The sentence I am asking about is the following

[魚]{さかな}が[好]{す}きじゃない[人]{ひと}は、[肉]{にく}が[好]{す}きだ 」
Person who does not like fish like meat

Source: Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese

My understanding, which is probably flawed in some aspect, is that は after 「[魚]{さかな}が[好]{す}きじゃない[人]{ひと}」 should make the sentence mean "People (in general) who do not like fish like meat", since は would mean in general as opposed to a particular occurrence (が).

How, then, would the general form be conveyed (i.e. "People (in general) who do not like fish like meat")?

  • It's not clear what the English is intended to mean.
    – user1478
    Dec 19, 2016 at 15:47
  • 1
    Tae Kim uses a kind of pseudo-English that tries to keep the word order the same as Japanese.
    – rjh
    Dec 20, 2016 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


You are correct and that website is incorrect on this matter.

Upon hearing/reading the sentence:

「​魚 {さかな} ​が​好 {す} ​きじゃない​人 {ひと} ​は、​肉 {にく} ​が​好 {す} ​きだ。 」

Practically all Japanese-speakers will take the 「人」 to mean "people in general". It is just extremely unnatural to form that sentence when the speaker/writer is referring to one particular person.

To alter the sentence so it talks about a particular individual, one could say:

「魚が好きじゃない〇〇さんは、肉が好きだ。」 or more naturally,

「〇〇さんは、魚好きじゃないけど、肉好きだ。」←Uses a pair of the contrastive 「は's」.

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