Particles 助詞

Introduction

Particles play very important role in Japanese language and probably it is the most difficult and confusing aspect in a Japanese sentence. A particle (助詞/じょし) is a word that shows the relationship of a word, a phrase, or a clause to the rest of the sentence. There are also particles that have a peculiar usage which is not found in English. Most particles are multi-functional. Below is the explanation of some particles used frequently in Japanese language, but please note that these explanations are not all explanations about particles.

ga(が)

UsageMeans
Indicates direct object
バス  きました。
Basu ga kimashita.
Bus has come.
It stresses the word before が. It is much used in a answer to interrogative.
今日(きょう) は だれ きますか?
Kyou wa dare ga kimasuka?
井上(いのうえ)さん きます。
Inoue san ga kimasu.
Who will come today?
Mr.Inoue comes.
It makes a sentence a part of bigger sentence.
この 映画(えいが) は おもしろい です。
Kono eiga wa omoshiroi desu.
この 映画(えいが) おもしろい こと は 事実(じじつ) です。
Kono eiga ga omoshiroi koto wa jijitsu desu.
This movie is interesting.

It is fact that this movie is interesting.
NOTE: In this function, 'が' indicates a subject and 'は' indicates topic of the sentence. There are many sentences in which subject of the sentence matches for topic of the sentence. For example, in upper sentence, この えいが can be called not only as a topic but also as a subject of the sentence. But in the sentence below, subject is different from the topic of the sentence.

の(no)

UsageMeans
Noun1 の (no) Noun2
本(ほん)。
Watashi no hon.
My book.
トム さん 時計(とけい)。
Tom san no tokei.
Tom's clock.

wa(は)

UsageMeans
Indicates direct object
わたし イギリス人です。
Watashi wa igirisu jin desu.
I am British.
きょう  休(やす)み です。
Kyou wa yasumi desu.
Today is a holiday.

を(wo)

UsageMeans
Indicates direct object
私(わたし)は 本(ほん)  読(よ)みます。
Watashi wa hon o yomimasu.
I read a book.
私(わたし)は 本(ほん)  読(よ)みます。
Watashi wa hon o yomimasu.
I read a book.

に(ni)

Usage Means
time/date に(ni)
7時(しちじ) 起(お)きます。
Shichiji ni okimasu.
I get up at seven.
会議(かいぎ)は10時(じゅうじ) 始(はじ)まります。
Kaigi wa juuji ni hajimarimasu.
Meeting starts at ten.
place に(ni)/ Goal of movement
学校(がっこう) 行(い)きます。
Gakkou ni ikimasu.
I go to school.
秋葉原(あきはばら) 行(い)きます。
Akihabara ni ikimasu.
I go to Akihabara.

で(de)

Usage Means
で(de) Something
バス 行(い)きます。
Basu de ikimasu.
I go by bus.
place に(ni)/ Goal of movement
ペン 書(か)きます。
Pen de kakimasu.
I write with pen.
東京(とうきょう) 仕事(しごと)をします。
Tokyo de shigoto o shimasu.
I work in Tokyo.

と(to)

UsageMeans
Noun to (と) Noun
わたし は スーパー で 肉(にく) 魚(さかな) を 買います。
Watashi wa suupaa de niku to sakana o kaimasu.
I will buy meat and fish at the supermarket.
東京(とうきょう) ロンドン(ろんどん) の 時差(じさ)は何時間ですか?
Tokyo to London no jisa wa nanjikan desuka?
What's the time difference between Tokyo and London?
Something with to (と)
友(とも)だち 映画(えいが) を 見(み) に 行(い)きました。
Tomodachi to eiga o mi ni ikimashita.
I went to see a movie with my friend.
来週(らいしゅう) 母(はは) 旅行(りょこう) に 行(い)きます。
Raishuu haha to ryokou ni ikimasu.
I'm going to travel with my mother.

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