Japanese Grammar Particle Wa
The Japanese grammar particle wa is one the most confusing
particles for most beginner Japanese. The particle wa is really just a
simple particle for indicating the topic of a sentence. Most of the time,
the topic can be the subject in the sentence too.
Watashi wa ningen desu. I'm a human.
Let's take a look at the example above. Watashi means I and ningen means human. In this case watashi is the topic and ningen is the subject. Since watashi and ningen are referring to the same thing, the person who is a human, the topic is the subject.
Ashita wa ikimasen. Tomorrow, I'm not going.
In the second sentence, ashita means tomorrow and ikimasen means not going. Ikimasen comes from the word iku which means to go. Notice that ashita and ikimasem are not related in anyway. In this case, the topic is not the subject.
Using the Japanes particle wa correctly in a sentence is very important. Let's take a closer look at more examples below:
Neko wa kawaii desu. Cat is cute.
Kanojo wa watashi no koibito desu. She is my lover.
Yudan wa taiteki desu yo. Negligence is your worst enemy.
In the 1st example, neko means cat and kawaii means cute. In the 2nd example, Kanojo means she or girlfriend. If you want to say he or boyfriend you can use kareshi. Koibito means lover. In the 3rd example, Yudan means negligence or unpreparedness. Taiteki means great rival or powerful enemy.
Perhaps the easiest way to think about the Japanese particle wa is to think of it as "as for...". Tabako wa yoku nai desu. As for cigarette, it's bad. Tabako means cigarette and yoku nai means bad, not good. Literally translated it would mean, As for cigarette, not good it is.
About the Author
To learn more about Japanese grammar, particle wa, you can view the original article here: www.myjapansensei.com/grammars/japanese_particle_wa.html.
Japanese Culture and Society Links
Japanese Sports 競技 (スポーツ)
Japanese Food 食品 (しょくひん)
Japanese Pop Culture 文化（ぶんか）
- Hello Kitty Phenomena
- Japanese Anime, Japanese Manga
- Japanese Hair Straightening: All You Ever Wanted to Know
- Creating a Japanese Garden Theme
- Keeping and Handling Japanese Inro
- Misconception about Ninja
- Japanese Bonsai
- Japanese Geisha
- Japanese Wedding
- Why Do Japanese Have Long Lifespan?
- Decorate with Japanese Art
Japanese Literature Links
- Haiku Poetry
- Japanese Alphabet
- Japanese Language
- Japanese Pronunciation
- Learning Japanese Kanji
- Tanka Poems
Japanese Art Links