I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example, recently I've seen

I was prepared for that

don't choose an easy road

Is there a difference? And if there is, what's the "rule" when to use は instead of を?

  • 6
    It's a question of emphasis. "I am prepared for that." "Do not choose the easy way."
    – Zhen Lin
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


は is normally used a subject marker, but its also used for emphasis by slightly subverting its standard usage. When used this way, it's usually to show contrast the object with some other object. In your example sentence (その覚悟はしてました), the speaker indicates that they're prepared for the eventuality that their conversation partner just mentioned, but maybe not some others.

  • 9
    は is often a topic marker not a subject marker, that is が.
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 21:46

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