"I am going to a restaurant on Wednesday."
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all of these are correct, but they have different nuances
「水曜日はレストランに行きます」"speaking of Wednesdays, I go to restaurants" or "I will go to a restaurant on Wednesday"
「水曜日にはレストランに行きます」"I will go to a restaurant on Wednesday (and not other days)"
「水曜日にレストランに行きます」"I will go to a restaurant on Wednesday"
「水曜日にレストランへ行きます」"I will go towards restaurants on Wednesday". This one sounds a bit awkward but it gives a sense of going to different ones as a habit, with に it does the same.
I have a question and I really hope someone can help...
So I'm aware that while the english version needs 'I', the Japanese version doesn't necessarily have to explicitly state 'I', but what happens if you do want to?
'I' is the subject, not Wednesday. Therefore is should be 私は... what particle then comes after 水曜日? You can't have two は's so does it then change to に, a common time particle? In which case do you use two に's, another after レストラン too?
I know particles are hard, but somedays I think I've totally got them and others they absolutely baffle me. Any help gratefully received!
The 私 is implied because you didn't specify another subject, so you don't have to worry about the particle in that case. However, in this particular sentence structure, using は sets Wednesday as the focus of the sentence ("Wednesday, specifically..."). に is also acceptable after 水曜日 because you're calling it out as a particular date/time ("On Wednesday, specifically").
So the two options are: 私は水曜日にレストランへ行きます - Significant that YOU are going to the restaurant on Wednesday. or 水曜日はレストランへ行きます - Significant that WEDNESDAY there will be a visit to the restaurant.
It's similar to the question about studying on Sundays, where they use 日曜日は. The は means Sundays, specifically, are for studying, not just に's "I will be studying, going to happen this Sunday".
At least that's how I was looking at the particles. Hope that helps?
は introduces old/contextual information for the statement you are about to make so it would more naturally go first in the sentence.
が introduces new important information and would add a level of emphasis to "I" as previously unknown, like saying "I (am the one who) will go to a restaurant on wednesday" - the listener did not know it was you who was going to go.
Whereas 私は states "I" as the topic, you are going to make a statement about you; "As for me..." and then the new important information comes afterward 'well what about you?' "I'm going to a restaurant"
It's not technically incorrect to use が for the pronoun, it just gives the sentence a strange nuance that wouldn't be as common in everyday conversation for a sentence like this.
Thank you very much! I guess I just need to stop thinking about subject as it works in English and other western languages and start thinking only about these contrasts and nuances in Japanese. I understand the concept when I read the explanation, but after a while I come back to the concept that's engraved in my brain since childhood :|
It is because you are switching around the subject and the destination. The original sentence would literally translate to "About Wednesday, (I am), the destination being the restaurant, going". But when you switch around the destination particle に and the topic marker particle は, you turn it into: "about the restaurant, (I am), the destination being Wednesday, going". This doesn't make sense because you cant go to Wednesday, and it might even imply that the restaurant is going somewhere.
You must always mark the destination with either the partical に or ヘ. That is not to say you cannot mark days with に, because you can. In fact, a plausible sentence would be "水曜日にレストランへ行きます", but the lesson here is: は is not a destination marker
You have to have a destination in this sentence if you would also have a destination when translated to English. Also, you cannot use は for the destination (the restaurant) because it implies that the restaurant is going somewhere. It still does make sense to use は for 水曜日 because it is the topic, you just can't use は for the destination.
One more thing, you can use に for Wednesday in this sentence while also using に or へ for the restaurant. Just if you do this, it implies that you go to a restaurant every Wednesday.
Ah yes, japanese. It seems to have a solution for everything. Actually you can combine the は and が particles with other particles if they are the topic, but also play another role in the sentence. In this case you can mark it as the topic and the destination by using には.
With this, I'm pretty sure you can mark the restaurant as the subject in a sentence like this:
(Time tends to come first in Japanese sentences even if they aren't the topic. Although it still is grammarly correct to put them somewhere else, it sounds unnatural)
I don't think the system is set up to consider what word boxes you were offered when it determines which correct solution to show you. Presumably it probably did give you all the boxes you would have needed to construct the suggested translation at the top of the page (although there might be more than one top translation in the system, in which case it may have given you the boxes to make a different one).
In this sentence, only the person going to the restaurant or the day can be marked as the topic by the は particle (I will get into when the person or the day is the topic in a little bit).
The subject (notice I didn't say topic) of a sentence is what is being described or what is doing the action. The subject can be marked by は or が. Observe the examples below.
椅子は小さいです The chair is small
田中は家を買います Tanaka is buying houses.
In the sentence "I am going to a restaurant on Wednesday." the action being done is "going" (行きます). As I said earlier, the subject of the sentence is the one doing the action (in this case the person doing the action is the omitted 私が). The restaurant is not going anywhere but it instead the location in which the speaker is going. You represent location using the に or へ particle, as shown in this sentence. (These particles are mostly interchangable).
As for what to mark as は or が, well as I said earlier は is a topic marker. Whatever is being marked by は is the topic of the conversation. This can be shown like this:
ションはどこです？ Where is John? ションは寝室にいます。 John is in his bedroom.
And が can be used to bring in a new topic.
学生は誰ですか？ Who is a student? マリアが学生です。 Maria is a student.
In the second example, Maria becomes the topic once she is introduced as a student. In the sentence "I am going to the sentence on Wednesday.", Wednesday is marked by は and is therefore the topic of the sentence. This could be because it was on answer to "What are you doing on Wednesday?" or some other situation where Wednesday is already the topic. Although it is omitted there is a 私が in this sentence. It uses が because it is still the subject of the sentence as it is the one carrying out the action, but there cannot be two sentence topics.
Thank you for your time and if you have any further questions, I'd be happy to help!
Though word orders usually can be interchangeable in Japanese, when the sentence starts with レストランに, the expectation is it would follow with "who" subject with は as a subject marker, thus it is wrong. The given answer is correct because the sentence subject is 水曜日 and interpreted as a version of unspoken わたしは・私達は omitted. In the same way, レストランは水曜日に行きます should be OK with レストラン being the sentence subject and unspoken わたしは・私達は omitted.
That's an interesting question that I actually had to look up myself. A broad answer would be: yes, you can use に more than once in a sentence. But let's look at when you can.
I'm assuming that you want to replace the は particle in this sentence with に, which you can very possibly do. But by doing this, you are changing the meaning very slightly. The は particle most commonly marks the "topic" of conversation. So in this sentence, 水曜日 has already been brought up as the topic, it is now being repeated. Let's look at some examples.
"水曜日が何をしますか？" (What are you doing on Wednesday?) To this, it would be most natural to respond with our current sentence that uses "水曜日は" as, by using が, the speaker has just introduced this new subject which could then be used as a topic.
"いつ(when)レストランに行きますか？" (When are you going to the restaurant?) Here, you are will be the one introducing the new topic of Wednesday when you respond. This means you will say "水曜日がレストランに行きます" (I am going to the restaurant on Wednesday.)
But when will you use に on 水曜日? Well, maybe no one asked you any questions, and you are just telling them of your plans. Then you might say "水曜日にレストランに行きます" (On Wednesday, I am going to a restaurant.) (or you can use へ on restaurant, but it doesn't matter all that much).
I hope this answers your question, and maybe some others'.
i put 水曜日にレストランへ行きます and it was accepted, but i think it shouldn't. Reading the comments i realized that the phrase i wrote emphasises the movement of me * going * to the restaurant in a day that happens to be Wednesday, but it would make more sense that the important part is that it was Wednesday, and the place I'm going, which translates to 水曜日はレストランに行きます
In that case, I say ”Suiyoubi niwa resutoran e ikimasu”. Since I write scientific treatises at work, I never write or speak sentences where the relationship between the subject and the predicate does not hold. I don't use "Suiyoubi wa" because "I go" instead of "Wednesday goes".
Except that the subject particle isn't は, it's が. は marks the topic, which isn't necessarily the same as the grammatical subject. If Duo accepted 水曜日が[...] here, then yes, that would be strange.
There are plenty of Duo exercises in earlier units that demonstrate using は for something other than the subject, such as "カレーは食べません" ("I do not eat curry"), where it's the object of the sentence that gets the は particle -- the literal meaning is more like "as for curry, (I) don't eat it" where the subject "I" is implied and not explicitly stated. Naturally no one would ever think you meant "curry does not eat", because it makes no sense -- if you actually wanted to convey that, it would need to be "カレー が 食べません".
Thanks for reply. I agree with your explanation. I have no objection to that the English translation of 「水曜日はレストランに行きます。」is "I am going to a restaurant on Wednesday." But I can't agree that the only Japanese translation for "I am going to a restaurant on Wednesday." is 「水曜日はレストランに行きます。」. 「水曜日は」 is a very limited expression method for Japanese that emphasizes only ”Wednesday” in the text. In my daily life, when I say 「水曜日にレストランへ行きます。」 10 times, I say 「水曜日はレストランに行きます。」 once only. In this program to learn Japanese, it is unpleasant that 「水曜日はレストランに行きます。」is displayed as the only correct Japanese translation. Duolingo's Japanese course has many of these expressions, so I feel that there is some dark purpose in teaching this special expression.
There's no conspiracy. There's just hundreds of languages with not enough people devoted to each individual one.
Duolingo always only displays a single translation as a correct answer, but it does not mean to imply that it is the only correct answer. In fact, I regularly try to answer questions with wordings that are not the given correct answer. Partially to be learn acceptable alternatives, partially because it's amusing and partially because I'm very stubborn and like to do things in certain ways. It sounds like you may be able to empathize with me on that last one.
If you answer a question, it is marked incorrect and you are absolutely sure it is a legitimate possible translation. Please check again and, if the result is the same, please report it. Each question has a list of possible correct answers that users do not have access to. These lists are by no means exhaustive as language is vast and fiddly. So for each report, a human(often a volunteer, I'm led to believe) must check through and decide whether the one who made the report just answered incorrectly or did in fact find a correct answer missing from the relevant list. While there are many, many holes among those myriads of lists, I'd be willing to bet there are far more false reports than legitimate ones. I know I've reported a few that I shortly after notice my mistake. I also know I've reported many that I'm quite certain should have been correct, though I'm definitely still early in my learning.
I hope I've provided you some insight into Duolingo. And, if so, I hope that may relieve some of the frustration you are feeling. Duolingo is not perfect. It is very flawed, in fact. However, it is still a very useful tool for learning.
James, while I do agree that having a list would be preferable, I don't think you've really considered the implications of that.
First of all, it would take time and effort to change. The change would need to be implemented on at least three different platforms(browser, Android and apple) for hundreds of languages, each of which may require different people to do the work. This is time and effort than would have to be funneled from improving Duolingo elsewhere.
On top of that, which answers do you include? Something simple like マリアです might have a dozenish correct answers. A more complicated translation could have hundreds of acceptable answers. Providing a full list of hundreds of answers would be too much information to read through for so many questions. Surely, it could be pared down as answers as similar as "I'm Maria" and "I am Maria" could be consolidated into a single entry with the other removed. However, that would take substantial further effort.
When you consistently alter the way you answer to fit what you believe Duo wants, you are doing yourself a disservice, I think. Sometimes doing so has helped break me from bad habits, but actively answering in ways that I think won't be the same as Duo's default has helped me learn more. I'd recommend answering more questions incorrectly. You can always do a quick heart practice if need be.
As for the why portion of reports, there might be one already. I have often written into the "something else went wrong" portion details about why I'm reporting. Not sure if this gets bundled together or if it creates two separate reports. I'm hoping for the former.
However, I generally only do that for bugs/glitches anymore. Adding additional words to be read definitely does not make things easier. All they need is what you answered and what the question was. Keep in mind that the people dealing with these reports likely know the language much better than you or I.
ThrashCaptain hit on a couple of points that I wish Duo would change.
"Each question has a list of possible correct answers that users do not have access to. "
I wish it would show us the acceptable answers, for our own education. Yes, it would not be exhaustive, but I feel it would be valuable. [A button to click would probably be the best.] Especially on iOS devices, where you are penalized for an incorrect answer, I find myself ONLY answering in the form that I already know Duo will accept, even if it appears stilted or odd.
"If you answer a question, it is marked incorrect and you are absolutely sure it is a legitimate possible translation. Please check again and, if the result is the same, please report it. "
For there own benefit, I have suggested that they give us a space to say WHY we feel our answer should be accepted. I know that they have limited time and manpower, and it would make their own decision much quicker and easier. It's sort of like taking your car into the shop and being able to describe the problem. Right now all you really can say about their rejection of your answer is "it's broken, fix it!"
That becomes "The restaurant goes on Wednesday" (note you have 行ます instead of 行きます as well)
は marks the overall topic; the contextual information for the statement you are about to make. It is also used for contrast (I did it on this day and not that day). The topic can be anything; the subject, the object, the location, the time, etc. It replaces が and を in a sentence and combines with other particles (には、では、とは).
が marks the do-er or be-er of an action; the subject. In your sentence you have marked "Restaurant" as the thing that does the action "Go" which doesn't work.
に marks a specific point in time/space of existence as well as the destination of movement (like the prepositions to, at, in). This would be used to mark "restaurant" as the destination of the movement verb 行きます "go"
Days of the week can act either as a noun or an adverb so they don't always need a particle.
Normally you would use は or no particle to talk about a day in general or as contrast, and you would use に to mark that specific day (or には to talk about that specific day as a topic/contrast)
水曜日は "As for Wednesday..."
水曜日に "On Wednesday..."
水曜日には "As for on Wednesday..."
TyrantRC went a bit more into the particle nuance in the top comment: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23011097?comment_id=35133030