I have a question about "koto ga arimasu".. In the beginning of the conversation, Kenni says he has never drunk sake like this: "sake o nonda koto WA arimasen". whereas in the grammar news letter, there's a sentence that goes like this: "Yoroppa wa itta koto GA arimasen". why does one statement use "wa arimasen" and the other use "ga arimasen"? but mostly, how come it isn't "Yoroppa NI itta koto ga arimasen" ? since NI is what we use to indicate direction? [/b]
koto ga arimasu
February 23, 2008
March 12, 2008
Hi Zaina, This is a very good question. This concerns the particle "wa". Strictly speaking, "wa" is a topic particle and NOT a grammatical subject particle. It can replace other particles such as "o" or "ga" when you want that word to be the "topic." As the two sentences in question are both negative sentences, I will talk about the use of "wa" in negative sentences. TENISU o shimasu. (I play tennis) TENISU o shimasen. This is grammatically correct. But it is a plain statement and in a real conversation, especially in a negative sentence we we would usually say: TENISU wa shimasen. This implies that "As for TENNIS, I don't play." I may play soccer. I may play other sports but as for tennis, I don't play. You are making the word "tennis" the topic. YOOROPPA wa itta koto ga arimasen. Now, this sentence is emphasizing "Europe". So it implies that I've been to other places but as for "Europe", I've never been. If you say: YOOROPPA ni itta koto wa arimasen. Then it implies that I've never "BEEN TO" Europe. I think about it. I read about it but I've never "BEEN" there. Similarly, Sake o nonda koto wa arimasen. This implies that I've heard of Sake and may have seen it but have never "DRANK" it. If you say: Sake wa nonda koto ga arimasen. Then this implies I've drank other stuff but never "sake". YOOROPPA ni itta koto ga arimasen. This is a grammatically correct sentence. But it does not emphasize anything. It is a plain statement and has no place in a real life conversation. This use of the particle "wa" is very tricky and beginners are usually not expected to quite master it. So in many Japanese grammar books, it is ignored. But to make conversation more natural, it is necessary.
March 12, 2008
OK :D i understand the concept better now. i hope i'll b brave enough to use it. Thanks
January 18, 2013
Thank you very much. Now it is much more clearer.