3 Basic Japanese Particles

Particles ga/ wa/ mo

Particles are a vital part of the Japanese language. In one of our previous lessons, we have seen the particle は and を already. But what do they do in a sentence?

Particles are the modifiers that indicated the position of the noun (what that particular noun is doing) in that statement.

The particle は indicates the noun before it is the main subject and doing the work.

Other than there are other particles as well. In this post, we will look at 3 of them specifically.

  1. Ga

This is the particle which is very similar to the particle は. However, が is used when we want to emphasize the noun before it. Let’s look at two examples to understand it clearly.

Ms. Sakura wants this umbrella.

Ex1: さくらさんがこのかさはほしいです。

Sakura san ga kono kasa ha hoshii desu.

Here, this sentence is emphasizing on the person who wants it. More like the answer to “Who wants the umbrella?”

Ex2: さくらさんはこのかさがほしいです。

Sakura san ha kono kasa ga hoshii desu.

Here, this sentence is emphasizing on what Ms. Sakura wants. More like the answer to, “What does Ms. Sakura want?”

  1. Wo

This is a particle that sits after an object that is not controlling the work of the sentence. But, that object serves a purpose for elaborating, so we use the connector を. For example,

I eat rice.

わたしはごはんをたべます。

Watashi wa gohan wo tabemasu.

Here, After rice, the を particle is used as rice is not the subject who is eating. But, it’s an important part of the extension. However, depending on some context, it can be replaced with the が particle. But for beginner lessons, we will not elaborate on such contexts.

  1. No

This particle is quite different from the previous two, so there’s the least chance to mix it up. When we want to express something like N1 belongs to N2, we say it like N2の N1. In another way, in English, where we use ‘X’s’, in Japanese we say ‘X の’. Another example sentence to understand better is provided below-

This is my pen.

これはわたしのかばんです。

Kore wa watashi no kaban desu.

Thank you for reading!

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