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太陽を最後に我々は見たのはいつだ?

literally: The Sun last time we saw-state when are?
meaning: When did we last time saw the Sun, f**k!?

context: it is a sad rhetorical question about bad rainy weather.
It is not a question like: give me precise hour and minutes when we saw the Sun last time.
This is a sad statement, that weather is bad and cold is annoying and everybody is depressed, and it was raining for so long, that we all even forgot when the last time it was a sunny day (means good weather).

My questions are:

1) As far as [we] here is not about particular group, where everybody knows everybody, it is about population of a city or even region. Does it mean that [wareware] is more appropriate, than [watashi-tachi]?

2) I'm a noob and still do not have feeling in what order of words it is better to please Japanese ear.
So, question: is the order of parts in this sentence ok from Japanese point of native hearing or it sounds pretty weired? If so, what order of parts is preferable for building such a rhetorical question with sadness mood?

3) Imagine if this question is not sad and not rhetorical, but positive and precise with meaning like: tell me exactly when we were seeing the Sun the last time.
Rhetorical question means, that noone expects the answer.
Hearing rhetorical question people just say: yeah, the weather is shit.
But active positive question does build expectation of precise answer like: I think that last time I saw the Sun at 13 o'clock.
So, do I have to change something in this sentence or it is just a matter of intonation?

4) Is making noun from verb 見る => 見たの (past tense + no) and by this turning into [da]/[des] sentence, is this trick weired for Japanese ear? Is this trick too much? Is this trick too literal or too bookish? Maybe native speaker would just use past tense without [no]-ing verb to noun? Or maybe turning verb to noun IS the true Japanese way of saying things like that?

5) Is 最後に [sai-go] last time ok for this case or maybe it sounds unnatural for Japanese ear? If so, what adverb would native Japanese would use in case like this?

6) Is using を in 太陽を is just my European way of thinking and in building the true Japanese style, I should [wa]-ing the Sun like [太陽は...]?

太陽は最後に我々は見たのはいつだ?

If this is more preferable for Japanese style way of saying, isn't it too much [wa] for one sentence? In that case it will be 3 [wa]!!
Does it mean, that to avoid 3 [wa] I should [ga]-ing something?
Maybe [wareware-ga]?
Or 3 [wa] for one sentence is fine?

7) I saw many examples and most of them start with [wa].
Does it mean, that it is unnatural for Japanese to start with [wo]-ed word?
If I use [wo] for the Sun, does it mean that I must put it after all [wa]-ed words in the sentence?

8) I saw many examples and I noticed, that many authors use comma for the first word and they even omit [wa]!!

For example

雨の日、よく ...

literally: Rainy day. Often I read books and watch tv.
meaning: On a rainy day I often read books and watch tv.
meaning+: When it is a rainy day, then I often read books ...

When I first saw it, I thought: if comma ok, why do they omit [wa] or [ni]?

Why do they not using like

雨の日に、よく ... (European style) On a rainy day I often ...
雨の日には、よく ... (European + Asian style) On a rainy day, well... I often ...
雨の日は、よく ... (Asian style) Rainy day. [pause] I often ...

So, my question is what about comma?
Does comma so powerful in Japanese language, that it can kill even particles and work as super universal particle?
If comma is so super powerful is it allowed to use particles before comma?
Are my [雨の日に、] and [雨の日には、] and [雨の日は、] legal forms?
Or comma means no particles, and only [雨の日、] is legal?

And therefore if I want to use comma for my initial example, what option should I prefer from this list?

太陽を、...
太陽をは、...
太陽は、...
太陽、...

To my feeling of role of Japanese comma I feel, that the last [太陽、...] is more Japanese way, isn't it?

  • I suggest you to break down your concerns into separate Stack Exchange questions. This will help you to clarify each question and it will be easier for the community to help you as well. – jarmanso7 Jun 29 at 9:52
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    First of all, I did be considering to split into 8 questions, but I just did not want to "eat" place in top list. I thought that my eight questions might be considered as spam. Like, hey, sir, you're attracting too much attention. Please, chill down a little. And secondly, I do believe, that the world works in that way, that if I had splitted my question into 8 pieces, somebody, but not you, would recommended me to publish it as one, cause they all are about 1 particular example about sun. 3) Anyway, I confess, that I felt and feel pain to publish this question and naruto is just my Savior. – Tchibi-kun Jun 29 at 10:13
  • Yep, that might happen that someone suggests you to do it the other way around. Actually, I think the downvotes you got might be related to my concern, because I think the questions itself are valid ones. Anyway, I'm glad you could get it answered as well! – jarmanso7 Jun 29 at 10:21
3

太陽を最後に我々は見たのはいつだ?

First of all, this sentence is incorrect. の is a formal noun and 見た modifies の as a relative clause (this construction is also known as a cleft sentence). You basically cannot use は inside a relative clause. The correct sentence is:

太陽を最後に我々見たのはいつだ?
When did we see the sun last time?


  1. Does it mean that [wareware] is more appropriate, than [watashi-tachi]?

Whichever works fine, but 我々 sounds stiffer and 私たち sounds politer.

  1. what order of parts is preferable for building such a rhetorical question with sadness mood?

You can construct a rhetorical question in the same way you construct an ordinary question.

  1. do I have to change something in this sentence or it is just a matter of intonation?

It's a matter of context and intonation.

  1. Is making noun from verb 見る => 見たの (past tense + no) and by this turning into [da]/[des] sentence, is this trick weired for Japanese ear? Is this trick too much?

No, の as a nominalizer is not a "trick", and even a three-year-old kid can use it. Learn about a cleft sentence, too.

  1. Is 最後に [sai-go] last time ok for this case

Yes.

  1. Is using を in 太陽を is just my European way of thinking and in building the true Japanese style, I should [wa]-ing the Sun like [太陽は...]?

Basically, you cannot have more than one topic in a sentence. You already have は after の, which means the topic of this sentence is a noun clause, 太陽を最後に我々が見たの ("our seeing the sun last time"). The corresponding comment is いつだ.

It's possible to make only 太陽 the topic, but you have to drastically change the format of the sentence: 太陽は最後にいつ見たのだろう?

  1. I saw many examples and most of them start with [wa]. Does it mean, that it is unnatural for Japanese to start with [wo]-ed word?

No. Although relatively less common, you can safely start a sentence with a word marked with を.

  1. many authors use comma for the first word and they even omit [wa]!!

It's hard to explain what is going on if you cut out a sentence like that. Note that 雨の日 can work like an adverb, just like 昨日 and 明日. Even in English, you can start a sentence with "Last year, ..." or "Today, ..." with a comma but without any preposition. In general, the role of a Japanese comma is not as important as an English comma.

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    I've spent 3 days from Wednesday to Friday to built this only one sence. I've read over a hundred of articles. And that question was like a final exam for me and you naruto was like a professor taking this exam. I see, that my question got -3, which means, that people hate my question. And after building this sentence for 3 days, I made it wrong. Yes, I feel pain and frustration, but I know, that my pain will be over in couple of days and at end I will feel that I've learned so much because of this only one sentence! This sentence and these 8 lessons learned will stay in my heart forever. – Tchibi-kun Jun 29 at 10:26
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    @Tchibi-kun First, I'm not one of the downvoters. If you constructed this sentence alone, I assure you did a good job (yes there is one mistake, but your sentence is understandable). However, the basic philosophy of this site is to build a knowledge base that will help future learners. Therefore, questions that ask too many things simultaneously will be frowned upon. Please always try to make a question that has only one clear focus. In that way, people can post a clear and focused answer, and future visitors of this site can benefit from your question. – naruto Jun 29 at 10:43
  • Ok, I will remeber it as lesson #9! – Tchibi-kun Jun 29 at 10:47
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    I feel satori to find out that [wa] (topic) works not only for the one word, which follows, but for entire group!! Oh, my God! It turned out that topic is not [seeing-wa], topic is [sun-o last-time-ni we-ga seeing]-[wa]. What a lucky day for me! I've read so much about [wa]/[ga], but never article focused my mind, that [wa] can work for group of words and not only for one word. This sentence is such a eye-opening experience on [wa]-understanding to me!! – Tchibi-kun Jun 29 at 10:49
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    @Tchibi-kun It's not specific to は. What you're referring to as "group" is called a noun clause, and it can appear almost anywhere in a sentence. This の is called a nominalizer because it forms a noun (clause). – naruto Jun 29 at 12:33

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