"I like rice."
Think of it this way: the full sentence is 私はごはんが好きです。Because the subject 私は is implied and can be omitted, the first thing that's actually said is the part marked by が.
Interesting statement and example! Thank you. I'll be sure to take note of it in my head.
は and が ARE hard! So hard that when I started to take advanced level Japanese classes, we did a whole chapter on their proper uses. There is a reason for the use of が here but for the time being just remember that 好きtakes が
There are BOOKS written on their uses. And remember, just like many native English speakers mess up English grammar constantly, so do many Japanese. It's hard for them, too. :)
Do you happen to have a good, easy to digest but deep enough reference on ga vs wa ?
すき is always matched with が. Some sentences come as a fixed set. This is one of them. Don't have to worry about は for this sentence
You might deconstruct the sentence: rice ..liked..is. The somebody who likes the rice, the topic, is left out. So he or she is known or introduced already. This person is the "wa". So rice is subject of the sentence but not the topic. Hence "ga". For an elaborate explanation on wa and ga this site is very good. https://8020japanese.com/wa-vs-ga/
So we are literally saying "rice is liked"? 好き is not a verb like in English, but requires to be?
好き is an adjective, it could be translated to "likable". So I'd be "rice is likable".
Many Japanese adjectives are really verbs in disguise (the い-adjectives like 大きい and まずい) and don't require a copula, but 好き is not that kind of adjective, so it requires the copula です in formal speech.
In the sentence "I don't like meat" it uses ha/wa not ga. So when suki is affirmative it takes ga, and when negative it takes ha/wa?
Apologies for lack of hiragana .
I wonder why です is still necessary, if someone can explain. Could it possible cold translate more to "Rice is something I like"?
Sorta, だいすき can be used to say you absolutely LOVE something.
だい = Big/very much
To add to Fonzie's point, where すき uses the kanji 好き, だいすき uses the kanji 大好き.