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54

(This answer was originally at this question, but it seemed more appropriate here) 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 ...


27

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 ...


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) ...


12

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」 seem 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 ...


11

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".


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 ...


10

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 ...


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.


8

As you correctly note, the が in this context adds focus to the noun phrase: 私が一番 'I am the best.' or 'The best one is me' 私は一番 'I am the best.' [私]{わたくし} is very formal and polite, and is not usually used other than in business conversations, [私]{わたし} is neutral with politeness, 俺 is rough, and 俺様 is self-appraising. Any of them will work with ...


7

I think this は is a "topical は" or "comparative は". 昨日初めてお寿司を食べました sounds to me like you're just reporting that you ate sushi for the first time the day before, and 昨日"は"初めてお寿司を食べました sounds to me like "Speaking of yesterday, I ate sushi for the first time," (probably someone's just asked what you did yesterday, like 昨日、どこに行ったの? or 昨日、京都で何したの?etc.), or "(The ...


6

Perhaps part of the solution is the dropping of words assumed from context? 明日は雨だ → 明日(の天気)は雨だ You could consider this as a type of sentence known as "ウナギ文". http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/~ts/language/unagi.html - has a nice explanation (in Japanese), exemplified by the exchange (ordering in a restaurant): 甲: 僕は天丼にするよ。 乙: 僕はうなぎだ。 Here the second speaker ...


6

With respect to the meaning of たらしめる, you can just follow what Matt writes, but let me add a few things. こそ is used to add emphasis to that noun. A literal translation will be It is ... that is .... Your addition of のは simply makes it ungrammatical. 作品を芸術たらしめる is a relative clause that modifies the noun 要素 (I hope this is not too linguistic to you). And ...


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 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 ...


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

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 ...


5

は conveys a more direct sense of subject. It is hard to sum up, but が is more general. For instance, If you were complaining about your performance today, you might say: ぼくはおそい。 (I am slow) It would be awkward to use が in this case because you don't need to indicate that you mean you as opposed to someone or something else. But you might use が to ...


5

It is more polite if you omit or not using straight form when asking personal things. お しごと は  means お しごと は なんですか? And following is not correct あなた は しごと です か which means "Are you a work?"


5

The basic answer is that は is written ハ in katakana. However, I think it depends on why it's written in katakana. One reason you might write something in katakana is to communicate pronunciation, and in this case the particle は would be written ワ: spelling pronunciation おはよう オハヨー こんにちは コンニチワ You can see this sort of use of ...


5

The key to understanding は is to understand how a sentence ties back to the discourse. This is where the "topic" comes in. Some linguists will claim that all Japanese sentences have a topic, even if it's implicit and unstated. If you're asked: 日本語の授業についてどう思いますか? What do you think about your Japanese lessons? what ties back to the discourse is ...


5

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" ...


5

Most definitely they do! (this pdf - http://lingdy.aacore.jp/jp/material/An_introduction_to_Ryukyuan_languages.pdf - is what I'm using as my source, it might be very helpful to you (^_^) ) Most of Ryuukyuuan uses =ja as a topic marker (though with some contextual variation in some languages). South Ryuukyuuan outside of Yaeyama uses =u for object marking ...


4

私には means "as for me" and is similar to 私にとって So completely unrelated to に in this usage pattern. EDIT: After posting teh library example, my answer doesn't make sense anymore, but I'll leave it here fo rthe time being. Would REALLY appreciate if people would put a comment as to why they downvoted something. I have no problems admitting I'm wrong, and ...


4

I think the existing answers are missing something very important, and that is that に (the dative case marker) can be used to mark subjects given certain predicates. This is called the "dative subject construction". In modern Japanese, I believe you only see this construction if it is contrasted (i.e., には), or if it is embedded. Some examples may help: ...


4

By putting "の", your are making a nominal group from the proposition that precedes it, and you put the focus on the action (there is a nuance with "こと", which takes practice to feel). Then, since you made a nominal group, you need your usual particles after, such as は、 に、 or whatever is required. Examples: ケーキを食べるのが好きです。 I like to be eating a cake. (The fun ...


4

In general, sentence final particle use varies a lot depending on the region. In Kyoto, where I live, for example, men and women both use わ freely, and even throw out the occasional 「わよ」. I think it sounds softer, more restrained and less insistent than よ but that's only my personal opinion. I haven't seen a thorough breakdown of the usage for the two, but I ...


4

...in the sentence 彼が持っているのは二百円です, I interpreted は as marking a subject, and in particular, marking known information (彼が持っているの). This causes the focus to fall on the right half, as described above. I tried to express this generally as "the pattern AはB emphasizing B, not A". Does this make sense? >>> Yes, basically I agree... at least this is what I learned ...


4

In fact, this は, seldom mentioned in research works, (at least in the hundreds of papers and books I have read), is a little different. In short, I think it is used to show and show how the statement agrees or disagrees with an existing proposition. In your example, it clear to see the two sentence are almost the same except the parts before and after は. ...


3

In 2., こちら is the focus, not a topic, and is new information. You cannot use は for it. 東です is the old information. Your reasoning of "present in the universe of discourse" is irrelevant for the choice of these particles (and, actually, I don't understand what you are talking about). The information structure is the following. After A's question, before B's ...



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