Translation:I do not eat meat or fish.
This sentence helped me see for the first time how helpful Kanji can be in reading quickly. Instead of a line of hiragana sounds that are meaningless until you mentally sound them out, the sentence you wrote is so clear: kanji noun + hiragana “and” + kanji noun + hiragana particle + kanji/hiragana conjugated verb. I am loving this language.
I think the idea is that the speaker doesn't eat either of fish or meat. Using and in English makes it sound like you just don't eat them together and most English speakers would say "or" in this context.
I think this sentence is intended to point out that subtle difference between Japanese and English. When negating multiple things, use and in Japanese, but in English use or.
I think this is a great illustration of how English and Japanese have fundamentally different structures. When the sentence says 「にくとさかなは」this establishes the topic. It is a lot like establishing the subject of the sentence in English by saying something like: "About meat and fish..."
So when you take the whole sentence and translate it in this way it would be like saying in English: "So about meat and fish...I don't eat them." In Japanese, both the "I" and "them" are implied by the fact that you're the speaker, and by the topic you set. But the same logic is going on...the 「と」still means "and", it's just that you treat "and" different when you're talking about something.
In general though と does not always mean "and", but in this circumstances it still means "and", it just gets translated to "or" because we tend to word or frame this type of thought in a very different way from how Japanese people do.
I don't know if this clarifies it? I found this stuff super tricky when first learning Japanese, but in time it will start to make more sense.
You mean the verb "tabemasu" is transitive and the direct object is "meat and fish" but in this sentence they're in the topic but the DO is implied? So the sentence really is: "as for the meat an the fish, [I] eat [them]"? Thought it was "As for the meat and the fish, [they] are being eaten"...
kanji usually have 2 or more meanings, although there are some that have only one reading, most kanji have 2 or more readings depending on the context that they are in. they have often a kunyomi reading that is used in combination with kana or as a stand alone and onyomi is used in combination with other kanji. 食 character has the following most common readings kunyomi ta like in たべます and the onyomi like in the word meal 食事 (しょくじ).
Could someone explain this particle use to me? Like, は isn't acting as a topic marker here, else this would mean "meat and fish don't eat." If it was を, then would it be more like "I won't eat the meat and fish (in this instance)."? If all of that is correct, then I still wonder why the particle isn't が. I think I remember hearing that は implies that there are more items than listed, i.e. "I don't eat meat, fish, eggs, etc." where が might suggest that you have no other dietary restrictions? Is that it?
を is usually used when an action is happening to a topic. 'I eat the sushi' the sushi is getting 'eaten' if the sentence had been 'jack walks to the store' the store wouldn't say 'hey I just got walked to'. In the case of '肉と魚は食べません' it is more like talking about your habits or preferences, if you have a plate in front of you and you don't want to eat the fish and meat you would use 'にくとさかなをたべません' (I think)
looking though the comments, it seems im the only one who didnt get the kanji OR hiragana for fish at all to complete the sentence, i just got "niku and" the sentence finisher, i did not get fish or Ha, i had bread though. i couldnt get the sentence right because the right answer wasnt there.
Based on the comments on other questions, I'm piecing together how particles are used. Let me see if I'm on the right track.
Because the "ha" particle is used here, the meat and fish are the subject of the sentence. So it could stiffly translate to "Meat and fish are not things I eat."
If "wo" were used instead, I would be the topic of the sentence, so it would literally mean "I do not eat meat or fish."