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は vs. が

StandAlone2323

~tanoshii
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yeah, so i no this a question i should probably know the answer to at this stage in the game, but if someone could help me out, that would be great. I have that Rosetta Stone thing, and it works, but you cant learn Japanese without some sort of instruction. i have figured out most other things that dont exist in english like the counters for objects but this one continues to stump me. someone please help!
 

Davey

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I dislike this one as well. So I am looking forward to read something from the other guys.
 

Elizabeth

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yeah, so i no this a question i should probably know the answer to at this stage in the game, but if someone could help me out, that would be great. I have that Rosetta Stone thing, and it works, but you cant learn Japanese without some sort of instruction. i have figured out most other things that dont exist in english like the counters for objects but this one continues to stump me. someone please help!
This has been talked about gazillions of times so you're not going to find a lot of people interested in repeating themselves to such a general question. Fortunately I remembered where to get my answers of just a few weeks ago....so you get lucky today ! Be sure to check the internal links and prepare yourself for the ride. :p

I also wouldn't trust the grammar summaries used by Rosetta Stone as my sole method of studying. Invest in a high quality supplementary book for, I don't know, maybe 10% of the cost of that program ? :eek:


https://jref.com/threads/need-a-word-or-phrase-translated.6407/page-189#post-484405

https://jref.com/threads/need-a-word-or-phrase-translated.6407/page-186#post-481442
 

StandAlone2323

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ok. i think i have a better understanding now. a certain link that i cant post because i dont have enough posts (dumb rule) helped out.
 
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nekocat

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It's very simple.

は: topic marker. Functions just like English definite article "the".
が: subject marker. To introduce new information, similar to English indefinite article "a".

Just try to apply this rule only, and if you find any contradictory sentences, please let me know.
 

Elizabeth

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It's very simple.
は: topic marker. Functions just like English definite article "the".
が: subject marker. To introduce new information, similar to English indefinite article "a".
Just try to apply this rule only, and if you find any contradictory sentences, please let me know.
http://japanese.about.com/library/weekly/aa051301a.htm


Take a look at this link and you'll see that it is indeed a basic difference but only one of six (or so) functions carried out by は and が overall. 🙂
 
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nekocat

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You know, people tend to over-analyze anything, especially those involved in dictionary business. They earn reputation by proposing new ideas.

That only complicates the matter which is otherwise quite simple in nature. Do you think native Japanese have those lots of category internalized in their minds?

I think highly of the notion "意義素" (sememe) or "語義素" (?). The idea is that there are only a few, at most, sememes in each word. It's a revolutionary idea
for language learners who have always been overwhelmed by so many definitions for each word in dictionaries.

It's also quite true to what's in native speakers' minds. Humans aren't intelligent enough to have so many "drawers" in their minds. They are organized in hierarchy, top-to-bottom. They apply very few sememes for each word to the word and analyze the meaning in relation to the place in which the word appears.

Ga in a Special Circumstance

The object of the sentence is usually marked by the particle "o," but some verbs and adjectives (expressing like/dislike, desire, potential, necessity, fear, envy etc.) take "ga" instead of "o."

Kuruma ga hoshii desu.
車が欲しいです。 I want a car.

Nihongo ga wakarimasu.
日本語が分かります。 I understand Japanese.
This is not the first time I find this kind of ad-hoc explanations. This is never a "special" usage. This is not special because (1) は can also be used in either sentence, (2) the sentence pattern is that of inhuman subject.
 

StandAlone2323

~tanoshii
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ok, thanks so much everyone. the clouds are parting and i am beginning to see clearly now. ありがとうございます!
 
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