What does dewa mean here?


I haven't really studied it yet and thought it was kind of a negative used like janai, but here it means-

Brown-san, in Japanese, toilet has the same meaning as bathroom.

Or is it using the de and wa particles separately or something? I think just using wa would have worked?


It's the use of the particle で + particle は, as you suggest.

で in this case marks the mean/tool...

は is a particle that marks the topic of the sentence and that can be added to other particles like this (as a general rule, don't take this for granted 100% of the time):

  • It absorbs が and を.

    私は学生だ。 私 is both the topic and the subject of the sentence.

    これは昨日買ったんだ。 これ is both the topic and the direct object of the sentence.

  • It either absorbs or is added to the particle に.


  • It's added to other case particles.



Brown-san, in Japanese, トイレ has the same meaning as お手洗い.

"In Japanese" being the topic, the hearer's attention is put on the rest of the sentence which is the new information.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Missed opportunity for 庭には二羽の鶏がいる. .: womp womp :. – istrasci Apr 6 '16 at 19:39
  • 2
    @istrasci: 庭{にわ}には二羽{にわ}に鰐{わに}はにやにや俄{にわ}かに噛{か}みつけた。 (^^) – Eiríkr Útlendi Apr 6 '16 at 23:36
  • But would the sentence in question still make sense if we omitted で? – kuchitsu Apr 6 '16 at 23:53
  • @kuchitsu In that sentence, still makes sense but has a quite different meaning. – broccoli facemask - cloth Apr 7 '16 at 2:37
  • Can you please explain how exactly it would be different or recommend something I can read on the topic? – kuchitsu Apr 7 '16 at 18:37

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