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72

は and が are a bit complex because they have several meanings, and some of the shades of meaning of wa and ga are a bit hard to distinguish casually. The best coverage of this that I have read is "The Structure of the Japanese Language" by Susumu Kuno(written in English). I'm going to attempt to synthesize some of that here, but Kuno's explanation is much ...


29

This is really no different than the normal use of the scope/topic particle は, except that with には (and では, とは, and any other combination), the scope of the sentence expands to include the particle itself. (I will use "scope" to mean "topic" here; personally I prefer the former, but most people are used to the latter.) The example sentences you chose might ...


17

Disclaimer: I'm just a random Japanese native and my answer below isn't based on formal research or anything like that. The feminine 「わ」 seems to have become almost extinct. You see it in text books and novels, but it's extremely rare to hear people actually using it. The kansai 「わ」 is different from the feminine 「わ」. The feminine 「わ」 is used in 標準語 or ...


16

お仕事は? Oshigoto wa? is basically short for お仕事は何ですか? Oshigoto wa nan desu ka? あなたは仕事ですか? Anata wa shigoto desu ka? means "Are you work?" and is nonsensical†. は wa (not わ BTW) is the topic marker.* Just asking 〜は basically means "About ~..." and only hints at the actual question. Leaving things unspoken is a very typical thing in Japanese. "About (your) ...


15

This construct was common in classical Japanese, but now it is archaic or poetic. In classical Japanese, the attributive form of conjugating words can be directly followed by particles which attach to nouns (without inserting の). 目指すは would become 目指すのは in modern Japanese, 吹きやまぬは would become 吹きやまぬのは or 吹きやまないのは, and so on.


15

When being used as a grammatical particle ([助詞]{じょし}), は is pronounced わ (wa), を is pronounced お (o), and へ (which you may not have come across yet) is pronounced え (e). I've never used Rosetta Stone but it seems quite strange that it would not mention this... Information as to the historical reason for this difference between spelling and pronunciation ...


14

If you already speak a little Japanese, compare these: Aiko-chan ga suki desu I like (love) Aiko. Aiko-chan wa suki desu Aiko likes it. I read a lot about this, theory about subjects and objects, but for some reason, this simple example (heard once I'd had a few months in Japan) most helped me to "get it".


13

ハ for the topic particle. There's no difference from hiragana.


11

In my opinion, it is a bit of a mistake to think of は as being in opposition to が. There are times where は marks things that have nothing to do with the subject of the sentence. There are times where you have to choose between は and を for example. 今はどうしようかな? = What should I do now? Sometimes the は will be left off, but が could never be used here because ...


11

To answer that, I think we first have to look at one of the more important roles of topic markers (in any language that has them): marking contrast. The topic marker as a marker of contrast Look at this conversation for instance: A: 一番好きな中華料理か? たぶん麻婆豆腐だと思う。 My favorite Chinese dish? Probably Mapo Doufu, I guess. B: そうか。俺はちょっと辛いのが苦手なんだ。 I ...


11

As ssb and fefe wrote, the sentence consists of two clauses which share the main verb あります. In this particular case, it would be easier to read if the author put a 読点 (“、”) in the 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。 However, unlike commas in English, 読点 in Japanese is rarely (if ever) grammatically required. Authors are free to use 読点 wherever they ...


9

Often the particle は is written "wa" in Latin letters, because は, when used as a particle, is in fact pronounced the same as わ. Of course, は, when it is not a particle, is usually pronounced "ha". を is pronounced お, and therefore sometimes transcribed "wo" and sometimes "o". Similarly, the particle へ is pronounced the same as え, whence "he" or "e". For ...


9

I would have no choice but to say that there is a difference. Little particles do have that kind of power and influence over much bigger words than themselves. You would sound like you are a little more satisfied with your job if you said 「[今]{いま}の[仕事]{しごと}は[悪]{わる}くないです。」 than when you said 「今の仕事は悪くはないです。」. This is a prime example of the contrastive は. ...


8

わ can also have a non-feminine meaning of: 軽{かる}い詠嘆{えいたん}や驚{おどろ}きなどの気持{きも}ちを表{あらわ}す。 - Expresses mild feelings of admiration, surprise, etc. So the idea here is to express that lovely "oh!" feeling you get when your ears pop, as you can see by his smile. I can't honestly say how prevalent this is, or if you ought to use it.


7

The sequence 体は小さいけれど元気な serves as an adjectival block which modifies [一寸法師]{いっすんぼうし}. 体は小さいけれど元気な一寸法師 is object of the verb 気に入り, in turn. [大臣]{だいじん}(は) is its subject. So, the whole sentence has kind of a nested structure, and the two は belong to different levels respectively.


7

Think about it this way. When you have a verb, it has certain 'slots' that have to be filled with nouns. 食べる, being a transitive verb, has two slots - subject and object. である also has two slots (though it's not a transitive verb, it's a special kind of thing) - subject and predicate. We've got three nouns here (これ, 本 and 犬), and we need to figure out how ...


6

芸術たらしめる is the causative form of 芸術たる. This たる is the たる discussed here. There are nuances, but basically たらしめる means "cause to be". (Roughly equivalent to ... にさせる in many cases, I think.) So the sentence is complete as it is: 想像力こそ = "Imagination..." + こそ (こそ is a whole other question) 作品を芸術たらしめる要素 = "the element that causes 'works' 作品 to be(come) 'art' ...


6

In this case, 「の」 changes the verb "to [be] see" into the gerund form "[be] seeing", which is what you found interesting. After that, 「は」 is just 「は」.


6

は is the topic particle and can be used in combination with a variety of particles. When combined with the subject particle が or the object particle を, は usually replaces が or を. With all other particles, it goes after the particle. (In fact, を+は may also turn into をば, see Dono's comment.) In your example sentence, it makes ゴルフ大会へ "to the golf tournament" ...


6

It depends not only on the verb, but on the form of the verb. The general rule is that static verbs and adjectives take "ga" and "action verbs" take "o" on the direct object. piano-o hiku play the piano piano-ga hikeru can play the piano Here, playing the piano is an action, thus "o" is used. Being able to play the piano is a state, thus "ga" ...


6

Particles have multiple uses or meanings. が can be used to mark the subject. However 好き【すき】 is an adjective not a verb. In this case が marks the target of 好き【すき】 which is cats. 1) 私は猫が好き 2) 猫は私が好き The pattern of these sentences is: Topic は target of adjective が adjective I(topic) like(adjective) cats(target of adjective). Cats(topic) ...


6

私の辞書がありません does NOT mean "I do not have my dictionary." This is a very common mistake among J-learners. To us native speakers, it can ONLY mean "My dictionary is missing." as in "I brought my dictionary here but I can't find it now. Where did it go?" Yes, 私は辞書がありません means "I do not have a dictionary." 私の子供がいます does not mean "The child is mine." It is ...


6

Tsuyoshi Ito has already answered this question, but I'd like to add one detail: I think I see 目指すは〜 a lot more than other verbs followed by は. Although I can't find it in any dictionaries, from personal experience I think it might be common enough to be considered something like a set phrase, or possibly a holdover from when this grammar was more common. ...



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