3

I'm pretty new to Japanese and I have a question.

So I know this is supposed to be something like "he differs from his former self" but I can't really make sense of what とは is supposed to mean in this particular situation:

彼は昔の彼とは違う

2

This is just a case of acting as emphasis. The is used with 違う to say that something is different than something else

AはBと違う → A is different than/from B

Adding the is placing the focus on the relationship ( and 昔の彼), not the analysis of the relationship (違う).

  • 彼は昔の彼と違う → He is different than his former self (neutral statement)
  • 彼は昔の彼とは違う → As for him and his former self, they differ

Fundamentally, they mean the same thing. The difference is the focus. Don't know if I'm explaining that well. Take a look at this related question. It does a good job explaining in-depth how adding to another particle affects the meaning.

What is the difference between “に” and “には”?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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