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好きな人。
Fishes like people

好きな人。
Person that likes fish

Although I know the definition of both sentences it is very confusing to me, why が works and は doesn't.

4
  • What do you mean it changes the sentence? Did google translate tell you that?
    – Tirous
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 3:24
  • I found this very useful for my own understanding: nihonshock.com/2010/02/…
    – BCDeWitt
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 16:12
  • Frankly, neither of those sentence fragments make much sense to me. They might make sense if they weren't fragments. I am but a learner though -- perhaps natives have a different view.
    – oals
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 21:06
  • Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/a/30172/5010
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 23:49

1 Answer 1

3

Well, it seems that you have wrongly understood these sentences.

There are two possible interpretations of 魚は好きな人。:

  1. The fish is a person who I like.
  2. A person that only likes fish.

To mean "Fishes like people", it should be 魚は人が好き。

Interpretation 1 doesn't really make sense, so 魚は好きな人。 is supposed to mean "Person that only likes fish".

Now the difference between 魚は好きな人 and 魚が好きな人 is not so big. Here は introduces a contrast between fish and all the others.

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