"I do not eat meat."

Translation:肉は食べません。

1 year ago

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/FairlieReese

What's the difference between the particles は and を in this lesson? They seem to be used interchangeably in these sorts of sentences.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jungerstein
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を: Object marker.

は: Topic marker. If one needs the object as a topic, を + は = は for most cases (just as de + el = del in Spanish).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yahel26
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But here the topic is "I", not the "meat". I don't eat meat. Not "The meat is being eaten by me"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jungerstein
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  1. は is not a subject marker. It only marks topic. Meanwhile, topic and subject are different. The topic can be subject, or object, or adverbial, or something else. '肉はおいしいです' (the meat is delicious) and '肉はたべません' ([I do] not eat meat) are both correct; the two 'meat's are both topics, but in the former, the 'meat' is subject, and in the latter, the 'meat' is object.

  2. The subject is implied as 'I'. The topic is 'meat'.

  3. The subject is omitted in the sentence. That is a feature of the Japanese language. The feature is to be understood instead of preset as in cases of European languages.

  4. Finally, the sentence in question is verbally 'Meat - TOPIC - eat - POLITENESS - NEG. ' There is no passive voice; from the context or meanings one infers that the 'meat' is object of 'eat', not its subject.


P.S.

Though in the Far East we do have the (almost) same concepts of subjects, objects, verbs, tenses etc., in our languages we do not always have all the rules working in the same way as Latin / German / Russian / English / French does. Among these Asian languages, Japanese is one that is easier to learn because it has explicit case markers; but the markers do not work exactly as cases in European languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duojapanes

In this same lesson, there is a sentence "I do not eat fish" that is "さかなを食べません". Why is one を while the other is は? They appear to be the same sentence structure.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DannyJoelS

Sakana wa tabemasu " talking about fish, i will eat it." "Sakana wo tabemasu." I will eat fish. The particle wa has more than one function. In this case the particle wa is the topic. The whole sentence is "watashi ga sakana wa tabemasu." Talking about fish I am the one who will eat it." The particle wa just uses fish as a topic. "Watashi ga sakana wo tabemasu." I am the one who will eat fish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duojapanes

sorry, it's actually I eat fish ”さかなを食べます”

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toffee1141

I've been teaching myself Japanese for years, off and on. However, this is still confusing to me. Thank you for explaining. Can someone explain this in another way?

What about 肉をください。

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fundiments
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を just shows the word behind it is an object like food or something like that and 肉をください is saying please give me some meat.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jungerstein
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In this sentence, we often accent on 'please give me' / 'can I have', instead of 'meat'. This sentence for a request needs no topic --- it is not necessary to appear in each sentence. The topic can be as well understood as the blabla in 'It is blabla that ...', though the ~は structure is more common than its English counterpart.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Edikan2
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Wouldn't '肉を食べません' work as well, giving the context?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielCap332325

Having been looking through some of these forums i think the reason is that you would use ha(wa) in a negative statement. I could be wrong but thats what I've heard

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexandrSantos
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Please could someone explain to me the difference between...

肉を食べません

肉は食べません

肉が食べません

I reckon that, since Japanese has no concept of stress, subtle differences in meaning could be conveyed by employing different particles, as if one of them might be the answer to "what do you not eat?" whereas another one may be used to answer the question "who doesn't eat meat?" If so, are all the sentences above correct? What is the difference between them?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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肉は食べません Implies that although I don't eat meat, I eat something else.

肉を食べません A simple sentense saying I do not eat meat. But we tend to use the first one more often.

肉が食べません Never correct. 肉 is an object so cannot use が.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

肉が食べません can be translated to "The meat doesn't eat." Although it's a nonsensical sentence, it does show what the function of が is ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/samertabbal

How do you say "I don't want to eat meat (now)" as opposed to "I don't eat meat (ever)" ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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  1. 今(いま)は肉(にく)が食(た)べたくありません。

  2. 普段(ふだん)は肉(にく)を食(た)べません。 / or you can say 菜食主義者(さいしょくしゅぎしゃ)です (I am a vegetarian.)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafailFridman

In your previous comment you said that its incorrect to use 肉が食べ.... But you've just typed it in this comment. Can you explain, please?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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食べます I eat meat.

食べたいです I want to eat meat.

When using たい to represent the wish to do something, the particle を has to be replaced with が (old school teaching, while people start to use を with たい these days)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexandrSantos
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Thank you for clearing this up.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mayanightstar

These examples are super helpful for explaining the difference, thank you!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beste_Schurk
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I would very much like to know this. I've seen a lot of people explaining the は/を/が but they're all really confusing.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LennyTheHo

I missed the ん ):

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmajunior
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私も! Would someone please tell us what is the ん function in that sentence?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarianoAlipi
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~masu is the positive polite form of the verb. ~masen is the negative one.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YeayYeay

Does anyone know how to say negative without politeness?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanDale3
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~nai is the informal negative verb suffix

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

It should be noted that it's not a simple suffix. That is to say, you cannot always exchange ません with ない because it depends on the class of verb you are trying to conjugate.

For example: ・食べません (polite) -> 食べない (plain) so far, so easy for ichidan verbs

・飲みます (polite) -> 飲ない (plain) a bit more complicated for godan verbs

・来ません (polite, pronounced kimasen) -> 来ない (plain, pronounced konai) luckily there are only 3 or 4 verbs which don't fall into the above two classes f(^_^;

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bioguada

When do you use 'wo tabe masu' or 'wa tabe masu'?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexOsheter

This should come in handy

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Miranda59160

O_o i thought "neko" was cat ??

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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Don't eat neko >< It is "niku" though :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luka661102

Shouldnt this work as well: O-Niku wa tabemasen. Is it wrong to use an honorific O in this case? Why does it work with Sake?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

I think it should be fine to use the お honorific for にく, but it is less common (and somewhat feminine, I believe?)

I have no idea why it's more common/normal for some words to take the お honorific (such as 酒, 風呂, 水) but not others. I'd be curious to know if anyone has a good answer for it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/languagen3rd69

I don't think は is the right particle to use here. I've been learning Japanese for a few years now and I have never heard anyone use は in this sort of context. in fact, when i first started, my teacher made sure we DIDN'T use は in place of を in sentences like this.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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When I first learnt Japanese, my teacher made sure we DID use は in place of を in sentences like this (は coupling with negative verb clause for stressing). I have been learning Japanese for a couple of decades now and I find usage like this all over Japan (written and conversation in all circumstances).

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yoshibro26

Why is は necessary?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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A particle is necessary for complete sentence. は is not the only one accepted. を is also OK.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LucasHakkan

it's wrong! The correct sentence is " [watashi wa] 肉を食べません", and "にくは食べません" sound like "the meal don't eat". The particle は must be next of the subject (watashi), that is hidden on that case, but must be there.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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Can you read other comments before saying this is wrong? This is already discussed in depth.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob634449

He probably did. The "explanations" do nothing tp actually answer the question.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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Look at the thread that was posted by AlexandrSantos. Post the specific question where that thread did not answer.

Also は is not subject marker and well discussed by jungerstein's thread

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcusHarr626795

Meat tastes so good tho

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Austin987345

Would it be acceptable to use "肉では食べません"?

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
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No. The extra で does not make sense. It would make the sentence mean: I do not eat with meat.

1 week ago
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