"Mr. Tanaka is Japanese."

Translation:田中さんは日本人です。

July 2, 2017

95 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CrowsVeldt

I always forget when to add 'wa' and when not

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tlrcmbs

Same, anyone have an answer as to when 'wa' should be added?

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/airzae

It's used to mark the topic of the sentence (or the subject if the topic and sentence are the same)

If you're not using it, the subject of the sentence should be clear from context.. 田中さんはたべました。(tanaka ate.) 田中さんをたべました。(someone ate tanaka) 田中さんたべました。 (Doesn't mean anything)

A common time that you don't have any particles is with desu (です). In English we use 'it's' for this purpose. This is because desu isn't a verb. 田中さんです。( [It] is tanaka.)

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Siddarth168311

So it comes after the subject

April 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/woif

I guess it's when you refer to someone. In this case Mr Tanaka -> he's Japanese

So basically Everytime you talk about someone other than yourself except if you mention yourself by adding watashi then you have to use wa as well.

This is as far as i understood it by now

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Xandaros

Japanese is all about context. "Mr Tanaka is Japanese" could also be written as 日本人です。 This only works, if you were already talking about Mr Tanaka, though, since otherwise you wouldn't know who you refer to. (In fact, the default context is yourself, so you would actually be saying "I am Japanese")

To introduce a new context, you use は. Therefore, 田中さんは日本人です means "Mr Tanaka is Japanese". If he was already the topic you could just say 日本人です as mentioned earlier. If he was already in context, but maybe not the main subject right now, you can use が to make him the current subject, so 田中さんが日本人です。 However, if you do that without Mr Tanaka being in context, it sounds like you are surprised at this fact.

The difference between は and が is confusing a great many learners; you will develop an intuition for it eventually. Luckily, simple sentences without any context generally only use は.

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GaliusBaltar

Great explanation, this helped me a lot. Thanks.

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LucasLopez352889

Excellent explanation, the only one that has really helped so far.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Madi221

Thank you so much! Answered so many questions, lol.

July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thesharanaithal

Interesting.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Madhuri403494

I am a complete newbie but I am trying. But why it is that in some cases the Japanese is translated in English from the right side while in some cases it is from the left side. I am confused.

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LucasLopez352889

Depends on the translator, but in Japan, people read from right to left, in contrast to America, from left to right. At least I'm almost certain its like that.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Exphose

Thanks this was very helpful

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ManikNgura

Same with me

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/curtidos3

Is the topic particle WA

March 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Manaia549413

'wa' is used as a subject marker. in japanese, the subject comes first in a sentence, so wa is said once you've finished naming the subject. it's hard to explain, but think of it like "anything before wa is the subject". for example, if i said いぬはかわいいです (inu wa kawaii desu/the dog is cute) everything before wa is the subject, therefore inu/dog is the subject.

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamScott794079

It's said wa, but spelt ha.

October 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SilentA999

Same, so many times I forgot to add は and got it wrong.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thassia.ko

Same here! Anyone??

September 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Servovicis

Wa defines the subject. In this case Tanaka is the subject thus wa is added.

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/digidigi345

SAME SKSKSK

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Patrickfkp

It's sounds like 'wa' but is は. And i dont know why

October 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Omar954991

Me to

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaya893596

I belive sanwa should come with the wa instead of the wa separate. I guess it helps us think though.

December 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/chip195870

This thing went from great to excruciating. Was at 90% now im at 10%. They jumped from hiragana to everything else way too fast.

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Servovicis

Also Agreed. Killed my progress when it suddenly started adding Kanji when I wasn't even fluent with Hiragana, let alone started on Katakana.

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ohayo_Gosaimasu

AGREED

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RedWasabi

Agreed. It's really discouraging because I really want to learn Japanese but it's way too fast...

October 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TiannaTwyman

You have to practise the hiragana and katakana youself such as using the tiny cards flashcards

November 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/carlos.val755414

Why is 中 pronounced as "なか" when its descriptions say its ちよう?

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WilhelmAntunes

Some kanjis have diferent types of pronunciation, the one you are talking about has 3 different manners: なか,ちゅうand うち. I don't the rules about how to chose in each case, but I hope I helped at least a little bit. :)

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/airzae

Kanji have one set of readings when combined with other kanji (Chinese, or onyomi) and one when they are not. (Japanese or kunyomi). Some of them are the same for both and some of them have many readings for reasons that are not obvious. Compare

中国 (Chuugokuk 中 (Naka)

There are a bunch of more complex rules governing which words use which ones。Body parts are notorious for only using kunyomi readings with other kanji; the onyomi for east (東, とう) is thrown out the window when combined with mouth to form 'east entrance/exit' 東口、[ひがし]ぐち

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr_Awesum

And just to make it even more confusing there is also a set of readings for when they are used in names (Nanori). However, sometimes they use some of the other readings.

May 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TsukuyoGintoki

Kanji have different readings, called kunyomi and oniyomi. They are also bringing attention to the 中 in 田中 and how it is also used in 中国 but with a different reading.

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/victoriawl93

The pronunciation of the kanji for this name is "ta naka". But I don't know what description you are talking about.

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Freyr456924

When is it correct to use です and ます and anything I've missed? I've been a bit confused by this.

November 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Manaia549413

desu is the "be" verb of japanese, it means is/am/are. imasu and arimasu mean "it exists". imasu is used for living things while arimasu is used for objects, for example: if the teacher was checking attendance and called your name, you would say "はい, います” meaning "yes, i exist". but if someone was asking, for example, if theres a train station in your town (えきがありますか) you could reply with ”はい, えきがあります” meaning "yes, the train station exists" hope that helps!

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/fatsow

Isn't it more appropriate to say nihon no kata instead of nihon jin while talking about someone else or is it just used to be more polite while asking someone directly about his or her origin?

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/airzae

Nihon no kata has the same meaning but is more polite.

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EssieRogers

Sigh, I'm just not getting it.

March 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Josh447379

What is the difference in saying 田中さんは日本人です。and 田中さんは日本しゅっしんです。 in the other lessons in this category these two seem interchangeable but when i input them into google translate they seem to mean two different things.

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Debbie555927

YOU'RE AWESOME!!!!!!

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Debbie555927

Yep

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Larissa918888

Wa isn't really needed here. The topic is clear from context.

September 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HarryD90

Thats what i was thinking. The subject is obviously about Tanaka so why do we need 'wa' ?

December 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nali-kun

this is very frustating

October 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LucasLopez352889

Why do you have to put "wa" before "nihom"

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/K-Yennie

I'm not entirely sure what the Japanese sentence order is. Is it 'subject -> nominative adjective -> verb'?

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/p7CH3

Why is "さんは" here?

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/K-Yennie

That is a term of respect. Its like the English term Mr.

March 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Valhalla300

Why would a space between words make it wrong? Especially while learning, it is easier to learn by being able to see the words clearly.

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Valhalla300

I have trouble believing that having spaces between the words makes it wrong. As in: 田中さん は 日本人です

March 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Hemangini581657

This is repeatedly saying wrong for the correct answer.

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Meverynoob

Why is ha also pronounced as wa...

March 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/robotsteve

Tanaka san nihon jin des; this is incorrect??

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MonikaRoza

That wos a good answer!

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SuhamKay

I wish there was better highlighting for errors....

April 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JoelEscalante0

Why don't we add しゅっしん ?

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/1GBu7

but i know only hiragana what should i do ?

April 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/hamun6

What does "toiimas" mean?

May 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CTorok

Would be nice to be able to hear the pronunciations in the corrected answer

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/vanessa436125

I answered it correctly but it said i was wrong?

June 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamScott794079

It should be Tanaka-san is Japanese.

October 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tatatatots

Does duolingo teach grammar. Like when to use the particles and kanji

December 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Youcoming

Sadly its mostly vocabulary, i highly suggest that you look for the grammer lessons else where. Its not only in this course, but also in the german one as well.

March 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Izzy250462

How do we get the little dot at the end??

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dascartah

This sentence structure is killing me. I have a big problem understanding it.

February 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LizzyGirl789

Same here

May 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JBlade2005

The sentence structure really stinks but its ALL WE HAVE!!!

June 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TableNews

Wait so the subject comes first and the verb comes last? what if there are 2 verbs being displayed in the same sentence (Ex: Mr. Tanaka is Japanese and like's soccer.)

March 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RVJioWts

Yes the verb always comes at the end of the sentence in Japanese.

As for having two verbs, this is somewhat advanced and hasn't been covered yet at this point in the Duolingo course. But if you're curious:

If you're using verbs in the positive sense, you conjugate the ones that come earlier in the sentence to the (non-polite) past tense and then you replace the た / だ at the end with て / で (respectively). This is also called the te-form of a verb if you see that phrase anywhere. For verbs in the negative sense (eg "didn't eat," "will not go," etc.), you replace the い at the end of the verb with くて. You then conjugate the last verb at the end as normal for whatever sentence tense you're going for and that dictates the tense of the whole sentence.

Your exact sentence would be kinda confusing to display this point, though, for various reasons. For example, "likes" is not actually a verb in Japanese, it's an adjective. To say "I like X" in Japanese is done by saying "X is likable."

So to display the point, I'll use a simpler sentence, say, "I go to the restaurant and eat breakfast":

レストランに行って, あさごはんを食べます.

To break down what happened, the verb changed from 行く (to go) -> 行った ("went", non-polite past tense of 行く) -> 行って (te-form of 行く). The 食べる verb was the last one in the sentence, so we just conjugated it normally to 食べます since we wanted the sentence to be in present tense. If we had written 食べました instead at the end of the sentence and changed nothing else, then the whole sentence would change to past tense - "I went to the restaurant and ate breakfast."

Also important to note here is that when you use this construction in Japanese, you're implicitly saying that the verbs either came in chronological order or the earlier one has a cause-effect relationship with the later one.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rowan-Is-Gay

これはぺんです。

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/StarAries

i had the exact same answer but wrong still?

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BabyDewey

Forgot to put です

April 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ijeamakaon2

This one leaves me confuse

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosalyn431914

GOT ❤❤❤❤❤❤ WROMG AGAIN

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MsAmnesia

why is "imasu" incorrect to use here? it's a living thing, and the translation doesn't make a lot of sense to me. i get "desu" is "to be" but "he be Japanese" sounds archaic. Wouldn't "imasu" be more appropriate be cause "he is"/"i am" japanese makes more sense? I dont know

July 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EnejLah

Why is there a 'ha' after Tanaka San?

July 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jelena833970

What EXACTLY です means? Is that like "is" or...?

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MHZJ13

purpose

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jessen871711

I ommited "desu" and it still said i was correct. Shouldn't "desu" be required as the verb?

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Anne60159

Can’t seem to get it

October 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Niko356744

What change would it make to say this without desu? Would it still make sense? Im guessing its just rude to some extent but still proper japanese, am i right here?

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthur492406

Oinc

November 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Emily_Slaybaugh

It's used to mark the topic of the sentence (or the subject if the topic and sentence are the same)

If you're not using it, the subject of the sentence should be clear from context.. 田中さんはたべました。(tanaka ate.) 田中さんをたべました。(someone ate tanaka) 田中さんたべました。 (Doesn't mean anything)

A common time that you don't have any particles is with desu (です). In English we use 'it's' for this purpose. This is because desu isn't a verb. 田中さんです。( [It] is tanaka.)

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emily_Slaybaugh

It's used to mark the topic of a sentence (or the subject if the topic and sentence are the same)

If you're not using it, the subject of the sentence should be clear from context.. 田中さんはたべました。(tanaka ate.) 田中さんをたべました。(someone ate tanaka) 田中さんたべました。 (Doesn't mean anything)

A common time that you don't have any particles is with desu (です). In English we use 'it's' for this purpose. This is because desu isn't a verb. 田中さんです。( [It] is tanaka.)

February 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EmilyFafor

Yoda speak, am I right?

June 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/paulaha88

Not quite.

English is generally Subject-Verb-Object (SVO). Luke eats stinky cheese.

Yodish is generally Object-Subject-Verb (OSV). Stinky cheese Luke eats.

Japanese is generally Subject-Object-Verb (SOV). Luke stinky cheese eats.

July 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Setsuko670458

who is mr. tanaka?

October 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/D1ExH4RD

It will always amaze me day in and day out when my brain is making connections I am barely aware of and I am constructing the right sentence in anew language on impulse that I know I was barely confident in as I clicked the order.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/itsHalfBright

THIS IS WRONG THE RIGHT ANSWER IS THIS 田中さんは日本語です。

February 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RVJioWts

日本語 is Japanese the language, not Japanese the nationality. Japanese the nationality is, as the question says, 日本人.

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Debbie555927

You're wrong

January 8, 2019
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