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As I know, when the potential form of a verb is being used, direct object particle "を" should not be used. Instead, が or は should be used. So when should we use which? For example,

富⼠⼭が 登れた climb Fuji Mountain.

重い荷物は持てます hold heavy baggage.

I don't see why in the second example, the particle は is used, because logically, "baggage" is the object of the verb "hold". I think it should be the same as in the first sentence, where が is used.

I'm a newbie learner. I would really appreciate it if you could help me with this question. Thanks!

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    You could also use は for your first example:「富士山登れた。けどエベレストは登れなかった。」 and が for your second example:「彼は、重い荷物持てます。力持ちですから。」 – Chocolate Sep 22 '17 at 0:23
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when the potential form of a verb is being used, direct object particle "を" should not be used. Instead, が or は should be used.

That's not really correct; you can still use を naturally in many cases. See: The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb.

が or は should be used. So when should we use which?

So do you know the standard difference between が and は? Can you explain the difference between 先生は来る and 先生が来る, for example? If yes, there is nothing special here. Please keep in mind that Japanese potential forms are similar to English "-able". は is used to topicalize a word or making a contrast, whereas が is used for "neutral description" or "exhaustive listing".

  • 重い荷物が持てます。 (neutral)
    I can carry heavy baggage.
  • 重い荷物は持てます。 (contrastive wa)
    I can (at least) carry heavy baggage (although I cannot do something else).

Another example:

A: この3人の中で、誰英語を話せますか? Who can speak English among the three?
B: 太郎話せます。 Taro can speak English.
  (exhaustive-listing ga; implies he is the only person who can speak English among the three)
C: 花子は中国語話せますよ。 (But) Hanako can speak Chinese!
  (contrastive wa; implies she cannot speak English)

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