Japanese Grammar! 日本語文法!

Today’s lesson will be on the word particle の (no). The Japanese word particle の (no) is used in a couple of ways. One way is to indicate possession. For example:

  • That is Maeda’s bag.
  • それがまえださんのかばんです。
  • それが前田さんの鞄です。
  • Sore ga Maeda-san no kaban desu.

As you can see in this example the word particle の acts as an ‘s in English.

The の particle is also used to combine nouns together. This means that the の particle has a wide range of uses other than just a possessive particle. For example:

  • I am a student at Juuban College.
  • わたしはじゅうばんだいがくのがくせい。
  • 私は重版大学の学生。
  • Watashi wa Juuban daigaku no gakusei

There are a couple of things to note here with the phrases, “(A) student at Juuban College” and “(A) student of Juuban College”.  One, there is no “a” or “the” function in Japanese.  That’s why the “A” is in parentheses.  Second, the の particle in this instance can mean “at” or “of” in English.  This just goes to show how flexible the の particle is.

This covers the basics of using the word particle の. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send me an email at colormeindie@gmail.com


Japanese Grammar! 日本語文法!

Today’s lesson will be all about the word particle に and へ. へ is pronounced like え when being used as a word particle. We use the word particle に and へ in various ways. Sometimes they are used for indicating a location for example in the sentence:

  • Maeda wa supa ni ittekimashita.
  • まえだはスーパーいってきました。
  • 前田はスーパー行ってきました。
  • Maeda went to the supermarket.

The word particle に is translated here as the English word “to”. You can also put the word particle へ where the particle に is and it means the same thing. For example:

  • Maeda-san wa supa e ittekimashita.
  • まえださんはスーパーいってきました。
  • 前田さんはスーパー行ってきました。
  • Maeda went to the supermarket.

The particle へ is often used when welcoming someone to someplace. In these kind of sentences へ is often preferred over に. For example:

  • Nihon e yokoso.
  • にほんようこそ。
  • 日本ようこそ。
  • Welcome to Japan.

The Japanese particle に has many, many uses. It probably has the most uses out of all the Japanese particles. However, many of them are very easy to pick up on. In all of these other uses except the first sentence example I gave you, に can no longer be replaced with へ.

The particle に marks the indirect object in the sentence. The indirect object is the person or thing that receives the direct object in the sentence. For example:

  • Maeda-san wa watashi ni chito o kuremashita.
  • まえださんはわたしちとうをくれました。
  • 前田さんは私砂糖をくれました。
  • Maeda gave me the sugar./ Maeda gave the sugar to me.

As you can see, the indirect object usually comes before the direct object in a sentence.

に also indicates source or agent in passive or causative verbs. It translates to “by” in English.

  • Maeda-san ni nihongo o oshietemoraimashita.
  • まえださんにほんごをおしえてもらいました。
  • 前田さん日本語を教えてもらいました。
  • I was taught Japanese by Maeda.

The particle に is used with frequency expressions such as “per week”, “per day”, etc.

  • Ichinichi ni nijikan gurai benkyō shimasu.
  • いちにちにじかんぐらいべんきょうします。
  • 一日二時間ぐらい勉強します。
  • I study about 2 hours per day.

The particle に is used with various time expressions (year, month, day, and clock time) to indicate a specific point in time. It translates as at, on, or in. However, expressions of relative time, such as today or tomorrow, don’t take the particle に.

  • Shichiji ni okimasu.
  • しちじおきます。
  • 七時起きます。
  • I wake up at 7:00.

The particle に is used to indicate purpose. It translates as to or in order to.

  • Eiga o mi ni ikimashita.
  • えいがをみいきました。
  • 映画を見行きました。
  • I went to see a movie.

The particle に is used when a motion or action is directed at or onto an object or place.

  • nōto o kaban ni iremashita.
  • ノートをかばんいれました。
  • ノートをかばん入れました。
  • I put the notebook in the bag.

The particle に is typically used with verbs such as iru (to exist [for living things]), aru (to exist [for non-living things]) and sumu (to live [somewhere]). It translates into at or in.

  • Tōkyō ni sundeimasu.
  • とうきょうすんでいます。
  • 東京住んでいます。
  • I live in Tokyo.

Today we learned about the Japanese particles に and へ. We learned that they can both be used to indicate destination or direction. We also learned a lot of other ways to use the particle に. I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send me an email at colormeindie@gmail.com. ✿♬゚+.(。◡‿◡)♪.+゚♬✿。

Japanese Grammar! 日本語文法!

Our first grammar lesson will be a simple one about the particle “は (wa)” and the particle “が (ga)”. We use the particle “は (wa)” as a topic marker and the particle “が (ga)” is a subject marker. The topic is often the same as the subject but not necessarily. The topic can be anything that a speaker wants to talk about. In a sense it is similar to the english expression “as for” or “speaking of”. Here are a couple of examples.

  • Watashi wa gakusei desu.
  • 学生です。
  • I am a student.
  • (As for me, I am a student.)
  • Nihongo wa omoshiroi desu.
  • 日本語面白いです。
  • Japanese is interesting.
  • (Speaking of Japanese, it is interesting.)

Beside being a topic marker, “は wa” is used to show contrast or to emphasize the subject. For example:

  • Biiru wa nomimasu ga, wain wa nomimasen.
  • ビール飲みますがワイン飲みません。
  • I drink beer, but I don’t drink wine.

The thing being contrasted may or may not stated, but with this usage, the contrast is implied. For example:

  • Ano hon wa yomimasen deshita.
  • あの本読みませんでした。
  • I didn’t read that book (though I read this one).

Particles such as “に (ni)”, “で (de)”, “から (kara)”, and “まで (made)” can be combined with “は (wa)” to show contrast. (This usage is called double particles.) For example:

  • Osaka ni wa ikimashita ga, Tokyo ni wa ikimasen deshita.
  • 大阪には行きましたが東京には行きませんでした。
  • I went to Osaka, but I didn’t go to Tokyo.
  • Koko de wa tabako o suwanaide kudasai.
  • ここでは詫バコを吸わないで下さい。
  • Please don’t smoke here (but you can smoke there).

“が (ga)”  is used when a situation or happening is just noticed or newly introduced. For example:

  • Mukashi mukashi, ojii-san ga sunde imashita. Ojii-san wa totemo shinsetsu deshita.
  • 昔々、お爺さん住んでいました。お爺さんとても親切でした。
  • Once upon a time, there lived an old man. He was very kind.

In the first sentence, “お爺さん (ojii-san)” is introduced for the first time. It is the subject, not the topic. The second sentence describes about “お爺さん (ojii-san)” that is previously mentioned. “お爺さん (ojii-san)” is now the topic, and is marked with “は (wa)” instead of “が (ga).”

When a question word such as “who” and “what” is the subject of a sentence, it is always followed by “ga,” never by “wa.” To answer the question, it also has to be followed by “ga.” For example:

  • Dare ga kimasu ka.
  • 来ますか。
  • Who is coming?
  • Maeda san ga kimasu.
  • 前田さん来ます。
  • Maeda is coming.

“が (ga)” is used for emphasis, to distinguish a person or thing from all others. If a topic is marked with “は(wa),” the comment is the most important part of the sentence. On the other hand, if a subject is marked with “ga,” the subject is the most important part of the sentence. In English, these differences are sometimes expressed in tone of voice. Compare these sentences.

  • Maeda san wa gakkou ni ikimashita.
  • 前田さん学校に行きました。
  • Maeda went to school.
  • Maeda san ga gakkou ni ikimashita.
  • 前田さん学校に行きました。
  • Maeda is the one who went to school.

The object of the sentence is usually marked by the particle “を (wo),” but some verbs and adjectives (when expressing like or dislike, desire, necessity, envy, fear, etc.) take “が (ga)” instead of “を (wo).” For example:

  • Ringo ga hoshii desu.
  • りんご欲しいです。
  • I want an apple.
  • Nihongo ga wakarimasu.
  • 日本語分かります。
  • I understand Japanese.

The subject of a subordinate clause normally takes “ga” to show that the subjects of the subordinate and main clauses are different.

  • Watashi wa Maeda san ga kekkon shita koto o shiranakatta.
  • 私は前田さん結婚したことを知らなかった。
  • I didn’t know that Maeda got married.

Now let’s review what we have learned about “は(wa)” and “が (ga).” は (wa) is used as a topic marker and when contrasting things while が (ga)” is used as a subject marker, with question words, to emphasize, instead of the particle を (wo),” and in subordinate clauses.

I hope that this lesson is super helpful to you when trying to make sentences in Japanese. As always if you have any questions you can always email me at colormeindie@gmail.com or leave a comment below! Remember to keep practicing and you will be able to do it! Until next time Japanese language learners!