tatoeba, and, based on my understanding, the translation would be "He doesn't like", however everyone translated it as "I don't like him". Why?? The は particle indicates ...
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324 views

Topic marker in これは大きい本を食べる犬です

In the sentence これは大きい本を食べる犬です, I understand that 大きい本を食べる is a clause that describes 犬 as "a dog that eats large books"; and を only makes sense within that clause. However, I'm confused about ...
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What's the difference between -ga and -o when they are used to designate a direct object?

During the past month I've been addicted to Japanese. I've listened to about 10 online tutorial video courses and read about as much printed lessons. I am determined to learn Japanese, but I am really ...
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244 views

Does this “は” indicate a sequence of events?

I've noticed in the book 秘密 by 谷崎{たにざき}潤一郎{じゅんいちろう} that the particle は sometimes seems to be used to indicate that with "AはB", "B" comes after "A", for example: ...
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朝ご飯は vs. 朝ご飯に - difference between these two sentences?

I wanted to ask my language partner what he ate for breakfast. However, I was unsure whether what I said was correct despite him telling me that it's good - I would just like some verification. I ...
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How to rephrase sentences with an ambiguous は to indicate the contrastive or thematic / 「主題」と「対比」の解釈の余地のある、あいまいな「は」の言い換え方

First, some background. My question is kind of an extension of this previously-answered question about the difference between は and が. While I am fairly clear on the different usages of は as a ...
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Use of は with 自分 in a subordinate clause

Another sentence from Kanji in Context: 自分は偉いと思って人を見下しているとそのうち逆に他の人から見下されるようになる。 Those who think highly of themselves and look down on others will eventually themselves be looked down upon (by ...
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476 views

Why is は appropriate for てはいけない?

Why does てはいけない use は? I know it's a construction, but where did it come from? て form verbs are not nouns, it doesn't make sense to me that は could be used with them.
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Is saying 「XはYは…」 acceptable?

In いっすんぼうし, a very popular fairy tale, this line appears: だいじんは からだは ちいさいけれど げんきな いっすんぼうしを たいそう きにいり じぶんの いえで はたらかせることにしました。 Is 「だいじんは からだは」 grammatically correct? What would be done to make ...
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What's the function of ~には in 「おやには長生きしてもらいたいとおもう」?

おやには長生きしてもらいたいとおもう Please help understand the には construct. Is it a form of emphasis?
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に Particle ambiguity

あまりにも子供じみた言動に呆れる。 だが、こういった[A]の対応には少なからず救われている部分があった. 深く踏みこまずに居場所を与えてくれるこの距離感に、周囲の人間も惹かれて集まってくるのだろう。 I'm tripped up on the second sentence. Is the 部分 part of the childish behavior, or the ...
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〜くはない vs 〜くない in adjective negations

As I spend more time in Japan, I pick up habits that I'm not sure are good or bad. My question here is about nuance / occasion of usage. In formal contexts, how does the impression differ between ...
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AはB emphasizing B, rather than A

There are quite a few comments on another question discussing the sentence 彼が持っているのは二百円です, in which the emphasis apparently falls on 二百円. I posted a comment asking if this could be explained as the ...
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When women use わ at the end of a sentence, is it different from よ?

My understanding of using わ at the end of a sentence is that it's essentially just for emphasis, just like using よ, and that only women can use it. However, as far as I know, women can, and often do, ...
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Is は used when asking if something already discussed exists?

If I've talked about a thing before, and want to ask whether or not it exists in another place (or time), would I use "は"? For example, if I said "In Sydney, I saw a ryokan. Are there ryokans in ...
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は and が in this sentence

i think my understanding of these two is getting better though i have a question about this sentence: 新しい合金が開発された。医療用や通信用など、用途は広い。 the が i think i get. it is because the new alloy is new ...
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「~てはいただけません」- Why the は?

こんなちなみを ・・ ・・ ユルしてはいただけませんの? I'm playing Ace Attorney 3 (逆転裁判3), and there's a girl in the dock (ちなみ) giving evidence. She's just been found to be lying about something and is asking for ...
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182 views

明日が/明日は, what's the difference?

I know it's a complicated grammar concept that even Japanese don't fully get, but I'd like to know what's the difference between 明日は火曜日です and 明日が火曜日です They way I understand it, in the second ...
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440 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 ...
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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 ...
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190 views

“は + verb” instead of “を + verb”?

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) and "楽な道は選ぶな" ...
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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 ...