Hi? What's the difference in terms of usage of wa and wo in some sentences like this one

"are wo kudasai" and "are wa nandesuka?". But I'm sure it's not because of wether it is a statment or a question. Can someone help me about this?

  • 1
    Are you asking specifically about when wo can be replaced with wa, or do you not understand the function of wo and wa at all? If it's the latter then there are many sites on learning Japanese that will answer this for you. Dec 11, 2020 at 14:56
  • It probably would be more insightful to separately read up on what は (wa) and を (wo) mean in general. They both are particles, but serve different purposes grammatically. In specific sentences though, it can be the case that both work and result in the same overall meaning, but with differing nuance (See here and here for more).
    – user40476
    Dec 11, 2020 at 15:24
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    Hi? You're not sure if you're greeting us? 🤣🤣
    – istrasci
    Dec 11, 2020 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


wa indicates the topic (similar to a subject) of the sentence. wo indicates the object of the sentence.

While there is more to it, a beginner can think of the noun marked with wa as performing the verb. The noun marked with wo is having the verb done to it.

  • I'd say that explaining the topic as similar to a subject and performing the verb will probably lead to quite a lot of unlearning later. Whereas the topic in a Japanese sentence is often the subject, it can just as easily be the object, or the indirect object, or the “large subject” and “topic” and “object” exist on two different axes.
    – Zorf
    Dec 13, 2020 at 12:45

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