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は and を??

My question comes from studying from duolingo and other sources from the past month. When practicing Japanese I've come across a passing block. は and を. My question is when is the right times to use them, and what does it mean? The more help I can get with the community, the more fun and exciting learning this new language will be ;)

Also: when structuring the sentence, is the action placed near the end of the sentence, or am I looking at it all wrong?

December 17, 2017



I think I know why you are confused. The basic structure would be:

  • object + particle + verb. This structure should not be reversed.

If it is a positive expression, such as 'I eat apples' を would be used. If it is a negative expression, like 'I don't eat apples', you would use は.

  • りんごをたべます  //  りんごはたべません

Of course there are other uses for the particle は and を. Suggest you familiarize yourself with the various particles if this answer was not specific to your query.


To build on BJCUAl's answer, it is also possible (and grammatically correct) to use は in an affirmative sentence, and say りんごはたべます
So, the usage of は and を will depend on context, and the difference between:
is in the kind of information they provide; the first tells us what the subject eats, while the second affirms that the subject does eat an apple/apples.


Thanks for the assist:)


水を飲む。牛肉を食べる。を Is the postposition showing the object of a verb. "水を"

は Is postposition called a topic marker. The "topic" is often the same as the subject of the sentence, but sometimes is something else that is stressed.

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