Learning Japanese Particles - "に"

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Welcome back! This is the third article in my series on Japanese language particles. The goal of these articles is to look at Japanese particles from a birds-eye perspective; that is, to look at their general functions and uses and how theirs differ from other particles. In the first article, we looked at the topic-marking particle は wa (written with the hiragana character for “ha”). In the second article, we looked at the subject-marking particle が ga. If you jumping into the series midway, ...

Japanese Particles - The Secret to Using Them in Sentences

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Don't be daunted by Particles! They are essential to sentence construction. This article will give an overview of the series of Japanese particles, and provide some helpful links. This article is the second half of our Japanese Sentence Structure series. Click here for the first half. Particles What are particles?  They are absolutely essential to Japanese sentences. Particles tell you what something is, where it goes, what it does, how it does it, why it does it, etc. They are ...

Learning Japanese Particles - "Wo"

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Welcome back! This is the fourth article in my series on Japanese language particles. Language learning is like most other pursuits – everything comes back to basics. Japanese is no different. Usually, the particles are all off partying and doing their thing in language land and the language learner can sometimes struggle to keep up. Here, the goal is to take some time to have a good ‘ol one-on-one with the particles. Where usually you might get a very scientific, sterile and lengthy ...

Learning Japanese Particles - "Ga"

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Welcome to the third article in this series on basic Japanese particles! Japanese jyoshi 助詞 (particles) are functional grammatical postpositions which help make the meaning clear in Japanese. At first we got a primer on particles, then an introduction on は wa (actually “ha” but pronounced “wa” when used as a particle). The core points brought up were that Japanese works as a topic-comment language. Wa は marks the topic of conversation, and then something is said about it. In this article we’ll ...

Learning Japanese Particles - Explanation of "Wa"

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Welcome to the second article in this series on basic Japanese particles. In the opening article, we looked at Japanese jyoshi 助詞 (particles), functional grammatical suffices, which help to make meaning clear in Japanese. We also looked at why learning particles is so important. For this article, we’ll go back to look at the examples given before to get a better look at the particle wa は. Let’s look at a sentence construction commonly learned when starting to study Japanese: “A wa B desu” = ...

Learning Japanese - The Wonderful World of Particles

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Welcome! This is the first article in a series on jyoshi助詞 (particles) in the Japanese language. This article is a primer with more detailed articles to follow on individual particles. First off, it’s clear to everybody that English and Japanese are pretty different. They look different, sound different, write differently, they move in opposite directions, and the way things are said is different, too. The differences pile up very quickly. So, language learners look for cost-effective ...

Learn Japanese Grammar! Nuances of the Particles に and で

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One of the most difficult parts of learning Japanese is not learning colloquial phrases or expanding vocabulary, but perfecting the usage of small words. Although small words to non-native speakers might seem to be trivial, just look at how important the articles “a, an, and the” are in English. “A girlfriend” vs. “The Girlfriend” means something entirely different in English, although in Japanese there is no direct equivalent to describe this situation. Japanese speakers who are learning ...