The full dialogue in the light novel is:


The characters were discussing about some operation.

I'm not sure of why the author would use the particle は here instead of を. From another post on the usage of 何かしら, I have taken it to mean "some kind of", and in this case, would the sentence mean that, "as for some kind of measure, I think he would strike us" , but as this comment has shown, if を is used instead, then it might mean "I think he will use some kind of measures towards us."

Can someone please clarify the usage of particles in this context?

Edit: A further comment from the above mention commenter explained that it might originally be をは but the を has been dropped by the author to make the action itself be the topic instead.

  • 1
    This answer might help you.
    – marasai
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 3:02

2 Answers 2


As I posted on a previous comment, to my understanding を is omitted because the action of "taking measures" needs to be qualified as the topic. There is also a great answer from Derek Schaab about particle omission here https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/3152/4419.

  • The post in the link was very informative. In the case of omitting を , does this mean the clauses are grouped as such: [何かしら]の[手は打ってくる]だろう ?
    – Daniel Tan
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 14:02
  • Yes, I believe that の qualifies the whole 手は打つってくる clause. Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 14:11
  • 1
    There are no grammars that enable の to do that. You said "the action of "taking measures" needs to be qualified as the topic.". But that should be expressed as 何かしらの手を打ってくるのは. When it says 手は, the topic is 手.
    – user4092
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 20:59
  • 2
    [何]{なに}かしらの(≒[何]{なん}らかの) modifies 手. 何かしらの/何らかの modifies nouns/体言. It's [([何]{なに}かしらの)手]は打ってくるだろう ≒ 少なくとも[何]{なん}らかの手を打ってくるだろう. >> アルク辞書「何らかの」
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 23:16
  • @Choko So in this case the sentence would mean that "he will at least take some sort of measures towards us?" Is there a reference for the meaning of は to convey the sense of at least, for further reference?
    – Daniel Tan
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 0:39

Compared with 何かしらの手を…, using は conveys a sense of "at least".

  • Can I have a reference for this for further research? So in this case, the particle は also conveys a different layer of meaning to the sentence?
    – Daniel Tan
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 0:36
  • Sorry, I don't have any. It's difficult to explain comprehensively at once.
    – user4092
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 11:32
  • Maybe we need a community wiki on advanced usage of particles?
    – Daniel Tan
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 11:49

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