I tried translating "Grandpa fell down the stairs and got serious injuries". Since "Grandpa" is the subject, I used the particle は (wa), and since the action is in past tense, I used the ~た (ta) ending for 落ちる (ochiru):


After checking my translation attempt, the correction showed おじちゃんが (ojiichan ga) and 落ちて (ochite):


I know that the particle が (ga) is used for existence of the subject or to express desire, but I don't need to express existence here. Why is が used instead of は?

As regards ~て (te), I know that the ending ~て (te) is used for progressive and imperative tenses, but again I don't need them here. Why is ~て used instead of ~た?

Since I am a beginner in Japanese, I cannot tell if I'm right or wrong. Can someone explain it to me?

  • It would really help if you put your whole sentence and the entire sentence you checked against in your post. – By137 Sep 14 '20 at 14:55
  • Yes,of course .The sentence in japanese was :おじいちゃんがかいだんからおちておおけがをした – Sever cristea Sep 14 '20 at 15:00
  • And what i wrote was:おじいちゃんはかいたんをおちておおけがをした.Now I also noticed i used o instead of kara. – Sever cristea Sep 14 '20 at 15:13
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    So you also used て for おちる and not た? In your question you said you used おちた。 – By137 Sep 14 '20 at 15:56
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    Please use the edit button to add those details and make clarifications. The post needs to be self-contained. – Em. Sep 15 '20 at 3:24

The particle が is used to mark the subject of any sentence. It's not merely a marker of existence in ある/いる sentences. Although there are times when the topic and the subject can be interchangeable, in sentences where specific actions happen, the subject is usually identified clearly. In your sentence, the subject of the sentence is おじいちゃん, so it is natural to mark that noun with が.

The て form is also used in a conjunctive manner to connect two clauses. In your example, there are two clauses (grandpa fell + grandpa was injured). Using the て form is a simple way to connect those clauses and imply a relationship between them.

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