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Japanese Lesson: Particles は、が、の、を

In Japanese, proper uses of articles are extremely important. You can make a sentence in which you meant to say "The dog eats the cheese", but instead you might say "The cheese eats the dog" because you used the wrong article. Here I will be explaining four of the most common Japanese articles (as simply as I can)

Though it is the hiragana character for 'ha', this is actually pronounced 'wa' when used as a particle. This is placed after the topic of a sentence, i.e who or what you are talking about. This one is often confused with が ga, and there is a difference between the two, of course.

は Example: 私は太郎です。watashi wa taro desu: I am Taro.

In the sentence above, Taro would be introducing himself, making him the topic of the sentence.

ga is used to state the subject of the sentence. This is often confused with は, and maybe the easiest way to look at it is to think that it adds emphasis. Example:

太郎です: I am Taro

太郎です: I am Taro.

Not too drastic of a change, but it's important that you do know the difference between the two.

の is most commonly used to show possession. In my opinion, this is one of the easiest particles in Japanese. You simply put it after the noun, and it immediately makes "me" into "mine", or "you" into "your/yours".

これは私犬です kore wa watashi no inu desu: This is my dog

wo/w directs the direct object, i.e what is being affected by the verb (ex. I eat bread, I kick it, etc.). This one can be kind of confusing, but once you understand it it gets easier.

あなたはミルク飲みましたanata wa miruku o nomimashita: You drank milk

If there are any more questions about a certain particle, feel free to ask about it in the comments. And of course, native speakers, please correct me if I made any mistakes.


List of Lessons: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/18842185

November 18, 2016



すごい!!素晴らしいレッスン! :) You can use " は " also for verbs right? For example: I eat : 私は食べます ( watashi ha/wa tabemasu ) or I walk: 私は歩きます(watashi ha/wa arukimasu ) Etc... right? :)


Of course. You're marking the topic of the sentence.


Oh mer god.... you are so good at japanese whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. XD Jk good lesson! Keep up the good work.


Do you think learning Hiragana first, then Katakana and then slowly learn Kanji and the grammar at the same time is a good way to learn Japanese or is it better to start learning grammar right at the start right beside Hiragana?


Learning very simple grammar (mainly just using は and の) along with Hiragana is probably one of the best ways to start. Then learn Katakana and a bit more grammar, then start to learn simple and useful kanji.


Thank you for these lessons. I've stated the Memrise Japanese course and they don't provide explanations. Your explanations are very helpful.


I'm glad to hear that


a little late but can you explain the O one a little more?

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