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One of my Japanese friends wrote this sentence:

じゃ歌えない

She meant that she can't sing a particular song. Is じゃ used in that sentence the same way が would be used to put an emphasis on the subject, or is there a different meaning to it?

Also, how informal is this form?

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「[私]{わたし}じゃ[歌]{うた}えない。」

「私では歌えない。」

「じゃ」 is the colloquial contraction of 「では」. More importantly, this 「では/じゃ」 placed directly after the subject of a sentence is quite nuanced. Therefore, the plain 「は」 cannot replace it for the nuance.

It means that the subject (「私 in this case」) is not good enough to do something for some reason.

"I could not sing (this song), (but some other people probably could)"

"I am not good enough to sing (this particular song)."

http://tn-skr1.smilevideo.jp/smile?i=24855504.L

「[僕]{ぼく}じゃダメですか?」 = "Am I not good enough for you?"

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