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Questions tagged [particle-は]

助詞「は」. Indicates the topic of a sentence or shows contrast in the universe of discourse.

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What's the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)?

When is it correct to use は but not が, and when is it correct to use が but not は? Are there any times when you can use either without changing the meaning of the sentence? How does switching change ...
nevan king's user avatar
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36 votes
1 answer
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Why is the topic marker often used in negative statements (ではない, ~とは思わない)?

What function does は provide in statements such as 本ではない or 本だとは思わない? I notice the は after と is often left out, at least if a Google search for 思わない is any indication, but there still seems to be a ...
Kef Schecter's user avatar
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96 votes
4 answers
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What is the difference between "に" and "には"?

The title should be pretty self-explanatory. What meanings does each convey? And in what kinds of circumstances would one be used instead of the other? For example, what are the differences between ...
voithos's user avatar
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10 votes
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In this dialogue, why is は used in the question, but が in the answer?

田中さんは今日来ますか。 はい、来ますよ。あ、田中さんが 来ました。   Does Tanaka san come today? Yes, he does. Oh, Tanaka san came. I don't understand the use of が in the second sentence.
Ricchan10's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
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"Te-form" versus "masu-stem + して" (消しているうちに versus 消ししているうちに)

Is there any difference between 消して and 消しして in the following sentences? For example, A: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては消ししているうちに、朝になってしまった。 B: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては消しているうちに、朝になってしまった。
Display Name's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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が in subordinate clauses

Since you can't use は in subordinate clauses, it looks to me like が is forced to take on both roles, so how would we distinguish them? For example, if we have the sentence 僕が好きな動物 how do we ...
Museum of Truisms's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does 「電話は切れた」 sound more adversarial than 「電話が切れた」?

I noticed that while 「…、電話が切れた」 sounds just like a neutral phrase ("... and the call got cut off."), 「…、電話は切れた」 sounds more like you were negatively affected / that the person on the other side ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does は mean 'at least' in this sentence?

I can't catch the grammar of the following sentence 今なら嫉妬で100人は殺{ヤ}れますよ。 In the previous text there was no reference to 100人. What is the function of は here? Is it a contrastive marker used ...
Tabibito's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
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私は猫が好き and 猫は私が好き

I started reading basic grammar of Japanese, and found this sentence: ねこがすきです。 I like cats. I thought が is the subject particle, so I supposed that ねこ would be the subject of the sentence. すき seems ...
Damkerng T.'s user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
10k views

Difference between って and は as topic marker

I often see って being used to mark a topic, such as in the sentence 新宿ってどこ? I'm aware that this is more colloquial compared to the topic marker は. Other than the formality aspect, are って and は ...
HAL's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
720 views

Why say "〜、皆には出来る。" instead of " 〜、皆は出来る。" in this context?

The sentence in a translation: 将来を見据えながら点と点を結ぶということなど、皆にはできません。 While looking at the future, one cannot see how to connect the dots. My assumption is that the following is the "base" sentence. ...
Just Someone's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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Why can は and を sometimes be used interchangeably?

For example: 肉は食べますが、すしを食べません。
O.O's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
4k views

〜しては is this a grammar pattern?

I was trying to translate this sentence: 僕はアルバイトしてはレコードばかり買っていたから、一日半働けばLP一枚買えるな、と思って働いていた。 I think I get the overall meaning as: Because I spent all my wages on records I went to work thinking "...
Robin's user avatar
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1 answer
566 views

Particle は replacing を - where does the stress lie?

I've recently learned that the particle を can be replaced by either particles は/が. However, the stress on the focus of the sentence doesn't make sense to me. My book gives this example: ご飯を食べました。...
Daniel Martin's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
842 views

Meaning of 誰もいはしない in this sentence

「どうせ誰もいはしないと高をくくっていたところもある。」 This one's throwing me for a bit of a loop. The translation says "He also didn't really take the possibility of anyone being there seriously." It makes sense to me ...
Aurast's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
983 views

"は + verb" instead of "を + verb"?

I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example, recently I've seen その覚悟はしてました I was prepared for that ...
RadonBust's user avatar
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1 answer
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には with plain form of verb

I'm trying to figure out what this sentence below means, but I'm having trouble with the には after the dictionary form of いる. もう1匹居るには居るんじゃが…。 I've read Dictionary form of verb followed by に, but ...
pgt42's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
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What is the difference between は and のは?

The following sentence means "seeing all the different foreign people was interesting." This, according to my Japanese friends is incorrect: 色々な外国人を見ているは面白かった。 ... and this is correct: ...
Questioner's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

When do you mark きょう or other similar relative time expressions with は

I've been trying to make proper sentences using the word きょう when I realized that I'm not really actually sure when I'm suppose to mark it with は. I know relative time expressions tend to stand alone ...
Nate's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
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Why is this sentence ungrammatical? 「お寺が公園のとなりです。」

I wrote this sentence (meaning "The temple is next to the park") in my Japanese course and my teacher said it's wrong, because I was supposed to use a は instead of a が. My understanding is that there ...
Wolf's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
10k views

The difference between は and を? [duplicate]

Hello everyone as the title states I am having difficulty understanding when to use the correct particle. As an example 肉は食べません (I do not eat meat) and やさいを食べます (I eat vegetables) Is it ...
Tokyo Rose's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
578 views

What does ては mean in this sentence?

寝太郎{ねたろう}はのんきに空{そら}をながめては暮{く}らしておりました。 My translation: Netarou was living by heedlessly looking the sky. What does ては mean in this sentence?
Display Name's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
301 views

Explanation/Usage of 瞬きしては

Could it become 瞬【まばた】いている? Why is there 瞬きする instead of 瞬く? And why is there a は at the end? Sentence from the song キラキラ星【ぼし】: きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ まばたきしては みんなをみてる きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ
Akira's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
754 views

Undertstanding 88歳の草間彌生さんは水玉の絵などが有名な芸術家で

88歳の草間彌生さんは水玉の絵などが有名な芸術家で、世界でも人気があります。 88 year old 草間彌生さん ??? and is popular even in (the rest of) the world. I'm having problems parsing the first clause. 草間彌生さんは有名な芸術家で 草間彌生 is a famous ...
user3856370's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
334 views

The meaning and nuance behind the phrase "話は通してある"

話は通してある This is a phrase I've come across a few times recently in manga. For example: 「ユキにも話は通してある」 I'm not familiar with it so I'm not quite sure of it's correct meaning and usage, looking ...
ObaraNim's user avatar
25 votes
4 answers
14k views

Can we have two thematic は particles in a sentence?

From what I understand, there are two types of は-particle: The thematic-は (topic-marker) which is used to introduce things into the universe of discourse. The contrastive-は. jkerian states that: ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
391 views

What does the 「たあ」 do in this sentence?

Here is the sentence. はったりにせよ おれたちをこいつらよばわりするたあ りっぱな度胸だぜ。 Is it a particle for emphasizing the sentence or making the verb よばわりする as imperative or something else?
George's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
500 views

は vs が in 私は言うように書いてください。

I have the following sentence in my anki app: Please write it down as I tell you. 私は言うように書いてください。 However my instincts tell me this should not be は but が. Am I correct?
Muhd's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
3k views

「は」vs 「が」 in subordinate clauses

I'm confused about「は」vs「が」 in subordinate clauses. Here are a few examples from (very basic) grammar books: 僕が 電話したとき、ナツミは もういなかった。When I called, Natsumi had already left. 弟が 日本に来たら、私は 日光に連れて行きたい。...
oh no the klaxons's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
475 views

Does 私は地震が怖い make sense?

私は地震が怖い。 For me that's like saying 私は彼がきれいです. It doesn't make sense putting 私 here.
Omae wa mou shindeiru's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
696 views

Is saying 「XはYは…」 acceptable?

In いっすんぼうし, a very popular fairy tale, this line appears: だいじんは からだは ちいさいけれど げんきな いっすんぼうしを たいそう きにいり じぶんの いえで はたらかせることにしました。 Is 「だいじんは からだは」 grammatically correct? What would be done to make ...
molonsha's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
945 views

は and を or の and わ

Okay, so I learned a little while ago that 私は日本語を悪いです is what you should say. But someone who is Japanese told me that 私の日本語わ悪いです is correct. So now I'm a little confused. Are both correct?...
Ama's user avatar
  • 97
22 votes
6 answers
54k views

Which is correct: こんばんわ or こんばんは?

I've seen both こんばんわ and こんばんは used; which is correct here? If we interpret the は as the topic particle, は would seem correct, but it seems that わ is used quite frequently anyway...
bdonlan's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
48k views

What's the difference between -ga and -o when they are used to designate a direct object?

During the past month I've been addicted to Japanese. I've listened to about 10 online tutorial video courses and read about as much printed lessons. I am determined to learn Japanese, but I am really ...
Armen Tsirunyan's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Problems with は and が

Consider: [A] 猫が好きだ To me this means [A']"I like cats." Contrast this to: [B] 猫は好きだ To me this means [B']"I like cats (among other animals)" I based my understanding of [B] from Derek ...
Flaw's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
954 views

What is this form : Verb + はせん?

I am currently trying to read Bleach in Japanese. So far I haven't ran into any difficulty that a good dictionary cannot overcome. However in this particular scene I am puzzled by a particular scene, ...
Urukann's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
383 views

What is this や in 大きすぎや?

Is this a contraction along the same lines of なければ → なきゃ? 反乱を抑えるためだけが目的だとしたらリスクが大きすぎやしないか Also, can you contract 言えば or あれば?
Axe's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
279 views

Grammatical construction「placeはsubplace、story」 as an introduction

In old stories I often find the following structure: general place は specific place 、 story unfolds for example: ① 江戸は芝、増上寺門前町で (例: ◯◯人が歩いた) ② 東海道は宮宿、ただいま名古屋市の熱田神宮辺で (例: ◯◯浪人の二人が出会った) I took ...
macraf's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why is "konnichi wa" written with は and not わ? [duplicate]

Why is "konnichi wa" in hiragana with は and not わ?
annie's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
176 views

What does the は in this sentence do?

力任せに壁面に罅{ひび}を刻んでは一つ、また一つと体のパーツを外気に晒{さら}していく。 What does は do here? Is it contrasting? Thanks!
Tomm's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
441 views

Replacing は with って

So I was talking to this girl, and she used the って in a rather odd way (at least one that I'm not acquainted with), I gave it some research and found out that って can replace は giving some kind of ...
Felipe Chaves de Oliveira's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does は apply itself to によっては?

From the question: "How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?", it is observed that: The use of によって means to change state or behaviour depending on, or ...
Flaw's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Meaning of verb followed by ちゃ

A mother is scolding her daughter. The uncle (Tomozou) speaks first: 「おかあさん、お歳暮の広告見ちゃダメ?」 友蔵が頼んでもおかあさんは首を縦に振らなかった。 「ダメですっ。」 "Mother, is looking at year-end adverts not allowed?" Even though ...
user3856370's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
856 views

What is the nuance when は directly follows a verb in plain form?

It seems like this is a remnant of (or reference to) older forms of Japanese. Is that all there is to it, or does it have special meaning? Examples from songs: 歌声 笑い声 満ちる大空 目指すは憧れ (DuDiDuWa*...
Hyperworm's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
603 views

What is じゃ in じゃない?

Since there is possibility of "じゃありません" instead of "じゃないです" (which is logical, given "ありません" is polite "ない"), and it also seemed that I have seen "じゃ" ...
herby's user avatar
  • 414
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

What does the "〜やしない" conjugation mean?

In episode 76 of Fairy Tail, Gildarts said this to Natsu: 本気でそう思ったら、止めやしないよ。 (honki de sou omottara, tomeyashinai yo) Which was translated in the subtitle as: If that's what you honestly ...
Lukman's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Use は or が with ある when the phrase doesn't explicit the place

I'm studying japanese from not that long and a doubt came to my mind studying ある and いる verbs, so sorry in advance if the question isn't clear. If we take those two phrases as example: A. ...
Giorgio Antonioli's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
669 views

AはB emphasizing B, rather than A

There are quite a few comments on another question discussing the sentence 彼が持っているのは二百円です, in which the emphasis apparently falls on 二百円. I posted a comment asking if this could be explained as the ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the difference between 時に and 時は

昨日雨が降っていた時に、私は家にいました。 昨日雨が降っていた時は、私は家にいました。 How do these two sentences differ in meaning? Thank you.
user11883's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
862 views

What is the difference between は and が in this sentence?

This is an example sentence from a set of learning materials called Kanji Odyssey 2001: 北極にはシロクマなど陸上の動物がいる。南極には陸上の動物はいない。 My question is about the bold. I understand the には I think because it is ...
user4853's user avatar