So I'm new to learning Japanese, and as with most beginners I am trying to understand the difference between は and が. I came across this video on the difference that I found particularly helpful, but there was a special case not addressed in the video that I was curious about. I will summarize the video here as I understand it, as it is quite long and my question will not make sense if I don't. (I also understand that this is an incredibly complex topic -- no pun intended -- but you always have to start somewhere.)
In the first and most common type of sentence, there is a single subject, which may be marked with either particle. は is preferred, except in the following situations:
- When the subject is new information, e.g. 「ジョンは学生です」 (Roughly, "John is a student") vs. 「ジョンが学生です」 (Roughly, "The student is John"). This use is required with certain kinds of phrases, for example 誰 -- so「誰が寿司を買いましたか？」means "Who bought the sushi?", and this cannot be phrased as 「*誰は寿司を買いましたか？」.
- When the whole sentence is new information. Thus「田中さんは子犬を買いましたよ」just states that Tanaka bought a puppy in a factual sense, while「田中さんが子犬を買いましたよ」presents the sentence as being "news" is some way.
- When the subject is inanimate (this only applies to action verbs). So you would have「雨が降っている」but not (as far as I understand) 「*雨は降っている」.
In the second type of sentence, there is both a は phrase and a が phrase, which I will call the "subject" and "object" -- in quotes -- respectively (I understand that they are not actually a subject and object in Japanese, but they usually translate as such into English and I don't know any other name for them). For instance, we have
- ジョンさんは鼻が大きい ("John has a big nose")
- 田中さんは犬が好きだ ("Tanaka likes dogs")
- 直美さんは日本語が話せます ("Naomi can speak Japanese").
In all these cases, the が could be replaced with a は, which would emphasize that thing as opposed to others e.g.
- ジョンさんは鼻は大きい ("John has a big nose, but the rest of him is small")
- 田中さんは犬は好きだ ("Tanaka likes dogs, but not other animals")
- 直美さんは日本語は話せます ("Naomi can speak Japanese, but not other languages").
Now on to my actual question. I am curious here what happens in the second type of sentence when the "subject" falls under one of the special rules in the first type. For example, how would I translate the sentence "Who likes cats?" -- would it be
- 誰が猫が好きですか？ (Naively apply the "が for new information" rule)
- 猫が好きな人誰ですか？ (What Google Translate tells me)
- 誰が猫が好きな人ですか？ (Modification of previous)
or something else? Similarly, would "The house has large windows" be
- 家は窓が大きい (Ignoring the "が for inanimates" rule above)
- 家が窓が大きい (Same as previous but using the "が for inanimates" rule)
- 家には大きい窓がある (From Google Translate -- edited from original post)
- 家の窓は大きい (Just one phrase, ignoring the "が for inanimates" rule)
- 家の窓が大きい (Same as above, with the "が for inanimates" rule)
or something else?
Finally, this is my first post on the Japanese Stack Exchange and on Stack Exchange in general, so if there's any issues with what I've posted or anything I could improve upon, I am more than happy to hear it!