Forum Rocket Japanese Japanese Grammar Using the 'wa' particle twice in a sentence...

Using the 'wa' particle twice in a sentence...

イ リ ニ

イ リ ニ

Hello everyone,

I'm a little confused about the use of particles in a module 4.2 sentence: 

わたし に は そんな に おもしろ そう に は みえません。
Watashi ni wa sonnani omoshiro sō ni wa mie masen / It does not look very fun to me.

I understand the usage of わたし に は (to me/as for me), but am confused by そんな に おもしろ そう に は.  From what I've gathered so far, は can be used with other particles to define the topic, but I don't understand why には is used a second time.  It the particle combination a contrast statement of saying "compared to other reading material" - otherwise, the usage of に seems odd?  It doesn't really fit my understanding an research of that particle when used like this.

I saw the same question posted a couple of months ago by someone who is also stumped by it .  Thank you very much for any help you can offer.
toru e

toru e

Hi イリニ、 I think in this case, it's easier to think of "ni wa" by itself as "as for..."

So I would read the sentence more literally as: As for me, as for "seeming/looking interesting/fun", not see. {I know that sounds like Yoda, but... :D }

In this sense, my translation would be more like: "As for me, as for seeming/looking interesting/fun, I don't see it."

I think it helps to think of は as a topic maker in this case. The first 私 (わたし) には marks that it is you/私 who is "not seeing" something, and the second には marks that the topic is the "something seeming/looking fun".

Another way this could have been written (which would be more in keeping with the translation} is: 私には、面白 (おもしろ) くな そうです。- As for me, it doesn't seem/look fun/interesting.
イ リ ニ

イ リ ニ

Oh!!!  Well... It didn't occur to me to think of the sentence in that way, or construct it like that ...!  It's enlightening as well as a little confusing :-)

When I look at the sentence, would it also be correct to say:

わたし に は そんな に おもしろ そう  みえません。
Watashi ni wa sonnani omoshiro sō mie masen

Thank you so much for clarifying this - the explanation was so helpful.
toru e

toru e

そんなに implies a kind of "in *such a* condition" or "to *that* extent", so it's an adverbial expression and a noun is still needed, like "book" (本/ほん) or "thing" (事/こと).

The tricky part is that in Japanese, we have to make a noun phrase so the verb is at the end, so we wouldn't say "a book/thing that looks that much fun (I don't see)", we have to say "a that much fun-looking book/thing (I don't see)" (or, loosely translated, "It (the book/thing) doesn't look *that* interesting to me.")

All the qualifiers of the noun go before the noun so the structure would be:

わたしには そんなにおもしろそう ほん (本)/こと みえません。

The object that you "can't see" is the book/thing, so it gets the particle を。

Edited: I just thought of another way using の instead of こと:わたしには そんなにおもしろそうの は みえません。
イ リ ニ

イ リ ニ

Ok thank you, I think I see.  So, the second には that I omitted is needed because it's a way to reference the manga book  (as for: whatever is being talked about).  Would that be right?
toru e

toru e

Exactly, it's because of the change in reference from "me" to "fun thing".
イ リ ニ

イ リ ニ

Got it  - thanks a million!!


こんにちは (Konnichiwa) toru e and イ リ ニ,

Thank you for your question!
This is a tricky one! 

As you've both realised, the first に は (ni wa) means "as for," so when we use it with the noun わたし (watashi), we can say "as for me." However, the second に は (ni wa) actually means something a little different.

The に (ni) in おもしろそう に は みえません (omoshirosō ni wa miemasen) is actually part of the grammar construction に みえます (ni miemasu). When we add に みえます (ni miemasu) to a な (na) adjective, we can say that something "looks like" or "appears as if."
そう (Sō) is a な (na) adjective, so when we add に みえます (ni miemasu) after it, we can say "it looks interesting."

おもしろそう に みえます。 (Omoshirosō ni miemasu.) "(It) looks interesting."

Or, in the case of the example above, we can make みえます into the negative: みえません (miemasen) and says "it doesn't look interesting":

おもしろそう に みえません。 (Omoshirosō ni miemasen.) "(It) doesn't look interesting."

So now that you know what the に (ni) is for, let's look at why we use は (wa)!
When we add a は (wa) after the に (ni) in this sentence, we can imply contrast. In this example, it shows contrast been looking "interesting" and looking like something else: like boring or difficult.
Basically what it's saying is something like this:

おもしろそう に みえません。 つまらなく みえます。 (Omoshirosō ni miemasen. Tsumaranaku miemasu.)  "(It) doesn't look interesting. (It) looks boring."

We can imply all of this just by using は (wa): 

わたし に は そんな に おもしろそう に は みえません。
(Watashi ni wa sonna ni omoshirosō ni wa miemasen.)
"As for me, (it) doesn't look that interesting (it looks boring)."

If you want to read a little more about how to use は (wa) to show contrast, you can check the section on は (wa) in this brand new lesson:

イ リ ニ, to make your example sentence correct, you would need to add a に (ni) before みえます (miemasu). The rest is perfect! 

toru e, unfortunately, わたし に は そんなに おもしろそう ほん (本)/こと みえません would be grammatically incorrect. Instead, you should say this:

わたし に は そんなに おもしろそう な ほん に みえません。 (Watashi ni wa sonnani omoshirosō na hon ni miemasen.) "(It) doesn't look like an interesting book."

Since そう (sō) is a な (na) adjective, we need to add a な (na) to modify the word "book."
Also, it's true that normally you would use を (o) with みえません (miemasen); however, since we're using the grammar structure に みえます (ni miemasu) "looks like," we need to use  a に (ni) here instead.

I hope this helped! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

べんきょう を がんばって ください! (Benkyō o ganbatte kudasai!)
イ リ ニ

イ リ ニ

Oh my gosh - I take a break for 3 weeks to do some heaving kana writing practice, and come back to not only fantastic responses to my three recent forum posts, but an entirely new Rocket Japanese!!! 

 I'm so excited to go through all of the new stuff - thank you so much Emma for responding to all my posts in such detail.  I will carefully comb through what you have written, and I think I'll also go back to the beginning of Module 1 and just quickly comb through all the new content.  It will be a nice refresher!

Ok, I'm off to get started - thank you again Emma for helping me out :-)



こんにちは (Konnichiwa) イ リ ニ,

Thanks for the lovely feedback, and good luck with your study! :)
べんきょう を がんばって ください! (Benkyō o ganbatte kudasai!)

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