I am on Dr. Kim's Japanese site and want to make sure that I have this right.

Am I correct in understanding that as long as the topic of conversation does not change, は need only be used once in a dialogue or paragraph?

For example, a conversation might look like this:

彼女は(topic defined)大校生ですか?

ううん、(topic did not change)高校生です、僕は(now it is about me)大校生です。

(Is she in college? -- No, she is in high school, but I am in college.)

Do I have that right?

  • 1
    Yes, this is correct. If the topic is understood from context, it does not need to be stated again.
    – Cat
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 15:08
  • Not related to the question itself, but "high school student" is "高校生".
    – Yosh
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 2:10

1 Answer 1


The particle は is primarily used to define the subject, and in that use, you are right that it is very common to omit the subject in the following sentence if it is the same.

It's not wrong to repeat the subject (eg. 僕は) explicitly, for example if a sentence is long, if there is room for confusion, or if you want to place emphasis on the subject.

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