22

I think it may sound condescending because it sounds like you have the right to say something is clearly bad. Typically, you can directly say 悪く(は)ない to someone when you judge their performance/creation as a teacher/expert/senior/etc. When the creator/performer is not present, 悪く(は)ない tends to be more often used. (For example it's usually safe to say ...


21

When being used as a grammatical particle ([助詞]{じょし}), は is pronounced わ (wa), を is pronounced お (o), and へ (which you may not have come across yet) is pronounced え (e). I've never used Rosetta Stone but it seems quite strange that it would not mention this... Information as to the historical reason for this difference between spelling and pronunciation ...


19

The basic answer is that は is written ハ in katakana. However, I think it depends on why it's written in katakana. One reason you might write something in katakana is to communicate pronunciation, and in this case the particle は would be written ワ: spelling pronunciation おはよう オハヨー こんにちは コンニチワ You can see this sort of use of ...


18

I would have no choice but to say that there is a difference. Little particles do have that kind of power and influence over much bigger words than themselves. You would sound like you are a little more satisfied with your job if you said 「[今]{いま}の[仕事]{しごと}は[悪]{わる}くないです。」 than when you said 「今の仕事は悪くはないです。」. This is a prime example of the contrastive は. ...


17

In this case, が is incorrect because you are conveying a known piece of information. When you describe a known or general fact about a subject (お寺), you have to mark it with は, making it the topic of the sentence. お寺は公園の隣です。 The temple is next to the park. (This is a known fact to you.) 鳥は飛べます。 Birds can fly. (This is a general fact.) Note ...


15

This is not as much of a newbie question as you might think. dainichi gave a good general rule-of-thumb, but at the risk of confusing you, I'd like to point out that there are many cases when を and が are actually interchangeable. For example, the sentence "I can play the piano" can be written either ピアノが弾【ひ】ける piano ga hikeru or ピアノを弾【ひ】ける piano ...


15

「Verb in 連用形{れんようけい}(continuative form) + は + しない」 = "would not (verb) one bit" ← rather emphatic 「い」 is the 連用形 of the verb 「いる」. 「誰{だれ}もいはしない」, therefore, means "no one would be (there)" You will encounter this grammar pattern over and over. Note that the 「は」 is occasionally replaced by a 「や」 in more informal speech.


15

It is a little remnant of [美文調]{びぶんちょう}, the ornate writing style that was popular in the literary circle for a decade or two in Meiji Era. The style as a whole has largely, if not completely, died out in literature but has remained alive in [浪曲]{ろうきょく}, which is a recitation of stories that sounds like a mixture of singing and speaking. (Please go to ...


15

「悪{わる}く(は)ない。」, contrary to what you seem to believe, does not really mean "It is not bad.". At least, that is not what the phrase means all the time. "It is not bad." is only the dictionary or machine translation of 「悪{わる}く(は)ない。」. It fails to include the nuance of the Japanese phrase. When native speakers such as myself say 「悪{わる}く(は)ない。」, they often ...


14

It depends not only on the verb, but on the form of the verb. The general rule is that static verbs and adjectives take "ga" and "action verbs" take "o" on the direct object. piano-o hiku play the piano piano-ga hikeru can play the piano Here, playing the piano is an action, thus "o" is used. Being able to play the ...


14

Native Japanese speaker here. Your friend's scenario makes no sense, period. Your own understanding of 「は」 indeed makes far more sense. The contrastive 「は」 works like this: Let us suppose you have recently been to three new restaurants and you have a different impression of each. You might say: 「Restaurant A はとてもよかった。B はまあまあだった。でも C はよくなかった。」 ...


14

It means "I'm not good with alcohol" or "I don't like alcohol". Of course it can also mean "Alcohol is not good (for your health)" and "Alcohol is prohibited (in this event)", depending on the context. In general, ~がダメだ can mean "to be not good at ~" or "not to like ~". For example you can say サッカーはダメです, 彼は英語がダメです, etc.


13

You can see it's ハ as what the old MS office assistant F1 said You can also see the usage of ヲ in the above sentence As a side note the text above isn't a translation of the English version Unfortunately F1 is the only one who talks in Katakana. Here are the other Japanese assistants and English assistants


13

You can add focus particles like は or も to verbs, but in order to do so, you have to split the verb into two parts so that the particle has some place to go. We'll split the verb into its continuative stem (called 連用形 in Japanese) and the verb する. For example:   忘れる   → 忘れ+する   忘れる+も = 忘れもする Or:   忘れない   → 忘れ+しない   忘れない+は = 忘れはしない Your example is a ...


13

A (te-form) + は + B (masu-form) is a common pattern that describes someone repeatedly/habitually does B right after A as a paired action. See: 〜しては is this a grammar pattern? This set is often repeated for emphasis: A ては B、A ては B. 幼い頃、よく泣いては母親を困らせていた。 When I was young I always cried and annoyed my mother. Interestingly, AてはB as a whole sometimes behaves ...


12

I think you probably meant to write: 私は日本語が悪いです。(Lit. As for me, Japanese is bad.) 私の日本語は悪いです。(Lit. My Japanese is bad.) The word 悪い is a literal translation of the English 'bad'. In Japanese, you don't use 悪い to say you're not good at something. Instead, I recommend saying: 私は日本語が[下手]{へた}です。(Lit. As for me, Japanese is poor/unskillful.) 私は日本語が[上手]...


12

Your friend is correct in his/her understanding. 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。 In A's question, "this train" is surely the subject. It is explicitly mentioned. When B replies, however, s/he utters two short sentences with a different (and unmentioned) subject for each. That is the Japanese language; It is all about context. A: &...


11

You're correct, this kind of は means "at least". 3個は食べられる。 I can eat at least three. ここに3人はいる。 There are at least three people here. 3時間は待つ必要がある。 We have to wait at least for three hours. Of course number + は does not mean "at least" in sentences like this: 5個のりんごがある。3個はまだ青い。 There are five apples. Three of them are still green. 10年は長い時間だ。 Ten years is a ...


11

The に form is the "base" sentence here, and the は is added for emphasis. One key to understanding how できる happens grammatically is that できる is often describing the thing that can be done, instead of the people or things doing the thing. Sometimes a closer gloss is doable rather than can -- English can describes the people or things doing the thing, while ...


11

You are correct and that website is incorrect on this matter. Upon hearing/reading the sentence: 「​魚 {さかな} ​が​好 {す} ​きじゃない​人 {ひと} ​は、​肉 {にく} ​が​好 {す} ​きだ。 」 Practically all Japanese-speakers will take the 「人」 to mean "people in general". It is just extremely unnatural to form that sentence when the speaker/writer is referring to one particular ...


11

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。 You might say the latter to imply... "I used to swim in the sea in my childhood (but now I don't anymore)." Here, the は is functioning as the contrastive particle (対比の「は」). You might also say the latter when responding to a question... "What did you often do in your childhood?" -- "In my childhood, I often ...


10

Often the particle は is written "wa" in Latin letters, because は, when used as a particle, is in fact pronounced the same as わ. Of course, は, when it is not a particle, is usually pronounced "ha". を is pronounced お, and therefore sometimes transcribed "wo" and sometimes "o". Similarly, the particle へ is pronounced the same as え, whence "he" or "e". For ...


10

は is fairly matter of fact. "Where is Shinjuku?" って is a little more nuanced. Its like "Oh, now that you mention Shinjuku...where is it?" or "Speaking of Shinjuku, where is that?" For all intents and purposes I gather the actual end-point meaning is the same but って is linking it more with something that has been previously said whilst は could just be ...


10

Particles have multiple uses or meanings. が can be used to mark the subject. However 好き【すき】 is an adjective not a verb. In this case が marks the target of 好き【すき】 which is cats. 1) 私は猫が好き 2) 猫は私が好き The pattern of these sentences is: Topic は target of adjective が adjective I(topic) like(adjective) cats(target of adjective). Cats(topic) like(adjective)...


10

It may help to understand the nature of: the は particle (topic marker), the nature of the が particle (subject marker), and the fact that 好き is an adjective, not a verb. Japanese is what is known as a topic prominent language. In English, no distinction is made between the topic of a sentence and the subject. In Japanese, however, they serve two different ...


10

A can have two meanings. One is the meaning of A', the other is of B'. Actually, I took A as the same meaning as B' when I read at first. When you say "歌{うた}が好{す}きな彼{かれ}が...", I understand that as "he who likes songs...". However, if you say "彼が好きな歌が..." I take it as "a song or songs he likes..." Generally, "Xが好きなY" has different shades of meaning ...


10

There are some lingering question marks in the initial post and in the other answers regarding why は is read as /wa/ in こんにちは. Other posters have already noted that this は is the topic particle -- which is always read as /wa/. The remaining question is, why is this particle は read as /wa/? The short(ish) answer The answer lies in history. According to ...


10

B is is saying: It's the next (local) train that you need to take / is going to Tokyo. There is no explicit topic in this sentence. The person replied to A's question with いいえ、行きません。 and added a suggestion based on a (quite natural) guess that a person asking about some target station intends to go to that station. By asking a question you are not ...


9

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar has the following to say about this: When って is attached to a noun, it is close in meaning to the topic marker は。When って is attached to a sentence as in 外国で暮らすって難しいね。 it is closer in meaning to 「..というのは、..」. However, it is more colloquial and emotive than は and というのは。In fact, if the predicate does ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible