Forum Rocket Japanese Japanese Vocab Lesson 1.4 Survival Phrases Error?

Lesson 1.4 Survival Phrases Error?

r_folsom

r_folsom

Konnichiwa! On lesson 1.4 Survival Phrases, the first sentence on there says: "Anata wa nihon go ga hanase masu ka?" I've noticed when Sayaka says this question. She leaves out "ga". Why is "ga" in there if you don't say it in that question? It wasn't even EXPLAINED in that question. :?
Brendan

Brendan

I believe that's because the 'ga' marks the subject of the sentence, the 'Nihon go' part of the question. So because we already know that she is asking if we speak japanese, you can leave the 'go' part out? This is my guess anyway I'm sure Sayaka will post soon and give you a better anwser :p
CatPanda

CatPanda

[quo]*Quote from * Brendan I believe that's because the 'ga' marks the subject of the sentence, the 'Nihon go' part of the question. So because we already know that she is asking if we speak japanese, you can leave the 'go' part out? This is my guess anyway I'm sure Sayaka will post soon and give you a better anwser :p[/quo] Ga does mark the sentence's subject, and if I remember it was addressed somewhere else in these forums. Moving along, the Ga isn't entirely necessary if it's obvious what the context is. So that's why she didn't use it. However, the "go" part is necessary as it makes the distinction between whether or not you are able to talk about the Japanese language or Japan as a whole. Nihon = Japan and go (in this case) = Language these put together equal Japanese language. Without the "go" it'd be just Japan. In which case the question would become "Can you talk about Japan?" vs. "Can you speak Japanese?" To recap: -Ga is a particle used to mark the sentence subject. If context already makes it obvious then it is not needed. (Like she could even shorten it to "Nihongo hanaseru ka?" for example." -The "go" is necessary as that distinguishes between Japan and the Japanese Language.
Brendan

Brendan

Sorry that was a typo. I did mean 'ga' and no 'go' on the second line.
Sayaka-Matsuura

Sayaka-Matsuura

Konnichiwa! Thank you Brendan-san and Derek-san for answering this question. You are entirely correct. The GA particle is often omitted in speech - much like the contraction in English, from, IT IS it IT'S (for example). So, for example, to say "I want that" - in Japanese, the longer version is ARE GA HOSHII, while the shorter version is ARE HOSHII. Both ways mean the same thing. -hope that helps! Sayaka :P

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