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I'm unsure how to interpret that は in that part of the sentence. I'm assuming it's a contrastive は but I'm not sure what it's contrasting.

Thank you!

  • @broccoliforest The article in the link is useful though this part is inaccurate: "If there are several wa-s in a sentence, the first one is the topic marking wa and the other wa-s are contrastive". Counterexample: ◯◯さんは 猫は好きですか? → はい、私は猫は好きです。 – user4092 Dec 19 '15 at 7:24
  • Umm... but on second thought, if you want the first は to be contrastive, wouldn't you say 「はい、私は(猫が)好きです」? – broccoli facemask - cloth Dec 19 '15 at 7:45
  • My example is a sentence that has multiple topics, neither of which are particularly contrastive. As the article says, contrastive sense is given by emphasis (either emphasizing は itself or saying the word in a deep tone). Without it, it doesn't really sound contrastive usage. Whether it's contrastive or not, the はs in my example are a topic because they are obviously an existing information. Needless to say questions become a topic. – user4092 Dec 20 '15 at 8:59

That wa is not really contrastive but anyway, in general, the particle tends to be wa when the sentence is negation and especially when the word doesn't feel really unexpected against the context to the speaker. To be honest, either ga or wa are fine as long as the example sentence is concerned.

(As for the controversy about wa's essential role, If you support contrastive wa fundamentalism, it is. If you support topic marker wa fundamentalism, it is.)

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