Is this sentence correct?


I've learned that は is a topic marker not an object marker. In this case it's acting as an object marker to 小説 since 読む is transitive a verb.

Now according to the blog I got this from (here) it's supposed to imply that the speaker reads novels but doesn't read other things such as short stories.

One of the functions of は is to imply something applies for the word before the は, but there may be other cases that do not apply.


This implies that the speaker reads novels, but there is probably something he or she doesn’t read (maybe short stories?).

  • 1
    Subject and topic are separate concepts. Particles が, を, に, で and some others belong to case particles (格助詞). When combining topic particle は with most case particles, は is placed after case particle (e.g. には, では), but は replaces が and を particles (however there is also archaic をば combination, formed from を + は, with voicing of は (this particle was pronounced /pa/ until supposedly 10th century)).
    – Arfrever
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


In this sentence, 小説 is the object of 読む, but that doesn't mean it's not the topic of the sentence. Just like a word can be a subject and a topic at the same time, a word can be a topic and an object at the same time. In other words, "topic" is a concept that is independent of "case".

  • 私は走ります。
    I run.
    (私 is the subject of 走る and the topic of the sentence)
  • 小説は読みます。
    As for novels, (I) read (them).
    (小説 is the object of 読む and the topic of the sentence)

For details, please read this answer and this answer.

See also What is a topic prominent language?

The topic of a sentence is whatever the sentence is about. It’s not a grammatical role like the subject, but a more pragmatic aspect of the sentence. The topic is the most important piece of information - it’s what the sentence is built around.

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