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Japanese Lessons

Lesson 6 - Particles

In Japanese, a particle comes after the word it is used for. It can make a difference in a word, a clause, or, a phrase in a sentence. An example of a particle is this:

Wa - Topic marker/contrastive marker.

Suzuki-san wa gakusei desu. - Mr/Ms. Suzuki is a student.

Suzuki-san wa gakusei desu. Watashi wa sarar"man desu. -Mr/Ms. Suzuki is a student; I am a salaried employee.

If you are just talking with your friends or buddies, "wa" is not put in.

Kono hon (wa) omoshiroi yo. - This book is interesting.

Ga - Subject marker.

"Ga" and "wa" are can be exchanged within each other, however, "ga" is always used with "who," "where," "what," etc. words. "Ga" also functions as an emphasis.

Dare ga kimasu ka. - Who will come?
Tanaka-san ga kimasu. - Mr/Ms. Tanaka will.

When something is very obvious in the sentence, the word "ga" cannot be said.

Gohan (ga) dekimashita. - Dinner is ready.

O - Indicates direct object.

Hon o yomimasu. - I read books.

When the subject isn't focused on, as much, "o" doesn't have to be said.

O-cha (o) nomimash". - Lets drink some tea.

Ni - Indicates the indirect object.

Hon o anata ni agemasu. - I will give you a book.

Unlike the others, "ni" has to be said, no matter what.

"Ni" can do other things in a sentence as well.

1. Indicates time Shichi-ji ni aimasho. - Lets meet at seven o clock.
2. Tells where something or someone is placed or is at. Hariuddo wa kariforunia ni arimasu. - Hollywood is in California.
3. Tells what to put on. Kami ni kaite kudasai. - Please write on the paper.
4. Indicates where to, as in a direction. Ashita sanfuranshisuko ni ikimasu. - I will go to San Francisco tomorrow.

E - means where to, as in direction.

T"ky" e iku. - Go to Tokyo.

Kara - Tells a certain place of when it starts or it goes.

P't" wa shichi-ji kara desu. - The party will be from seven o clock.

Jon-san wa Bosuton kara kimashita. - John came from Boston.

De - Tells a certain location where something is going to happen.

P't" ga Tanaka-san no ie de arimasu. - The party will be at Tanakas house.

De - Also tells what kind of action is going to happen.

Toraber'zu chekku de haraimasu. - I would like to pay with a travelers check.

To - Means "with."

Watashi wa im"to to gakko e ikimashita. - I went to school with my younger sister.

No - Means "of."

Watashi no hon - My book.

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