Subject particles



im currently in 2.2 of rocket Japanese and ive enjoying it a lot. however i am really struggling with subject particles. Like WA, O, and GA. i get why they are used i dont understand when im supposed to use each one. ive also seen more then just these three so does anyone know how many there are? and do they all have different meanings and are used in different circumstances 
toru e

toru e

I have the Kondansha A Dictionary of Japanese Particles as a reference, and on the inside front cover, there's a quick table of basic particles, and I counted 125.

I counted variations of the particle as one (ex: けれど [keredo] which functions like "but" or "however" has the variations: けど [kedo] / けれども [keredomo] / けども [kedomo]). I used to use the more informal sounding けど all the time (because I saw an art historian on TV use it when he was analyzing an artwork and I was trying to imitate conversational "smart talk" :)), but I noticed that my teacher would tend to use the more polite けれども, or けども, which has a register in between. So yes, on some of these particles, there would be some differences in the level of politeness.

Getting comfortable with particles was definitely one of the bigger challenges for me too, but I think with continued exposure to the structure of Japanese grammar and sentences, you'll start getting a more intuitive sense for them. がんばってください!


I have "All About Particles" by Naoko Chino.   It's 149 pages of particles and how they are used, with examples.  Particles have different uses and there are many of them.  Some of the uses include marking the subject, topic, direct object, connecting clauses, indicates a reason, etc., etc.  The book says particles have over 200 different usages.   To make it harder, most particles have multiple  meanings as well as multiple uses. This is a great book to have as a learning tool or just for reference.  You will gradually get the idea of how they are used as you get more exposure.  Particles, in my opinion, are one of the trickiest parts of Japanese.


こんにちは (Konnichiwa) Tyler24, thanks for your question!

Just like toru e and ClaudiaR-sc5g say,  particles are a real challenge to master! You'll come across many different particles as you study Japanese, the main ones being は (wa), が (ga), を (o), で (de), に (ni), へ (e), ね (ne), の (no) and よ (yo). 

は (Wa), が (ga) and を (o) can be tricky to tell apart, but thankfully we've have recently released a brand new Level 1 Language and Culture course, with far more in-depth explanations on how particles work!

Here's the links to some lessons from the new course you might find helpful. 

How to use は (wa)

How to use が (ga)

は (Wa) VS が (ga)

How to use を (o)

Hope this helped, and please let us know if you have any more questions! 

がんばって ください! (Ganbatte kudasai!)


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