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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 ...
74
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4answers
44k views

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 ...
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
20
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2answers
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When asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'?

As per the title, when asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'? For example, we are taught this: おしごとは。 'What is your job?' But I don't understand why it isn't ...
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4answers
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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...
19
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3answers
1k views

私は猫が好き and 猫は私が好き

I'm an absolute beginner. I've learned Japanese in my spare time for less than two months. This is my first question here. Even though I think this question is potentially trivial, it's perhaps the ...
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4answers
2k views

Is the “wa-particle” in katakana ワ or ハ?

Is the "wa-particle" in katakana ワ or ハ? (Just a quick question - I think I have seen both used, but if ワ is correct then I have just seen the results of a computer o/p automatically using ハ)
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2answers
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〜くはない vs 〜くない in adjective negations

As I spend more time in Japan, I pick up habits that I'm not sure are good or bad. My question here is about nuance / occasion of usage. In formal contexts, how does the impression differ between ...
14
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4answers
27k 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 ...
14
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2answers
551 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 ...
13
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4answers
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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: ...
12
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5answers
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Why does 悪く(は)ない give a condescending feeling?

I thought it just meant "It's not bad" but I read some comments from Japanese people who said that it can sound too condescending or like the speaker feels superior to the listener. Why is that? In ...
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2answers
6k views

Can we have two thematic は particles in a sentence?

Good afternoon all, 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. ...
11
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2answers
654 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*...
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2answers
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〜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 "...
11
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2answers
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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, ...
10
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2answers
909 views

What does the word 「ありゃしねえ」mean?

It is a situation which a salesperson announces to a group of people to attract them to buy his goods. Here is the full sentence. こんなお買【か】いどくはどこの世【せ】界【かい】へいったって ありゃしねえよ
10
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1answer
357 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" used without "ない", I'd like to ask, what "じゃ" ...
10
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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A は/が difference [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)? I've been trying to wrap my head around the は/が differences, and I'm trying to figure out the differences between the thematic ...
9
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2answers
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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 ...
8
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3answers
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Another は and に question for 「わたしゃキモチ悪くて見れないんだよ」

「わたしゃキモチ悪くて見れないんだよ」 It's disgusting and I can't look. Sometimes は still confuses me. I assume I should parse this as わたしゃ(キモチ悪くて見れないんだよ) with an implied subject for 気持ち悪い i.e. 'it'. I started ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What could a phrase like アルコールはダメなんだ possibly mean?

The phrase アルコールはダメなんだ is from a manga I read, in which a guy responds to his friend when being asked if he wants a beer. He appears not to be into alcohol, even goes so far to say that "I don't like ...
8
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1answer
783 views

About は particle and the 'contrast' it implies

I started learning Japanese about 2 months ago and today, while talking with a friend of mine who has been studying Japanese for about two years, he gave me this example scenario about は particle and ...
8
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2answers
346 views

Combinatorical relative clauses

I have 3 sentences, each with relative clause as follows. By considering the English translation, is my understanding correct? A: 私が好きな女性はたばこを吸わない。 A': The woman who likes me does not smoke. ...
8
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4answers
622 views

Analyzing sentences like 日本がピンチだ and 明日は雨だ

How are sentences like 日本がピンチだ (Japan is in a pinch) and 明日は雨だ (tomorrow it will rain) analyzed? Translating them trivially, as 日本がピンチだ Japan is a pinch 明日は雨だ Tomorrow is rain doesn't make ...
8
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2answers
155 views

What is the purpose of はある in this sentence?

顔の大きさの半分はあるであろう大きなマスク。(source) I've been told that this sentence is describing the size of the mask being half the size of the face, Can't we simply say 「顔の大きさの半分であろう大きなマスク」 instead?
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4answers
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次の「普通」What does it mean?

A : この電車は東京へ行きますか。 B : いいえ、行きません。次の「普通」ですよ。 I'm not sure what B meant by 'the next local train'. It sounds like he's saying that 'this train is the next local train' which meaning I could not ...
7
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3answers
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は significance in ゲームは上手いですね

I'm confused by the reaction to は in this exchange A:「ゲームは上手いですね!」 B:「ゲーム「は」.....」 source context: http://neetsha.jp/inside/up/1/2/12840/24.jpg
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2answers
350 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. ...
7
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1answer
741 views

The difference between 時 and 時は

I know that it's correct to use は after 時, and it's also correct to omit it. For example: 子供の 時、よく海で泳ぎました。 子供の 時は、よく海で泳ぎました。 How does the meaning of the sentence change when the particle is ...
7
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1answer
250 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?
7
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1answer
97 views

Why does は refer to a particular rather than general in some cases?

The sentence I am asking about is the following [魚]{さかな}が[好]{す}きじゃない[人]{ひと}は、[肉]{にく}が[好]{す}きだ 」 Person who does not like fish like meat Source: Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese My ...
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3answers
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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?
7
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1answer
629 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 ...
7
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2answers
418 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 ...
7
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1answer
409 views

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。
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1answer
379 views

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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Rosetta Stone uses は instead of わ

Just started learning japanese again. My college offers no class on this so I am learning on my own. I have been using Rosetta Stone on and off again for awhile now. One this I have noticed is that ...
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4answers
474 views

Shouldn't there be a のは in this sentence?

This is a an example sentence from a JLPT textbook to explain the use of たらしめる: 想像力{そうぞうりょく}こそ作品{さくひん}を芸術{げいじゅつ}たらしめる要素{ようそ}である。 I understand the meaning, which is something like, "The key element ...
6
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3answers
468 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. ...
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4answers
703 views

Topic は vs. direct object を for “I have never X”

The sentence pattern for "I have never X" is covered in this question: Is there a form for "I have never heard of"? However, I'm confused on which particle to use for the noun in this ...
6
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2answers
153 views

Am I correctly using は and が here.

A friend mentioned that he's sometimes not understood well in English. I thought his English was perfectly OK. I responded, それはそうだかもしりませんが私があなたの言うことは通じます Am I using these particles correctly? ...
6
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2answers
219 views

What purpose does は serve after へ in this sentence?

ところで、今週末のゴルフ大会へは行くんですか。 I feel I have a decent understanding of both of those particles, but I'm wondering how the meaning of the sentence changes with and without the は after へ.
6
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1answer
295 views

連用形+は+せん (殺しはせん。) meaning? [duplicate]

The line 「殺しはせん。」 is said by a character in anime. What is せん here (I assume it's somehow related to negative form of する)? Plain negative (I'm not killing you)? Volitional neg. (I'm not intending to ...
6
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2answers
523 views

How to rephrase sentences with an ambiguous は to indicate the contrastive or thematic / 「主題」と「対比」の解釈の余地のある、あいまいな「は」の言い換え方

First, some background. My question is kind of an extension of this previously-answered question about the difference between は and が. While I am fairly clear on the different usages of は as a ...
6
votes
1answer
170 views

Using particles with a time as a topic

If I wanted to say "I ate something this morning" or "Did you eat something this morning", would I use a particle with "this morning"? Example: けさ、なにかたべましたか? vs けさはなにかたべましたか?
6
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1answer
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Grammar behind adverbs + は

This is the sentence in question: 寂しくはあったけれど... My impression is that it means "There was loneliness but" or "He/She/It was lonely but". However I don't understand the grammar behind it. It looks to ...