Short Japanese Lessons no.18 - How to use particles は (wa) and が (ga)

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Aug 17, 2013 00:49
I've not been able to write Japanese lessons in a long time. How to use particles は(wa) and が(ga) is one of the most difficult things of Japanese grammar.

(1-a) verb dearu da/desu are considered as the variations of dearu.
AはB(です/だ/である) A wa B (des/da/dearu) means A is B or A=B. (B is a noun (phrase) or an adjective (phrase).)

Examples:
私は田中です。Watashi wa Tanaka des. I am Tanaka.
空は青い。Sora wa aoi. The sky is blue.

(1-b)
AがB A ga B (B is a noun or adjective.) a particular sentence/emphasizing the subject/an exclusive subject.

Examples:
空が青い。 Sora ga aoi. The sky is blue! (For example, this mentions today's sky.)
空は青い。 Sora wa aoi. The sky is blue. (a generalization)
私が田中です。Watashi ga tanaka des. I am Tanaka. (not him etc.)

(2-a) intransitive verbs(Vi.) including iru/aru.
Intransitive verbs nomally use "ga."

AがB A ga B (B is Vi. (phrase).)

Examples:
人がいる。Hito ga iru. There is a man.
犬が走る。 Inu ga hashiru. The dog runs.
春が来た。 Haru ga kita. The spring has come.

(2-b)
AはB A wa B ((B is an Vi.) a generalization.
Using "wa" for intransitive verbs make sentences about general facts.

Examples:
犬は走る。 Inu wa hashiru. (Usually,) dogs run.
鳥は飛ぶ。 Tori wa tobu. (Usually,) birds fly.

(3-a) transitive verbs(Vt.)
Transitive verbs nomally use "wa."

AはC(に/へ/を)B A wa C (ni/e/wo) B (B is Vt.)

Examples:
私は町に行きます。Watashi wa machi ni ikimas. I will go to the town.
彼は私に本をくれました。 Kare wa watashi ni hon wo kuremashita. He gave me a book.

(3-b)
AがC(に/へ/を)B A ga C (ni/e/wo) B (B is a Vt.) a particular sentence/emphasizing the subject/an exclusive subject.

Examples:
私が町に行きます。Watashi ga machi ni ikimas. I will go to the town.(not him etc.)
彼が私に本をくれました。 Kare ga watashi ni hon wo kuremashita. He gave me a book.(not her etc.)

(4) AはB、CはD (B and D are verbs/nouns/adjectives.) listing subjects and comparing them.

Examples:
私は歩くが、彼は走る。Watashi wa aruku ga kare wa hashiru. I will walk, but he will run.
彼は来ないが、私は来た。Kare wa konai ga watashi wa kita. He will not come, but I've come here.
夏は暑いが、冬は寒い。Natsu wa atsui ga fuyu wa samui. Summer is hot, but winter is cold.

However, these rules don't explain all cases.

I'll try to explain the famous problem of Japanese grammar.

「象は鼻が長い。」"Zou wa hana ga nagai" - Elephants have long trunks.
I analyze this sentence as - 象は[鼻が長い] This is a double syntax.
象=[鼻が長い] --- (1-a)
Hana(noses) are not long normally. This sentence is not about general things. So が is used in this sentence.
鼻が長い --- (1-b)
Also, you can say like this -
象は鼻は長い。--- (4) It means "(Elephants have small eyes, but) Elephants have long trunks", for example.