2

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。

Is the omitting of は valid? It definitely would seem like the sentence is still easy to understand without the は. And I've sometimes felt that the は can start to feel repetitive, so I'd be happy to know if I can omit the は at times.

But would the Japanese actually speak this way? Because if not I want to avoid such a habit.

  • dang it, wish I had seen that before I posted.. oh well – ssb Jul 10 '13 at 3:36
  • Sorry I did a search for duplicates before submitting, but I guess including は in my keywords made it too specific. – user497745 Jul 11 '13 at 17:27
2

Yes, it is often omitted. Many particles are omitted at various times in casual speech.

However...

If you want my two cents on the subject, you should probably try to stick to the rules as much as possible while you are a beginner (I'm going on the assumption that you are) because breaking the rules is a really nuanced thing that can sound strange if you don't have a solid understanding of where, when, why, and how it's done. Learn where you can and can't take shortcuts as much as possible through exposure to real Japanese, and please try not to form any habits except correct speech until you're comfortable enough to experiment with it. I can't tell you how many incredibly awkward conversations I've had with people learning English who are desperate to use slang and various English contractions and just sound strange in the process.

  • Thanks for providing an answer. Your note on avoiding bad habits is well taken. I guess as long as I don't sound stilted to the Japanese ear, it's better to keep the は rather than dropping it unnecessarily. – user497745 Jul 10 '13 at 8:46

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.