Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Japanese Grammar Tips ~The Particles~ (5)

Heeyyy, I'm back!! :) I had a great vacation in Japan!!
Now I'm coming back to Taiwan again. I can't believe it's already in the end of October, it's still hot here. But it was so cold in Japan. I caught a cold soon after getting to the airport in Japan. Well, I got it over, so don't worry about it. Anyway, let's go on!

(1) Xは = The theme of the sentence is X
 - We Usually use は to describe things. So <AはB> is often translated as <A is B>. 
 - が is used to emphasize the subject. <AがB> can also be translated as <B is A>.
 - When we answer the questions like "who is...?" or "what is...?", it is natural to use が.
 - が has an exclusive meaning. If we say Aが, it implies that not B, C, or D, but A.
(2) が describes objectively what has happened
 - In this case, you are just a spectator who describes the situation objectively.
 - If you use は to describe happenings, then it focuses on "what someone/something did".
 - When we talk about the actions of the first and the second person, tip(1) applies.
(3) When the subject changes in one sentence, we should use が
 - が can implies the subject of the sentence would be changed.
 - On the contrary, は can't imply omitted subject.
(4) Can't we repeat は in one sentence? 
 -は and が can be used in one sentence, but usually は comes before が. <AはBがC>
 - は shows the topic of the sentence and が specifies its subject.
 - It sounds incomplete if you change the latter が into は. It imply you have something more to say,
    or you compare it(B) with something else. <AはBはC>
(5) Some Japanese verbs take が to mark the direct object
(6) は can be attached to another particle

(5) Some Japanese verbs take が to mark the direct object

Maybe you've already learned the particle を/o/, which shows a direct object.
> ねこがうどん食べている。 A cat is eating udon noodles.
昨日失くしたカギトイレで見つけた。 I found the key that I lost yesterday in the bathroom.
> 母にバレない方法考えよう。 Let's think about the way that we won't get caught by mom.

You see, [OBJECT] を [VERB] is the basic word order in Japanese. The subject of a sentence is often omitted if it's obvious between the speaker and the listener.

I don't want to confuse you, but I have to say that sometimes we have to use instead of . Well, it's not so hard to remember which verbs take .
Some English verbs become adjectives in Japanese language. And in this case, you shouldn't use . Let's look at some example sentences:

> 野球したい。 I want to play baseball.
> お金欲しい。 I want money.
> 愛必要だ。 I need love.
> 若い女の子好き。 I like young ladies.

These verbs in English, "want" "need" "like", are technically adjectives in Japanese. Some people say 野球したい, and not a few Japanese people don't know it's grammatically wrong. Frankly, I didn't know either!

Okay, make it more simple. When we talk about our wants, we prefer to use . What I want, what I need, what I prefer, and so on.

> 歌声聞こえる。
I can hear a singing voice.
> 日本語の簡単な文法分かる。
I can understand easy grammar of Japanese language.
> 窓から海見える。
I can see the sea from the window.
> ピアノ弾ける。
I can play the piano.

Here, these sentences also use to mark its objects. You found something in common in these sentences, did you? Right, they all have "can". This is the another case of using instead of . We use when we talk about possibility and ability.

By the way, 見える is a different verb with 見る (to see/to look/to watch). 見える literally means "can be seen" or "to be visible". The speaker's volition doesn't matter. It just comes into the sight. 聞こえる(audible) is also like that.

Let's recap!
 - It is common to use to show the direct object of a verb. [OBJECT] を [VERB]
 - Some English verbs which show one's want or preference, change into adjectives in
    Japanese language, and in this case we should use  instead of .
 - We also use when we talk about possibility or one's ability.

The previous post's <QUIZ> answer
You're talking about "what do you like about her", so...

○[1] あの子可愛いんだ。
Speaking of that girl, her eyes are cute.
This sentence is the correct one!! :)

×[2] あの子可愛いんだ。
That girl is the one whose eyes are cute.
This sentence is talking about "WHO has cute eyes".

×[3] あの子可愛いんだ。
It sounds very strange!

Today's QUIZ
Guess which is most appropriate to use, or or ?

> 日本語の「は」と「が」の使い方 [ 1 ] 分かってきた。
I began to understand the usage of は and が better.

> ようやく宿題 [ 2-1 ] 提出すること [ 2-2 ] できる。
After all, I can hand in my homework.
 *提出(ていしゅつ)する : to submit, to hand in

Finally, I will be able to finish this topic!! The next post would be the last one. I hope these tips can help people learn Japanese. Feel free to leave a comment! :) See you next time!

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