tamago o yoku tabemasu.

kudamono wa amari tabemasen.

Why for the first sentence with tamago, the particle "o" is used where as for the second sentence with kudamono, particle "wa" is used?

  • Hint: It's more to do with the verb than the noun.
    – Angelos
    Dec 25 '17 at 18:00
  • 1
    It sounds contranstive to me. "I often eat eggs. (However) I don't eat fruits much (unlike other foods)." There are answered questions on this site regarding the contrastive wa particle
    – binom
    Dec 25 '17 at 22:27

This is why "wa" is called a topic marker rather than a subject marker.

Topic Marker

The topic marker is one of many Japanese particles. It is written with the hiragana は, which is normally pronounced ha, but when used as a particle is pronounced wa. It is placed after whatever is to be marked as the topic. If what is to be the topic would have had が (ga), the subject marker, or を ((w)o), the direct object marker, as its particle, those are replaced by は. Other particles (for example: に, と, or で) are not replaced, and は is placed after them. (emphasis mine)

は marks the subject of a sentence only in, say, 80% of the cases. In your case, を was replaced by は because fruit is the (contrasted) topic of the second sentence. Note that this は is also working as a contrast marker. Also note that は is much preferred in negative sentences.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.