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I'm attempting to practice my writing and tried writing this in Japanese

Because its cold outside I went to eat Pho with a friend.

Originally I wrote

寒い外なので僕は友達とフォーを食べに行きました。

I was then given multiple corrections by native speakers.

Person A and Person B both wrote

外は寒いので僕は友達とフォーを食べに行きました。

Person C wrote

外が寒いので僕は友達とフォーを食べに行きました。

Looking at these corrections the Person A and Person B one doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand why は is used twice in this case.

From what I understand, double は is used for comparisons. Where the first は is the "topic marker", so in this case outside (外), and the second は marks I (僕) which is where the comparison comes in.

But using this "comparison grammar" this way seems really odd to me because now I read the Person A and Person B correction as

Because its cold outside I went to eat Pho with a friend opposed to other people in the world who may have not done this.

This seems very wrong to me. So what am I missing here / not understanding here?

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    A simpler way of looking at this is that you essentially have two statements -- "it's cold outside" and "I went to eat pho". Each statement can have its own topic. You're then combining these two with the ので, but that combining does not necessarily mean that you can't maintain the separate topic in each of the two parts. – Eiríkr Útlendi Feb 16 at 3:30
  • @EiríkrÚtlendi Doesn't 外(が/は)寒いので count as a subordinate clause, so は would normally not be allowed. When I see sentences of the form AはBのでC then I assume that A is the topic of both B and C, but that doesn't work in the OP's example. I'm not claiming to be right here, just a little puzzled. – user3856370 Feb 16 at 8:08
  • @user3856370, when combining two statements, we're saying two different things, and simply combining them with some sort of coordinating conjunction. Since we're saying two different things, each different statement can have its own topic Alternatively, the "main" statement can take the topic, and the "subordinate" statement can take a subject. Both approaches appear to be acceptable, at least in terms of my own subjective experience from what I've heard and read from native speakers. – Eiríkr Útlendi Feb 17 at 4:41
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This may be disappointing to hear, but there's no major difference between 外は寒いので(…) and 外が(…) unless you imagine peculiar situations. (That's why native speakers produced both of those sentences.)

Why is that? That's because using vs not using は heavily depends on context.

From what I understand, double は is used for comparisons. Where the first は is the "topic marker", so in this case outside (外), and the second は marks I (僕) which is where the comparison comes in.

There's no such rule. Each は is interpreted accordingly given its own context.

For example, if you said the example sentence after saying something about how you were outside, it would be natural that you continue with 外は(…) because it's shared/known information; otherwise you'd use 外が.

However, you could still use は with virtually no pretense in this case. There are a couple of potential reasons for this. For one, since you are talking about going to another place, there's a sign of a potential switch of topic, even if the sense of contrast is not so strong as to imply that something is not the case with another topic. Secondly, words like 外 that stand for places simply tend to be topicalized naturally, due to implicitly being in the discourse.

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    After following the "only one は rule" and recently getting corrected left and right for it, where my single は sentences become double は sentences. I'm starting to think that, that "rule" is just a simplification for new learners. Thanks for the explanation! – Tylersansan Feb 18 at 5:00

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