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 ...


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 ...


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

I think the existing answers are missing something very important, and that is that に (the dative case marker) can be used to mark subjects given certain predicates. This is called the "dative subject construction". In modern Japanese, I believe you only see this construction if it is contrasted (i.e., には), or if it is embedded. Some examples may help: ...


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]...


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

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 ...


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