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21 votes
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Why does 悪く(は)ない give a condescending feeling?

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/...
naruto's user avatar
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16 votes
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Why is this sentence ungrammatical? 「お寺が公園のとなりです。」

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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15 votes
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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)

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 ...
naruto's user avatar
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15 votes
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What could a phrase like アルコールはダメなんだ possibly mean?

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....
naruto's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why say "〜、皆には出来る。" instead of " 〜、皆は出来る。" in this context?

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 ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
10 votes

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

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 -- ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
10 votes

次の「普通」What does it mean?

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 ...
macraf's user avatar
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10 votes
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The difference between 時 and 時は

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 ...
chocolate's user avatar
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10 votes

Is くらい required in 「牛乳ぐらいは買ってください」?

牛乳は買ってください。 牛乳ぐらいは買ってください。 The difference of the two sentences is probably bigger than you might imagine. は is fundamentally a contrast marker that sometimes can be translated as "at least" ...
naruto's user avatar
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9 votes
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Function of は in にはなる

It modifies 好きになれなかった and adds an emphasis that the statement relates only to 好きに. To explain by example, 気持ち悪くはなかったけど、ちょっとしんどかった 美味しくはなかったけど、まずくもなかった In both cases は is used to signify that you ...
Enno Shioji's user avatar
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9 votes

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

Reason for using「は」 The「は」provides contrast. It provides an unspoken (in English) and contrasting parenthetical context as shown below. 日本語の読み書きは皆にはできません。 Not everyone can read and write ...
sazarando's user avatar
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9 votes
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Use は or が with ある when the phrase doesn't explicit the place

The basic difference is already covered in this question: What's the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)? The following is a brief summary. As you can see in the above link, each sentence has ...
naruto's user avatar
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9 votes
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When sentences have several clauses with several subjects/topics, do they use more than one "ga" or "wa"?

Where do you have to set the topic or subject markers "wa" and "ga" in sentences with several clauses? Somewhere before the predicate the subject corresponds to. To put it very simply, Japanese ...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes

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

To add to @Naruto's brilliant answer: When asked "What's there? / What do you have?" (なにがありますか?), you'll reply with (C) つくえがあります, not つくえは...* When asked "Are there any desks? / Do you have a desk?" ...
chocolate's user avatar
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8 votes
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How does 最初の何年かは work here?

[何年]{なんねん}か means "a few / several years" (≂ [数年]{すうねん}) cf: [何日]{なんにち}か ≂ [数日]{すうじつ} "a few / several days" [何人]{なんにん}か ≂ [数人]{すうにん} "a few / several people" [何回]{なんかい}か ≂ [数回]{すうかい} "a few ...
chocolate's user avatar
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8 votes
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Does 私は地震が怖い make sense?

私は地震が怖い。lit. As for me, earthquakes are scary. → I am scared of earthquakes. Your sentence is correct and natural. が is used with several adjectives that indicate one's feelings, e.g. 「怖い」「欲しい」「...
chocolate's user avatar
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8 votes
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Small あ after は?

The phrase 「鬼【おに】は外【そと】、福【ふく】は内【うち】」 is said during the 豆まき mamemaki performed as part of 節分 Setsubun. It is often recited rhythmically [●]{オ}[●]{ニ}[●]{ワ}[●]{ー}[●]{ソ}[●]{ト}○○[●]{フ}[●]{ク}[●]{ワ}[●]{...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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8 votes

Clarification on the particle following 今年

今年 doesn't take any particle when it is not topicalized and it works as a simple adverb. 今日, 昨日, 明日 and so on doesn't take に, either. If you want to topicalize 私, you should say: 私は今年ローラースケートを習いたいです。 ...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why 忘れてる in「来週(明日)には忘れてる」?

I think the main difference lies in when the said action (instant-state-change verb, 忘れる in your case) can happen. 来週には○○する implies something will happen around or (shortly) before 来週 but not now, ...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes
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Which は is this?

You have to think a bit differently when a negative sentence is concerned. In a negative sentence, は is the default choice (See: Why is the topic marker often used in negative statements (ではない, ~...
naruto's user avatar
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7 votes
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What does the 「たあ」 do in this sentence?

It is a sound change of "とは". It may be used in old city(下町 in Japanese) in Tokyo.
Yuuichi Tam's user avatar
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