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午後は授業はありません。 I saw this sentence in my book, and from my understanding the second は marks the topic of the sentence, and in some cases “は…は” highlights the contrast between two topics, but in this case 午後 obviously means “in the afternoon”, so why is 午後 followed by は?

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    Either 午後 is the topic, or 午後 is also being contrasted with something else.
    – Riolku
    Apr 29, 2022 at 17:10

1 Answer 1

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You can drop は for 午後は: 午後授業はありません.

As noted in the comment, both can be topic or contrast.

  • 午後は授業はありません. (午前中は授業があります) 1st: contrast 2nd: topic
  • 午後は授業はありません. (パーティーがあります) 1st: topic 2nd: contrast
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  • Is it the case that the first は is the most likely to be marking the topic?
    – Riolku
    Apr 29, 2022 at 23:59
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    @Riolku It is likely to be true. But topic/contrast are not strictly distinct. It seems to me that contrast is emphasized topic.
    – sundowner
    Apr 30, 2022 at 4:18

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