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  5. "おちゃはのみません。"


Translation:I do not drink tea.

June 8, 2017



Either way, if you're not going to drink tea, we don't need that negativity in this world...


Ha! Agreed - also funny when the sentence, "I am not Japanese" comes up... yes, duolingo you are right, no need to rub it in though. As you said - I don't need that negativity in this world.


Just came back to restudy japanese here and this comment still has my like. Good one.


You're right XD


It's not any good, my religion prevents typing this blasphemous sentence


gets mad in British


I'm kinda lost, guys. Would some of you try to explain the real difference between the particles "wa", "ga" and "o"

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は marks the topic. I can't really explain what the topic is without going overboard, so I suggest you Google it. が marks the subject. を marks the object.


My way to understand the topic is to imagine it written in italics. I don't drink tea. Which is different from I don't drink tea.


No, I think it's more like "as for".

  • As for the tea, I dont drink any


Wait, wait, wait... So could I theoretically write the sentence in any sort of order and just put the proper particle?

'Tea I don't drink' with Wa is grammatical

'I don't drink tea' would be Wo?

'Tea I don't drink' in the context of talking about something else, where it is the subject of the sentence but not the topic of conversation would be "ga"?

I feel like these distinctions were very sudden in a section about food. Though I suppose Duolingo's format makes lessons about these sorts of issues next to impossible. This is the kind of thing I feel like I need to be lectured on.


I'm just starting learning but I'll do my best.

おちゃをのみません。 ocha o nomimasen I don't drink tea.

おちゃはのみません。 ocha wa nomimasen As for tea, I don't drink it.

わたしがおちゃをのみません。 watashi ga ocha o nomimasen. I don't drink tea. In this case, to use が you have to put the subject (who or what is doing the action of drinking). が can never be used after おちゃ(ocha) because it is the object (it is going to be drinked). Notice that, if you use が you're emphasizing that it is ME who doesn't drink the tea.

Hope this helps!


To John: It's a bit annoying that Duolingo doesn't teach this distinction...

Tiago is still correct in his example sentences. Using を is acceptable because because the tea is still being acted upon (it's being actively not drunk). You can use both は and を, but the meaning of the entire sentence changes depending on which you use. If you used を, as in Tiago's case, it would mean, "(For this instance) I will not drink tea." If you used は, however, it would mean, "As for tea (in general), I don't drink it," meaning that you drink other things, but avoid/just don't ever drink tea.

Just because it's a negative sentence doesn't mean you're required to use は for it to be correct. It depends on what you're trying to say. If you're on a diet and someone offers you icecream, you could say (don't know why you'd refuse icecream...), 「すいません。今日はアイスクリームをたべません。」 Suimasen, kyou ha (wa) aisukuriimu wo tabemasen. Sorry, as for today, I won't eat icecream.

Hope this helps a bit.


Remember the old School House Rock song that says, "Mr. Morton is the subject of my sentence?" That's what は means -- it's a big flashing arrow that says "<-- hey look - its the subject of my sentence!"

"Morton san wa... {something}" That something is whatever Mr. Morton does.

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Like I said, は marks the topic, not the subject.

Here's a lazily copied answer that I found on Quora (written by Jullian Pardoe) "The 'topic' is what we are talking about; what we say about it is the 'comment'. We also think about 'agents' (those who do) and 'patients' (those to whom something is done). 'Subject' is a more grammatical construct, related to the forms of nouns and verbs. Usually the subject is the agent, and we rather lazily conflate subject and topic. But think of passives: here we make the patient the subject because, as I said, we tend to conflate subject and topic. Thus 'The pen is on the table' might be the answer to 'Where is the pen?' (topic: pen) or 'What is on the table?' (topic: table). You cannot get away with this lack of precision when answering in Japanese, as you must signal the topic:"

punkdoabc bellow also explained it pretty well

So while は and が might seem interchangeable, they aren't.


I saw some thing where it said wa was the subject marker and ga was the topic marker (it may have been the other way round) but then you get to the propblem of whats the difference between the topic and subject -_-


Yeah... The other way around. I like to think about the topic as "the last thing spoken" or "the thing that will be spoken" example A: 水は黒いです (Water is black) B: いいえ、黒いじゃない (No, it is not black) A: 見てを (look at it!) B: 見てだよ!、あんたが見られないか!?(I'm looking, can't you see it?) A: でも、黒いだ (but, it is black) B: ちょっと、これはショコラです (wait a sec, this is chocolate) A: えー、すみません?( eerh, sorry I think?) B: 阿呆 (retard) How I imagine it: A: 「水」water 「は」we will talk about it from now on 「黒いです」black is B: No, 「黒いじゃない」blackn't (imagine janai as a "negator" like the english "n't") A: [水は]を見て (The を is the predicate particle and generally the topic is the predicate too, we don't need two particles so only を survives:「水を見て"」but as we already know that "水" is the topic we will ommit that and now only「を見て」survives, a very informal sentence and some people say it even "informaler" putting "を" at the end) B: I'm looking,「あんた」(informal) you「が」we will talk about that a little ("ga" marks the subject, it's like a temporary topic while 水 remains the main topic)「見られ」can-see「ない」n't「見られない」can-seen't (japanese potential is on the verb itself not like english that is the word "can" attached to some verb, the same with negative, the word alone can mean all that)「か」question mark A: but,「黒い」black「だ」is (that's your neighbourhood friend desu but informal) B:「ちょっと」little (abreviatiton of [ちょっと待って] "little wait")「これ」this near me「は」we will talk about this now (you got it right! The topic changed from water「水」to「これ」"this")「ショコラ」chocolate.

TL;DR 「は」the thing BEFORE it is the topic「が」BEFORE this is the subject or "temporary topic"

Hope that on this strange way you understand it, at least I do (maybe because japanese is more like portuguese) sorry if it doesn't make sense I'm a learner too not a teacher if anyone wanna correct mistakes feel free to do so. Now I should sleep it's 3:00AM here in Brazil.


This was super helpful for me. Thank you! I was having some trouble figuring out the differences in a way that made sense to a conversation. This cleared it up perfectly.


what means "no" in this sentence? I'm confused.


Nomu(のむ) the verb for "to drink" is conjugated in the present/future(I think) negative. For present/future positive it would be "nomimasu" = "のみます" = "飲みます" = "(I) drink/will drink." For the negative like they have here it conjugates to "nomimasen" = "のみませえ" = "飲みませえ" = "(I) don't drink/will not drink."


I think you wrote nomimasee instead of nomimasen in your hiragana transcription


ません instead of ます


Is this statement is more of an absolute statement about tea in general versus just one particular type or offering of tea? In other words, is it similar to saying, "I don't drink any tea ever."? or is it more like "I do not drink that (specific) tea?"


That's what I'm trying to figure out to. Someone up there said that this sentence with は would mean "I don't drink tea" as in "I never drink tea", and that if it was written with を it would mean "I don't drink tea" as in "at this moment, I'm not drinking tea/I don't want it". But people are saying different things, I'm confused.


Japanese is difficult, man... I feel like once you begin to understand the particles and conjugations it begins to make more sense. Here I am wondering if は, in this sense, is ever accepted in normal Japanese because you can conjugate the verb into progressive tense. Japanese grammar is a rabbit hole that is difficult to fully understand at this level.


"I never drink tea" and "I don't drink tea" is almost the same if wanted to say no to a tea (or any other offering) just say「いいえ」or put the verb the people that offered you used on the negative form, a commom one is「欲しい」(hoshii) so just say「欲しくない」(hoshikunai).


Oh by the way 欲しい means "want"


Why is it wa and not o in the particle?


を becomes は to put emphasis on the negative. The underlying meaning is that it's not tea you're drinking, but something else :)


Is it like, you can't use を because by not drinking tea it isn't receiving an action?


The wa emphasizes that it is tea that you dont drink. You can use o and it just means you dont drink tea.


That's a good one. Lol. I can remember that !


More so that "tea (of all the drinks available) is not something I drink." It's more of a general statement saying that you do not drink tea.


Because tea is the topic, not the subject. YOU are the subject in this case (not the tea) and you're talking about not drinking tea in general (not a specific tea in your hand, etc.). You use は for the topic.


I have the same question. "I drink tea" uses the Direct Object particle. Wo "I don't drink tea" uses the subject particle. Ha In both cases, "tea" looks like a Direct Object to me !


は is actually the topic particle. It puts emphazis on the tea, that's all.


It also makes the action a general thing in this case. Because it's using は, it's saying that it's something you don't do in general (as if saying "I don't drive" [for various reasons, one of which being that you don't have a license or something]).


In this case, は is used to set it apart from other things. It's saying something along the lines of (more or less), "I make it a practice to not drink tea." Literally it was saying "Tea (in general), I don't drink."


I thought drink was のむ why is drink のひ here?


のむ is the verb "to drink". Here we have the verb conjugated on the non-past form: のみます for affirmative and のみません for negative


I drink tea - ocha wa nomi masu I dont drink tea - ocha wo nomi masen Right?


T.L.;D.R.: が is the subject particle, while を is the object particle. The topic particle, は, is used to emphasize eighter.

Think of the full sentences. Let は, the topic particle, mean "as for (such)". Someone at the table, or attending a counter, asks: "What will you drink?"

An acceptable answer could be "As for me, I drink tea", or 私はおちゃをのみます, being を the partcle for objects. Only in Japanese you avoid pronouns, so 私は is implied.

Now, imagine you enter someone's house and they try to interest you in "anything to drink, maybe a cup of tea"; or that you are at a formal event and a waiter passes by with tea and offers to serve you a cup.

Here you'd refuse it with 私がおちゃはのみません, or "As for tea, I don't drink it." Again, 私が gets omitted here.


I keep forgettig the pronoun since it is only implied. Since there is no context, would any of 'i' 'you' 'they' or 'it' work in this case?


Assume I or you. A native speaker on another topic said that he, she, it are not omitted.


Couldn't this also mean, "the tea doesn't drink"? I know it doesn't make sense, but how can I make this sentence then?


"が" is the subject particle, not "は". Your (absurd) sentence would be written as: "おちゃがのみません".

"は" is the topic particle. The topic can sometimes be the subject, but also the object. To translate it, think it as meaning "as for (such)". This exercise can be read "As for tea, I (omitted) don't drink it." Remeber: the subject is usually omitted in Japanese.



Also, "Heresy! Non-tea-drinkers must be driven out!" ;-)


Man, I know kanji look scary compared to hiragana, but I feel as if reading would be a lot easier if I knew more of them, because it makes it much easier to spot where words begin and end. One day...


It really, really does. Kanji present the problem of recognizing them, or finding what they mean if you have not met it before, which is why Japanese use furigana (the kana above kanji). It's much, much harder to parse a sentence without them, though.


what makes the sentence negative? is it because its ません as opposed to です?


i meant ます not です


Why not "I will not drink tea"


Because that would use the particle を instead of は. With を, it would mean your sentence. However, because this has は it's saying that you don't drink tea (in general or at all - you avoid or something). Make sense?


Yess thank you that helps so muchh



Why is it 「おちゃのみません」as opposed to 「おちゃのみません」?


The は makes this statement into a general thing: I don't drink tea (at all). The を makes it into a one time deal: I won't drink tea (right now or within the next few minutes). There's a pretty important distinction to be made, so I would suggest studying particles and how they break up the flow of a sentence.


Clarification, for those of you, including myself, who thought it should be を and not は at first. This sentence means, "I do not drink tea". Like, at all. With a を, I guess it would be more like "I'm not drinking tea".


What differentiates do not from do drink tea? I do not understand how the do and don't characters of this language work and where they are placed in sentences.


They are different verb conjugations that will always go at the end of a sentence. In this case polite forms of the verb 飲む nomu - drink
Affirmative sentences will have a -masu ending in polite form.
お茶を飲みます ocha wo nomimasu - (I) drink tea - lit. (tea) (object marker) (drink)
Negative sentences will have a -masen ending in polite form.
お茶は飲みません ocha wa nomimasen - (I) do not drink tea - lit. (tea) (topic marker) (not drink)
(you can also use the object marker wo for negative sentences but it's common to use a topic marker as a way of stressing that tea is something that you do not drink. Check out some of the other comments in this discussion for more info on that.)


'I am not drinking tea' was rejected. Why?


That would be お茶を飲んでいません, indicating the continuousness of your tea situation.


Or お茶は飲んでいません as in this case


Wouldn't this be the acceptable usage as opposed using the は particle? Trying to get to the bottom of this grammar situation. Obviously, お茶を飲みません is wrong here, but I thought the progressive form of 飲む accurately translates to "I don't drink tea" as it is progressive. Some more insight would be great!


If you're saying progressive as in the current form (I made the connection from your other comments), 飲む by itself means simply "to drink." It's what you slap after the kanji (or how you change the hiragana character at the end) and how you conjugate the word. Current form is Bte+iru. To change it to Bte, and because the verb ends with a む, you change the last character to -んで, then add いる after. 飲んでいる. With the は particle instead of を, it makes the sentence more of a general statement. You'd be saying, "As for tea (in general), I don't drink it." With を, it's more of a specific instance: これはお茶です。欲しいですか?→ おお、すいません。今日はお茶を飲みません。Sorry, today I won't drink tea.


おちや = o-chi-ya(ochya-ocha) (tea - té) は= ha (wa) のみ = no-mi(drink - beber) ません = ma-se-n(negative form - negación)


Why cannot be "お茶を飲みません"?


We haven't seen/learned those kanji yet !


am i correct if i say: -のみしません means i DONT drink tea (as in i do not want to) -のみません means i CAN'T drink tea -のみます i CAN drink tea -のみましす I DO drink tea


Don't want to would be "飲みたくない" It is not possible to drink tea would be "飲めません" or "飲むことができません"

飲みます would roughly mean "I will drink" or "I drink"

飲みません simply means the speaker doesn't drink tea (as in will not, or just won't).


What is the technical difference between "cannot" and "will not" here? In my native language we have no difference for this...


"Cannot" often refers to the possibility of an action that can occur, while "will not" shows determination (as if a choice is made). They mix up really easily in English, but Japanese is very particular about the difference between the two.


I think I am understanding. How can one differentiate between the two in Japanese? That's where I'm very stuck. ^_^


There's a grammatic form for it in Japanese which includes "e". For example, 飲みません I don't drink/I won't drink. 飲めません I can't drink. 食べませんI don't eat/I won't eat. 食べられません I can't eat. (Very useful if you have allergies.) You would use the same particles with these.


Where does the "I" come from? I just put "do not drink tea" which i guess doesnt make sense but is it implied by the verb conjugation like it spanish or something? Is there a chart i can look at?


Unfortunately, your English sentence "do not drink tea" does make sense. It means "Don't drink tea!" To make it a statement in English, you have to choose a subject to your sentence. You don't have personal conjugations in Japanese.


so can someone explain the exact difference between "ochiya wo nomimasen" (I drink tea) and "ochiya ha nomimasen" (I do not drink tea)? What happened to the latter sentence to make it the exact opposite of the former?


If someone asks you a question, おちゃあをのみますか (Do you drink green tea?", and you answer in the negative, "I don't drink green tea." you would use the は particle to emphasize that you don't drink tea. This website (https://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/japanese-particles-change.html) is a little more complicated than duolingo is teaching, but it explains well, I think.


Is there a difference between putting I cannot drink tea and I do not drink tea?


Yes. "Cannot" refers to the possibility while "do not" shows more "determination" (というか)


How can we understand if it's can or do


If you "can" do a verb, it will often be written in that form (either as base 4 + る/ます, verb stem +られる/られます, ~できる/できます depending on the verb, or as dictionary form + ことができる)

"Doing" a verb is simply base 2 +る/ます.


Ok got a bit confused here. I thought のむ meant drink ? Also, why use は instead of を since we're talking about the tea ? Is it because the subject is implied as being わたし ? I would have thought the correct way would be わたしはおちゃをのみません。 Therefore, wouldbt the contracted form would be おちゃをのみません ?


https://nihongoichiban.com/home/japanese-grammar-particles/ use this link to learn about the various types of Japanese particles


I thought のむ was to drink


飲む - nomu - is the non-past 'dictionary' form of the verb that is used in informal sentences.
お茶を飲む - ocha wo nomu - "I drink tea" (informal)
This question uses the polite non-past negative conjugation "I do not drink" 飲みません - nomimasen
Polite non-past positive: 飲みます - "I drink" - nomimasu
Informal non-past negative 飲まない "I do not drink" - nomanai


so this "お茶は飲みません" would be correct right?


That's right
It should be accepted, so if it isn't hit the report button.
Unless it's on a listening question; those currently can't have multiple answers added to them due to Duo's programming.


So is のむ (thaught in the first lessons) the casual form and のみます the polite form?

[deactivated user]

    When do you use "のみ"?

    [deactivated user]

      When do we use "のみ"?


      I felt sick down to my very heart while I writing this out.


      Always "ha" instead of "wo" when using negative?


      My phone auto corrected i to I'll...

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