A particle which indicates the topic of a sentence or shows contrast in the universe of discourse.

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2
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2answers
133 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
275 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
441 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
139 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" ...
66
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
389 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
2answers
347 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

‥ができないと vs ‥はできないと

Every evening, we play the かたづけ怪獣 song, where they sing: おかたづけができないと あらあら、大変 (x3) おかたづけ怪獣が出て来るぞ! Now I've been grappling with this language long enough that ‥ができないと sounds natural in this context, ...
5
votes
4answers
195 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
393 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Correct particle usage: を or は?

I want to say, "Are you sure you want to remove Alex?" Do I use を or は? アレックスを削除してもよろしいですか。
6
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
193 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
162 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
3answers
191 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Particle は replacing を - where does the stress lie?

I've recently learned that the particle を can be replaced by either particles は/が. However, the stress on the focus of the sentence doesn't make sense to me. My book gives this example: ...
1
vote
2answers
148 views

Use of は in place of の

My question is about this sentence: 我が社の商品は値段を上げません。 (wagasha no shouhin wa nedan wo agemasen) At first I thought there was a typo ("wagasha wa shouhin no nedan wo agemasen" or something like ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

On more than one は in a sentence

When is it okay to have more than one は in a sentence? I've come across a few examples where there have been more than one は, and hadn't why. Example: 日本語は色々なスピーチスタイルがあることは知っていますね。 Thank you!
4
votes
1answer
176 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 → ...
3
votes
1answer
238 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 person on ...
8
votes
4answers
459 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)
3
votes
2answers
756 views

What's the difference between -ga and -o?

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

Nuance due to absence of は

その帽子に赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 A red muffler seems to go well with that hat. Is there a difference in nuance between the above sentence and the following one? その帽子には赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 I get that it's ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
325 views

Why is ha appropriate for te ha ikenai?

Why does te ha ikenai use ha? I know its a construction, but where did it come from? Te form verbs are not nouns, it doesn't make sense to me that ha could be used with them.
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Can はbe omitted as a shortcut in speech? [duplicate]

So I have this book, "Easy Japanese, A Direct Learning Approach for Immediate Communication". I notice that は is often omitted in sentences. So instead of saying: 猫はどこですか。 It might read: 猫どこですか。 ...
5
votes
3answers
343 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
441 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
326 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
150 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
votes
2answers
229 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
154 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.
9
votes
1answer
208 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" ...
15
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

“scope” of は particle

In the sentence below, does 外からは apply only to the part of the sentence up to 見られずに, or does it apply to the entire sentence? あれなら外からは姿を見られずにテレビ局内に入れますね。 In other words, which one of these is ...
8
votes
2answers
582 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
votes
4answers
341 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
250 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
votes
2answers
281 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: ...
12
votes
1answer
291 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
1k 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: ...
13
votes
1answer
306 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 ...