"I saw him yesterday."
Using は there would give it a more specific meaning of, "It was yesterday that I saw him, as opposed to another day." As it is, it just means, "I saw him yesterday." Normally, relative time words like 昨日 don't have particles associated with them.
Though im inclined to agree with you on the omission of particles when relative to time, it is the が particle not the は particle that would put emphasis on that translation you made.
The が particle declaritively identifies an unknown, so it would be like answering the question, "so what day did you see him?"
I think it would be ok i guess japanese speakers sometimes leave out particles like that when its more casual
More accurately, the は after きのう is not grammatically required; it can be optionally included to emphasize yesterday as the topic of the sentence.
It marked me wrong when I included it (I typed the sentence using kanji for all the words). I've reported it (11/25).
Not really. People will still know what you're saying but yesterday isn't the subject, and は follows subjects.
He's a direct object. The verb 聞きました is too see or watch. 'He' is what (who) was seen.
を indicates the object that the verb is being done to. In this case it is "he" that has been seen, so it's 彼を見ました
彼は見ました would I think translate to something like "he saw" or "he watched." i.e. him doing the seeing rather than it being done to him.
No because in English we use the verb 'see' as we either observed someone or we went up and talked to them with out much of a distinction. In Japanese however, they make that distinction clear. By using the verb '見る' you are only saying you saw him, not talked or interacted with him. The verb '会う' implies that you met and talked to them, instead of just seeing them.
What is the difference between 見ます , 見ました and 見きました ? I'm confused about the き appearing in the last one (its from another comment below).
The comment previously made by PStrotman (under ei283's question) was a mistake, mixing up two different verbs: those of to see (見ます = romaji "mimasu") and to hear (聞きます = romaji "kikimasu").
In short, as for the kanji parts:
- in a verb, kanji may be used to write its radical (but not its inflected parts, which are written in hiragana);
- 見 is related to seeing;
- 聞 is related to hearing.
In short, as for the hiragana parts:
- in a verb, hiragana is used to write any inflected parts (while the radical is preferably written in kanji);
- ます is a verb ending marking the present/future tense in formal use;
- ました is a verb ending marking the past tense in formal use.
So, the き in the verb 聞きました ("kikimashita", meaning heard) is just an inflected part (which kind of corresponds to a thematic vowel) before the ending ました.
By the way, just a few days ago,
PStrotman's comment correcting it, now you can check it out there.
観ます is present (I see). 見ました is past (I saw). Never seen 見きました so not sure about that one.
No, that's not right. See https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/17858/difference-between-見る-and-観る. In fact 見る is probably more common than 観る for a present tense.
There is a verb 見切る but it is a godan verb so wouldn't form a past like that.
Is this really a good sentence to be teaching? I feel like when we say, "I saw him yesterday" in English, what we really mean is I MET him yesterday (かれに会いました), not just "I looked at him yesterday" (かれを見ました). That sounds more like you saw someone in the distance but didn't talk to them or something like that.
I think when you use ha, you yourself will not be in the sentence. But, using wo, there will be auto watashi ha in the sentence, therefore you will be in the sentence.