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

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81
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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 ...
25
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4answers
5k views

What is the difference between “に” and “には”?

The title should be pretty self-explanatory. What meanings does each convey? And in what kinds of circumstances would one be used instead of the other? For example, what are the differences between ...
16
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2answers
4k views

When asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'?

As per the title, when asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'? For example, we are taught this: おしごとは。 'What is your job?' But I don't understand why it ...
14
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1answer
416 views

Why is the topic marker often used in negative statements (ではない, ~とは思わない)?

What function does は provide in statements such as 本ではない or 本だとは思わない? I notice the は after と is often left out, at least if a Google search for 思わない is any indication, but there still seems to be a ...
12
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3answers
393 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 ...
12
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1answer
329 views

What is the implication when a gruff old man ends a sentence with わ?

In this question, it seems to me it was clearly established that わ, at the end of a sentence, is decidedly feminine. There was talk of a kansai-ben わ with slightly different implications, but still ...
11
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3answers
2k views

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, ...
11
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4answers
678 views

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)
10
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3answers
485 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
456 views

What is the nuance when は directly follows a verb in plain form?

It seems like this is a remnant of (or reference to) older forms of Japanese. Is that all there is to it, or does it have special meaning? Examples from songs: 歌声 笑い声 満ちる大空 目指すは憧れ ...
9
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2answers
271 views

〜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 ...
9
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1answer
231 views

What is じゃ in じゃない?

Since there is possibility of "じゃありません" instead of "じゃないです" (which is logical, given "ありません" is polite "ない"), and it also seemed that I have seen "じゃ" used without "ない", I'd like to ask, what "じゃ" ...
8
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5answers
574 views

A は/が difference [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)? I've been trying to wrap my head around the は/が differences, and I'm trying to figure out the differences between the ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Can we have two thematic は particles in a sentence?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, there are two types of は-particle: The thematic-は (topic-marker) which is used to introduce things into the universe of discourse. The contrastive-は. ...
7
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4answers
3k views

What is the difference between は and のは?

The following sentence means "seeing all the different foreign people was interesting." This, according to my Japanese friends is incorrect: 色々な外国人を見ているは面白かった。 ... and this is correct: ...
7
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4answers
385 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 ...
7
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3answers
457 views

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 ...
7
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2answers
276 views

Difference between って and は as topic marker

I often see って being used to mark a topic, such as in the sentence 新宿ってどこ? I'm aware that this is more colloquial compared to the topic marker は. Other than the formality aspect, are って and は ...
6
votes
4answers
226 views

Topic は vs. direct object を for “I have never X”

The sentence pattern for "I have never X" is covered in this question: Is there a form for "I have never heard of"? However, I'm confused on which particle to use for the noun in this ...
6
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2answers
168 views

What purpose does は serve after へ in this sentence?

ところで、今週末のゴルフ大会へは行くんですか。 I feel I have a decent understanding of both of those particles, but I'm wondering how the meaning of the sentence changes with and without the は after へ. Thanks in advance.
6
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1answer
130 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
353 views

I have no idea what this is saying. Can you have two topics in a sentence?

白い箱はカウチの上に緑のランプは机の上にあります。 This sentence looks like it has two topics in it. But when I try to translate it, it doesn't make sense (to me obviously). My direct translation is: A white box on top of ...
5
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3answers
3k 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 ...
5
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4answers
3k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
251 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
485 views

Rosetta Stone uses は instead of わ

Just started learning japanese again. My college offers no class on this so I am learning on my own. I have been using Rosetta Stone on and off again for awhile now. One this I have noticed is that ...
4
votes
4answers
293 views

Shouldn't there be a のは in this sentence?

This is a an example sentence from a JLPT textbook to explain the use of たらしめる: 想像力{そうぞうりょく}こそ作品{さくひん}を芸術{げいじゅつ}たらしめる要素{ようそ}である。 I understand the meaning, which is something like, "The key ...
4
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1answer
170 views

Why can は and を sometimes be used interchangeably?

For example: 肉は食べますが、すしを食べません。
4
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2answers
234 views

Use of が with certain adjectives

Recently, the が particle has been a little iffy for me especially with adjectives. Some nouns when modified by an adjective can seemingly use が and は interchangeably while others cannot, is this ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Particle は VS の when identifying ownership with the verb ある

Quick basic grammar question. With respect to expressing ownership of an item using ある. Am I correctly understanding the general meaning and particle use in the following sentences? 私の辞書がありません → ...
4
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3answers
317 views

What is the difference between は and が in this sentence?

This is an example sentence from a set of learning materials called Kanji Odyssey 2001: 北極にはシロクマなど陸上の動物がいる。南極には陸上の動物はいない。 My question is about the bold. I understand the には I think because it is ...
4
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1answer
134 views

「~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 ...
4
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1answer
256 views

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。 ...
4
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1answer
195 views

What's the difference between ことがある or ことはある?

In Tae Kim's guide, he wrote a few example sentences: 徹夜して、宿題することはある。 一人で行くことはありません。 パリに行ったことはありますか。 お寿司を食べたことがある。 そういうのを見たことがなかった。 In these examples, I don't really understand why some sentences ...
4
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2answers
318 views

は can mean “at least?”

Can は mean "at least" in some situations? For example, 10回は="at least 10 times?" How does this work? This is an example: ...
4
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0answers
109 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?
3
votes
2answers
139 views

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?
3
votes
3answers
277 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
214 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
160 views

Does the lack of は change the sentence?

So I saw this sentence: きのう初めておすしをたべました。 And wondered if the は is just being left out. Does the sentence change any if は is added in? Like so: きのうは初めておすしをたべました。
3
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1answer
228 views

Do Japanese's sister languages have equivalents of the particles は and を?

Okinawan definitely has a particle equivalent to the Japanese subject particle が. But I can't seem to find something like the topic particle は or the object particle を. Then again I only have ...
3
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4answers
159 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
242 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: ...
3
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2answers
305 views

How does は apply itself to によっては?

From the question: "How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?", it is observed that: The use of によって means to change state or behaviour depending on, or ...
3
votes
1answer
461 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.
3
votes
1answer
56 views

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
3
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6answers
494 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
314 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
187 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" ...
2
votes
3answers
267 views

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 ...