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Japanese Particles

Based on Material Published by the Defense Language Institute West Coast Branch
Presidio of Monterey, California

I. Particles. Japanese particles are always attached to other words, phrases, and clauses, and act
functionally in showing the relationships between these words, phrases, and clauses.

II. Particles and Their Functions:

1. Ga
a. Indicates that the preceding word is the definite subject of the sentence. E.g.:
Hana ga sakimasu. Flowers bloom.
Ano kata ga sensei desu. He is a teacher.
Hon ga arimasu. There is a book.

b. Ga in the following sentences should also be considered as a particle attached to the


subject:
Nippongo ga joz desu. I am good in Japanese.
Kanji ga kakenai. I cannot write Kanji.
Kaku koto ga dekiru. I can write.

c. Ga used with words expressing desire, like, dislike, and need, shows the direct object.
Sakana ga suki desu. I like fish.
Mizu ga nomitai desu. ` I want to drink water.
Onna ga kirai desu. I dislike women.
Okane ga hoshii desu. I want money.

d. Following the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words, ga expresses opposition to


the statement: "but"
(1) Kaze wa fuku ga samuku wa arimasen.
It is windy, but it is not cold.
(2) Ano hito wa yoku benky shimasu ga, yoku dekimasen.
He studies hard, but he does not do well.
(3) Yonda ga henji ga arimasen deshita.
I called, but there was no answer.
(4) Benky shitai ga hima ga nai.
I want to study, but don't have the time.
(5) Sukoshi samui ga gait o kinai.
It's a little cold, but I'm not going to wear a topcoat.
Japanese Particles

e. Ga is often used to join two sentences: "and"


Watakushi mo ano jidsha ni norimashita ga, taihen ii kuruma desu.
I, too, rode in that car, and it is a very good car.

2. No
a. Following nouns no indicates possession: "of"
(1) watakushi no enpitsu. my pencil
(2) sensei no hon teacher's book
(3) aki no koe voices of Autumn

b. No indicates the subject of adjective clauses:


(1) watakushi no yonda hon the book I read
(2) neko no tabeta sakana the fish the cat ate

c. Following substantives, especially concrete nouns, no forms attributive quasi-


adjectives:
(1) tetsu no hashi steel bridge
(2) kin no yubiwa gold ring
(3) aki no tsuki autumn moon
(4) shihon no ashi four legs

d. Following the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words no serves to nominalize


(make a noun out of) that which precedes it:
(1) Asa hayaku okiru no wa karada ni ii desu.
To get up (getting up) early in the morning is good for one's health.
(2) Nippongo o narau no wa muzukashiku wa nai desu.
It is not difficult to learn Japanese.

e. Pronoun use: following nouns and the conclusive-attributive base of adjectives and
verbs, no is used as a pronoun: "-----one"
(1) Atarashii no wa takai desu. New ones are expensive.
(2) Chairo no wa yasui desu. Brown ones are cheap.
(3) Asoko ni iku no wa Yamada-san desu.
The one that goes over there is Mr. Yamada.

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Japanese Particles

f. Following personal pronouns, no forms their possessive cases: mine, his, ours, theirs,
etc.
(1) Watakushi no wa atarashii desu. Mine is new.
(2) Ano kata no wa akai desu. His is red.

g. Following nouns and the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words, no expresses


the meaning of what withwhat with, and.
(1) Katsud no shibai no to maiban dete asobimasu.
What with the movies and plays, he goes out to play every night.
(2) Takai no yasui no to itte kaimasen.
(What) with comments of (too) expensive and (too) cheap, he doesnt by
anything.
(3) Iku no ikanai no to komatte imasu.
He is in a dilemma, what with going and not going.
He is in a dilemma, saying hes going one minute and saying he is not going the
next.

3. O
a. Following nouns, o indicates that whatever precedes it is the direct object:
(1) Gohan o taberu. I eat meals.
(2) Hon o yomu. I read books.

b. Following nouns, o indicates the locale of locomotive action.


(1) Machi o aruku. I walk through town.
(2) Michi o sampo suru. I take a stroll on the road.
(3) Tori ga sora o tonde imasu. Birds are flying in the sky.
Note: Other locomotive action verbs are:
Hashiru to run
Tru to pass through
Kakemawaru to run around

c. Following nouns, o indicates the point from which locomotive actions start.
(1) Tky o demasu. I leave Tokyo.
(2) Ie o dekakeru. I leave the house.
(3) Kuni o hanareru. I leave my native land.
(4) Densha o oriru. I get off the streetcar.

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Japanese Particles

4. Ni
a. Following nouns ni indicates locale with verbs of existence, iru, aru: in, on"
(1) Seito ga heya ni imasu.
Students are in the room.
(2) Iroiro no mono ga mise ni arimasu.
There are various things in the store.
Note: After ga, iru is used when the subject is animate, aru if the subject is inanimate.

b. Following nouns ni indicates the point of arrival of actions:


(1) Sensei ni narimasu. I will become a teacher.
(2) Oya ni nite imasu. I resemble my parents.

c. Following nouns and the conjunctive base of verbs, ni indicates the purpose of
coming or going.
(1) Hiruhan o tabe ni kaerimasu. I go home to eat lunch.
(2) Eiga o mi ni ikimasu. I go to see movies.
(3) Sanpo ni dekakemasu. I go out for strolls.

d. Following nouns ni indicates the indirect object: to


(1) Seito ni nippongo o oshieru. I teach Japanese to students.
(2) Kodomo ni okane o okuru. I send money to my children.

e. Following nouns ni indicates time, at or on


(1) Watakushi wa rokuji ni okimasu. I get up at six.
(2) Watakushi wa nichiybi ni kimasu. I will come on Sunday.

f. Following nouns ni indicates the agent of a passive, potential, causative, or passive


causative verb.
(1) dorob ni nusumareta stolen by a robber
(2) Sore wa kodomo ni kakemasu. It can be written by children.
(3) Watakushi wa kodomo ni kakasemasu. Ill let the children write.
(4) Seito wa sensei ni kakaseraremasu. Students are made to write by the
teacher.

g. Following nouns ni indicates ratio, or proportion.


(1) Rokunin no seito ni sensei ga hitori imasu. There is one teacher per six students.

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Japanese Particles

(2) Ichinichi ni sando tabemasu. I eat three times per day.


(3) Ichinen ni kanji o gohyaku naraimasu. I learn 500 Kanji per year.

h. Following nouns ni indicates the meaning of for


(1) Karada ni yoku wa arimasen. It is not good for ones health.
(2) Me ni warui desu. It is bad for the eyes.

i. Following nouns ni indicates destination of locomotive verbs.


(1) Gakk ni iku. I go to school.
(2) San Furanshisuko ni kitta. I came to San Francisco.

j. Following nouns ni indicates a series of things: and, in addition to


Katakana ni kanji ni hiragana o naratta. I learned, katakana, kanji, and hiragana.

k. Following nouns and used together with yoru (depends on) ni yoru to corresponds to
according to"
(1) shimbun ni yoru to according to the newspaper
(2) Kesa no shinbun ni yoru to ashita wa ame ga furu s desu.
According to this mornings newspaper, it is going to rain tomorrow.
Note: When ni yoru to is used in the Japanese sentence, s desu or some other words
that express the idea of I hear is tacked on to the end of the statement.

l. Ni suru after a noun or a pronoun means to decide on


(1) Dotchi ni shimash ka. . Which shall I decide on?
(2) Ashita ni shimash. Lets make it tomorrow.

m. Ni ataru after a noun or a pronoun means corresponds to--


(1) Ichi-doru wa 360 en ni atarimasu. One dollar is equivalent to 360 yen.
(2) Kurisumasu wa nichiybi ni atarimasu. Christmas falls on Sunday.

n. Ni komaru used idiomatically with such nouns as henji (reply, answer), kotae (answer)
expresses to be troubled for--
Henji ni komarimashita. I was troubled for an answer.

5. E
a. Following nouns e indicates direction or place toward which an action moves: to,
toward
(1) Nippon e ikimasu. I go to Japan.
(2) Gakk e kuru. I come to school.

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Japanese Particles

b. Following nouns e indicates the indirect object, to


(1) Tomodachi e tegami o dashimasu. I send a letter to a friend.
(2) Kodomo e zasshi o okurimasu. I send a magazine to my children.

6. To
a. Indicates the substantive to which it is attached is in a series of substantives, all named:
and
(1) Sensei to seito ga imasu. There are teachers and students.
(2) Enpitsu to hon ga arimasu. There are pencils and books.

b. Following nouns to indicates accompaniment.


(1) Tomodachi to asobimasu. I play with my friend.
(2) Kodomo to sampo shimasu. I take strolls with my children.

c. Following sentences to indicates that which is said or thought (direct and indirect
quotations):
(1) Nippongo wa muzukashii to omoimasu.
I think that the Japanese language is difficult.
(2) Ano hito wa sakana o taberu to iimasu.
He says, I eat fish.
He says that he eats fish.

d. Following nouns to indicates the terminal point or result of actions.


(1) Watakushi wa sensei to narimasu. I become a teacher.
(2) Isha to narimasu. I become a doctor.

e. Following the present conclusive-attributive base of verbs to expresses a hypothesis or


condition: if, when
(1) Ame ga furu to michi ga waruku narimasu.
If (or when) it rains, the road becomes bad.
(2) Ame ga furanai to ikimasen. If it does not rain, Ill go.

f. Following the present conclusive-attributive base of verbs, to helps to indicate the time
when an action in the succeeding statement took place: when, just as
Note: The second verb is in the past tense.

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Japanese Particles

(1) Uchi e kaeru to sugu kuraku natta. Immediately upon returning home, it
became dark.
(2) Soto e deru to ame ga furihajimeta. When I went out, it started to rain.

g. Following conjectural auxiliaries u, y, or mai, to expresses a hypothesis; and this is


followed by the expression of an attitude which objects to or disregards the action that is
assumed: whether or not
(1) Ame ga fur to furumai to kamaimasen.
Whether it rains or not, I dont care.
(2) Ik to ikumai to suki na y ni shinasai.
Whether you go or not, do as you please.

h. Following the present or past conclusive-attributive base of inflected words, to occurs


in the phrase to no koto desu, to no hanashi desu, which means they say that--- it is said
that---
(1) Nippon wa ima samui to no koto desu.
They say that Japan is cold now.
(2) Kin San Furanshisuko wa ame ga futta to no hanashi desu.
They say that it rained yesterday in San Francisco.

i. The conjectural base of a verb followed by to plus suru expresses to try to . . .


Note: The same construction may also mean, to be about to . . .
(1) Yamamoto-san wa momo o kir to shimashita ga, kiru koto ga dekimasen deshita.
Mr. Yamamoto tried to cut the peach, but wa not able to do so.
(2) Yamamoto-san ga momo o kir to suru to, naka kara kii mono ga dete kimashita.
As Mr. Yamamoto was about to cut the peach, a large thing came out of it.

j. Used idiomatically with chigaimasu, and onaji desu, means different from . . and
same as . . .
(1) A wa B to chigaimasu. A is different from B.
(2) A wa B to onaji desu. A is the same as B.

k. Following the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words and preceding to miete, the
meaning of it seems as. . . is expressed.
Ano hito wa byki da to miete. . . It seems as if he is sick and . . .

7. Ya
a. Indicates that the substantive to which it is attached is in a series of substantives,
incompletely named: and

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Note: ya is not used after the last substantive in the series.


(1) Tsukue no ue ni hon ya enpitsu ga arimasu.
There are books, and pencils, etc., on the desk.
(2) Watakushi wa enpitsu ya kami o kaimashita.
I bought pencils and paper, etc.

8. De
a. Following nouns de indicates means: with
(1) Enpitsu de kaku. I write with a pencil.
(2) Me de mono o miru. I see things with my eyes.

b. Following nouns de indicates materials of which things are made: of


(1) Tsukue wa ki de koshiraete arimasu.
The desk is made of wood.
(2) Kono hako wa kami de koshiraete arimasu.
This box is made of paper.

c. Following place nouns de indicates location where actions take place: in, at
(1) Watakushi wa kono ho o mise de kaimashita.
I bought this book at a store.
(2) Watakushi wa Nippon de Fujisan o mimashita.
I saw Mt. Fuji in Japan.

d. Following nouns de indicates cause or reason: because of, owing to, on account of,
by
(1) Watakushi wa byki de gakk e ikimasen deshita.
On account of sickness, I didnt go to school.
(2) Shiken de isogashii desu.
I am busy because of examinations.

e. Following nouns de indicates the second number of an equation sentence in which the
verb is aru or gozaru to be or their negatives:
(1) Watakushi wa gaijin desu. I am a soldier.
(2) Sore wa tsukue de wa arimasen That is not a desk.

f. Following place nouns de indicates the meaning of within the limits of . . ., in.
Distinguish this usage from that of c where de is followed by an action verb.

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Japanese Particles

(1) Nippon de ichiban takai yama wa Fujisan desu.


The tallest mountain in Japan is Mt. Fuji.
(2) Kono heya de ichiban yoku dekiru seito wa Sumisu-san desu.
The best student in this room is Mr. Smith

g. Following numerical classifiers and such words as minna, de indicates the sum or total
amount:
(1) Ichi dsu de rokujissen desu. It is sixty sen for one dozen.
(2) Gohan de go en desu. It is five yen for five.
(3) Minna de yonj-hachi arimasu. There are forty-eight in all.

h. Used idiomatically with ato, saki, means later, in the future


(1) Ato de benky shimasu. I will study later.
(2) Dewa mata ato de. . Ill see you later.
(3) Saki de komarimasu. Ill be in trouble in the future.

i. Following some nouns de changes nouns into adverbs:


(1) Sakana o nama de tabemasu. I eat fish raw.
(2) Hadaka de tabemasu. I eat naked.
(3) Hadashi de arukimasu. I walk barefoot.

9. Ba

a. Attached to the conditional base of inflected words ba indicates a hypothesis or


condition: if, when
(1) Ame ga fureba ikimasen. If it rains, I wont go.
(2) Chikakereba arukimasu. If it is near, Ill walk.
(3) Tabenakereba kiku narimasen. If you dont eat, youll not become big.

b. Attached to the conditional base, ba is used conjunctively at the end of all but the last
clause in a series of clauses that contain the particle mo.
(1) Sekai ni wa tsuyoi kuni mo areba yowai kuni mo arimasu.
In the world, there are strong nations as well as weak ones.
(2) Watakushi ni wa tomodachi mo nakereba okane mo nai.
I have neither friend nor money.

c. Attached to the conditional base, ba shows the direct proportion of one condition to
another: "the more . . . the more"

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(1) Nereba neru hodo nemuku naru.


The more I sleep the more sleepy I become.
(2) Benky sureba suru hodo jzu ni narimasu..
The more you study the more skillful you will become.
(3) Ano onna wa mireba miru hodo kirei desu.
The more I look at that girl, the better she looks.

10. Te
Following the conjunctive base of verbs or the conjunctive adverbial base of adjectives, te
forms their te forms. The common usage of the te form of inflected words are discussed below.
a. The te form serves to connect two or more clauses. In the case of a series of verbs in
the te form, the actions are in sequence. The tense, voice, mood, etc., is determined by the form
of the final inflected word.
(1) Watakushi wa asa okite, asahan o tabete, gakk e ikimashita.
I got up in the morning, ate breakfast, and went to school!
(2) Hiruma wa akarukute yoru wa kurai desu.
It is light in the daytime and dark at night.
(3) Hana ga saite, tori ga utatte iru.
Flowers are blooming and the birds are singing.

b. The te form of verbs followed by iru indicates progressive action:


(1) Watakushi wa aruite imasu. I am walking.
(2) Watakushi wa hon o yonde imasu. I am reading a book.

c. The te form of verbs followed by iru indicates persisting state or the perfect tense (verbs
are usually intransitive):
(1) Watakushi wa Sumisu-san o shitte imasu.
I know Mr. Smith.
(2) Mado ga aite imasu.
The window is open.
(3) Yamamoto-san wa Nippon ni itte imasu.
Mr. Yamamoto is in Japan. (He went to Japan at sometime in the past and is there
now.)
(4) Michi ni saifu ga ochite imasu. A purse is lying on the road.

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d. The te form of transitive verbs followed by arimasu indicates persisting state:


(1) To ga shimete arimasu. The door is closed.
(2) Ji ga kaite arimasu. Characters are written.
Note: The particle ga instead of o is used in these examples.

e. The te form followed by kudasai indicates the polite imperative:


(1) Tatte kudasai. The door is closed.
(2) Yonde kudasai. Characters are written.

f. The te form followed by goran nasai or minasai indicates try and, do and see
(1) Aruite goran nasai. Walk and see. Please try to walk.
(2) Tabete goran nasai. Eat and see.
(3) Aruite minasai. Walk and see.
(4) Tabete minasai. Eat and see.

g. The te form of verbs followed by oku indicates for future use or reference or just to
leave alone
(1) Kono kitte o hako no naka ni irete oite kudasai.
Please put this stamp in the box (for future use).
(2) Kodomo o nesasete oite kudasai.
Please let the child sleep and leave him alone.

h. The te form followed by shimau indicates:


(a) once and for all, completely, finished, up,
(b) at last,
and often has the effect of the perfect tense.
(1) Tegami o kaite shimaimashita.
I have finished writing this letter.
(2) Sutete shimaimashita.
Throw it away (once and for all).
(3) Tabete shimaimashita.
I ate it up.

i. The te form followed by kuru indicates the following:


(1) Kaette kuru. I return.
(2) Motte kuru. I bring.

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(3) Totte kuru. I bring back.


(4) Aruite kuru. I came walking.
(5) Katte kuru. I go and buy.
(6) Mite kuru. I go and see.
(7) Itte kuru. I come saying.
(8) Tsurete kuru. I bring along, I come with.
(9) Futte kuru. It begins to rain.

j. The te form followed by hoshii indicates it is desirable or I wish to have something


done
(1) Jidsha o katte hoshii. I wish to have a car bought.
(2) Anata ni tatte hoshii desu. I want you to stand up.

k. Following the te form of verbs, the conjunctive-adverbial base of adjectives or inflected


suffixes, te indicates reason or cause:
(1) Isogashikute hima ga arimasen.
I have no leisure time, because I am busy.
(2) Kore wa muzukashikute wakarimasen.
Because this is difficult, I dont understand it.

l. Following the te form of verbs in a subordinate clause often indicates the manner or
method of the action of the main verb.
(1) Isu ni koshikakete yasunde imasu.
He is resting, sitting on the chair.
(2) Tatte tabete imasu.
He is eating, standing up.

m. Following the te form and preceding morau, morau indicates, to have somebody do
something
(1) Watakushi wa seito ni tabako o katte moraimashita.
I had a student buy me cigarettes.
(2) Watakushi wa tokoya-san ni kami o katte moraimasu.
I have a barber cut my hair.

n. Following the te form and preceding kureru, te kureru indicates somebody do


something for me

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(1) Seito wa watakushi ni tabako o katte kureta.


A student bought me cigarettes.
(2) Nipponjin no tomodachi ga tegami o kaite kureta.
A Japanese friend wrote the letter for me.

11. Wa
a. Wa is used to single out a word, phrase, or clause and is placed at the beginning of a
sentence, and followed by a statement about it; conveys the notion of as for
(1) Kore wa hon desu. This is a book.
(2) Asahan wa rokuji ni tabemasu. I eat breakfast at 6 oclock.
(3) Tsukue no ue ni wa hon ga arimasu. On the desk, there is a book.

b. Wa is also used to emphasize the negative.


(1) Kore wa enpitsu de wa arimasen. This is not a pencil.
(2) Watakushi wa tatte wa imasen. I am not standing.
A Japanese friend wrote the letter for me.

c. Following the te form, wa sometimes means if. Used with a negative verb or a word
of negative idea like dame desu.
(1) Tokei ga nakute wa jikan ga wakarimasen.
If there is no watch, I cannot tell time.
(2) Tatte wa ikemasen. You must not stand.
(3) Tatte wa dame desu. You should not stand up.

12. Mo
a. Mo singles out an additional item that is similar to something already stated: also,
too. Mo generally replaces wa, ga, and o and also follows other particles.
(1) Ano kata mo seito desu.
He, too, is a student.
(2) Ano kata wa Nippongo mo hanashimasu.
He speaks Japanese also.
(3) Tsukue no ue ni hon ga arimasu.
There are books on the desk, too.

b. When used after each of two substantives in a sentence or clause ending with a positive
verb, mo expresses both . . . and. When so used in a sentence or clause ending with a negative
verb mo is translated neither . . . nor. In this case, the verb is translated positively.

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(1) Ano kata wa Nippongo mo Eigo mo hanashimasu.


He speaks both Japanese and English.
(2) Ano kata wa Nippongo mo Eigo mo hanashimasen.
He speaks neither Japanese nor English.
c. Following a quantitative substantive mo expresses the notion as many (much, far, long)
as, no less than, even.
(1) Tori ga jippa mo imasu. There are as many as 10 birds.
(2) Watakushi wa kanji o nihyaku mo shitte imasu.
I know as many as 200 Kanji.

d. After nan plus classifiers, mo expresses the notion of several, many.


(1) Tori ga nan-ba mo imasu. There are many birds.
(2) Enpitsu ga nan-bon mo arimasu. There are many pencils.
(3) Hito ga nan-nin mo imasu. There are many people.

e. When followed by negative verbs, mo converts interrogative pronouns into the


corresponding nothing, nobody, etc.
(1) Watakushi wa nani mo shiremasen. I dont know anything.
(2) Koko ni wa dare mo imasen. There is nobody here.

f. Mo follows original particles to indicate nowhere, to no one, etc.


(1) Watakushi wa doko e mo ikimasen. I go nowhere.
(2) Dare ni mo aimasen deshita. I met no one.

13. Ka
a. Coming at the end of a sentence, ka makes the sentence interrogative.

b. Placed between two nouns, and after each of two clauses ka gives the meaning of or,
or . . . or.
(1) Ano kodomo wa muttsu ka nanatsu desu. That child is 6 or 7 years old.
(2) Enpitsu ka mannenhitsu de kakimasu. I write with pencil or fountain pen.
(3) Iku no desu ka, ikanai no desu ka. Are you going or are you not going?
(4) Kore wa hon desu ka, zasshi desu ka. Is this a book or a magazine?

c. Following desh and dar, ka expresses doubt: I wonder if


(1) Ashita wa ame ga furu desh ka. I wonder if it will rain tomorrow.

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(2) M jniji daro ka. I wonder if it is already 12 oclock.

d. After many interrogative pronouns, ka converts the interrogative into corresponding


indefinite pronouns or adverbs.
(1) Nani ka kudasai. Give me something.
(2) Koko ni dare ka imasu. There is somebody.
(3) Itsu ka kite kudasai. Please come sometime.

e. Mono ka or mono desu ka at the end of sentences makes them emphatically negative:
(1) Ano hito ga sakana o taberu mono ka. He wouldnt eat fish!
(2) Sumisu-san wa kuru mono desu ka. Mr. Smith wont come.

f. Ka is used after each of two clauses to put over the idea of whether . . . or
(1) Ashita wa ame ga furu ka furanai ka shirimasen.
I dont know whether it will rain tomorrow or not.
(2) Sore wa ii ka warui ka wakarimasen.
I dont know whether it is good or bad.

g. Ka na or ka shira added to the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words and to


substantives expresses doubt: I wonder if . . .
(1) Ano hito wa kuru ka shira. I wonder if he will come.
(2) Ashita wa atsui ka na. I wonder if it will be hot tomorrow.

h. Ja nai ka or ja arimasen ka indicates exhortation:


(1) Kaer ja nai ka. Lets go home, shall we?
(2) Kaer ja arimasen ka. Lets go home, shall we?

14. Kara
a. Following nouns, kara indicates the point of origin: from
(1) Tky kara Yokohama e ikimasu. I go from Tokyo to Yokohama.
(2) Ichi kara j made kazoete kudasai. Please count from one to ten.

b. Following the conclusive-attributive base of verbs, adjectives, etc., kara indicates the
cause or reason for the following statements: because, since, as
However, as a reason or excuse in reply to a question or accusation, kara is often used
after desu or deshita and comes at the end of a clause.
Naze ikimasen deshita ka. Why didnt you go?
Anmari isogashii deshita kara. Because I was too busy.

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c. Following the te form of verbs, kara means after, since.


(1) Asa okite kara sanpo shimasu. That child is 6 or 7 years old.
(2) Uchi e kaette kara benky shimashita.
I studied after I went home.
(3) Kono gakk e kite kara san-kagetsu ni narimasu.
It has been three months since I came to this school.

15. Yori
a. Indicates the standard of a comparative statement: than.
(1) A wa B yori kii desu. A is larger than B.
(2) Hayaku okiru no wa osoku no yori ii desu.
I dont know whether it is good or bad.

b. Followed by negative verbs, yori indicates the limits within which the action of the verb
is confined. In this usage, hoka, hoka ni, or shika may be used between yori and the negative
verb without change in meaning.
(1) Watakushi wa anata yori (hoka ni) dare mo shiranai.
I dont know anyone except you.
(2) Ano hito wa taberu yori hoka nani mo shiranai.
He doesnt know anything except eating.
(3) Eiga yori shika iku tokoro ga nai.
There is no place to go except the movies.

d. Te mo
a. This compound particle is formed by adding mo to the te form of verbs and conjunctive
adverbial base of adjectives, and expresses the concessive mood: "even if, although
(1) Tabete mo kiku narimasen. Even if I eat, I dont grow big.
(2) Atsukute mo ikimasu. Even if it is hot, Ill go.

b. Used with words such as itsu, dono, nani, ikura, donna ni, the notion expressed is no
matter when . . ., no matter where . . ., no matter what . . ., no matter how . . ., no matter
how much . . .
(1) Fuji-san wa itsu mite mo kirei desu.
Mt. Fuji is beautiful no matter when you look at it.
(2) Doko e itte mo atsui desu. No matter where you go, it is hot.

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Japanese Particles

(3) Nani o katte mo takai desu. It is expensive no matter what you buy.
(4) Ikura tabete mo kiku narimasen. No matter how much I eat, I dont grow big.
(5) Ikura yasukute mo kaimasen. No matter how cheap it is, I dont buy it.
(6) Donna ni benky shite mo yoku dekimasen.
No matter who much I study, I cant do well.

c. The same forms (te mo or de mo) followed by ii, or ii n desu, indicates permission:
may, it is all right to . . .
(1) Ima tatte mo ii n desu.
You may stand now.
(2) Mijikakute mo ii n desu.
It is all right even if it is short.
(3) Heta de mo ii n desu ka
Is it all right even if Im not good.

d. Te mo following the negative naku indicates the negative concessive.


(1) Te ga nakute mo aruku koto ga dekimasu.
I can walk, even if I dont have hands.
(2) Yasuku nakute mo kaimash.
Even if it is not inexpensive, lets buy it.
(3) Tabenakute mo kiku narimasu.
I grow big even if I dont eat.

e. The same form followed by ii or ii n desu expresses non-necessity: neednt, to be all


right not to, dont have to
(1) Ikanakute mo ii n desu. You dont have to go.
(2) Nagaku nakute mo ii n desu. It is all right even if it is not long.

17. No ni
a. Following the conclusive bases of inflected words, no ni expresses opposition to the
action stated by the verb: although, but, in spite of the fact
(1) Yoku taberu no ni kiku narimasen.
Although I eat a lot, I dont grow big.
(2) Yoku benky shita no ni mada wakarimasen.
I studied hard, but still I dont understand.

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Japanese Particles

b. Following the conclusive-attributive base of verbs, no ni indicates purpose or aim and


corresponds roughly to: for the purpose of, in order to, for
(1) Sore wa motte aruku no ni benri desu.
It is convenient for carrying around.
(2) Jibiki wa kotoba no imi o shiru no ni tsukaimasu.
A dictionary is used for the purpose of finding the meaning of words.

18. No de
Following the conclusive bases of inflected words, no de indicates the cause or reason for
the following statement: since, because, as
(1) Ky wa samui no de sanpo ni ikimasen.
Because today is cold, I will not go for a walk.
(2) Konban wa tomodachi ga kuru no de uchi ni imasu.
Because my friend is coming tonight, Ill stay home.

19. Shi
a. Following the conclusive bases of inflected words, shi simply connects two clauses:
and
(1) Monterey wa natsu wa suzushii shi fuyu wa atatakai.
In Monterey, summers are cool and winters are warm.
(2) Watakushi wa tabako o nomu shi sake mo nomimasu.
I smoke and drink, too.

b. Following the conclusive bases of inflected words, particularly conjectural auxiliaries,


shi means: since, after all
Ashita wa ame ga furu dar shi watakushi wa ikimasen.
Since, after all, it probably will rain tomorrow, I am not going.

20. Nagara
a. Attached to the conjunctive base of verbs, nagara indicates simultaneous action or
state: while
(1) Watakushi wa yomi nagara arukimasu.
I walk while reading.
(2) Ano hito wa kaki nagara hanashite imasu.
He is talking while writing.

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Japanese Particles

b. Attached to the conjunctive base of verbs, usually to that of te iru and to the conclusive
base of adjectives, etc., nagara indicates opposition or disagreement: although, even if
(1) Ano hito wa shitte inagara hanashimasen.
Although he knows, he does not speak.
(2) Ano hito wa chiisai nagara chikara ga tsuyoi desu.
Although he is small, he is strong.

21. Tari
a. Following the te form base, tari connects two or more clauses. The last tari must be
followed by suru: sometimes, alternately
(1) Watakushi wa tenisu o shitari sanpo o shitari shimasu.
I sometimes play tennis and sometimes take walks.
(2) Ano hito wa kaki nagara hanashite imasu.
He is talking while writing.

b. Attached to the conjunctive base of verbs, usually to that of te iru and to the conclusive
base of adjectives, etc., nagara indicates opposition or disagreement: although, even if
(1) Ano hito wa shitte inagara hanashimasen.
Although he knows, he does not speak.
(2) Ano hito wa chiisai nagara chikara ga tsuyoi desu.
Although he is small, he is strong.

22. Made
a. Following nouns or the conclusive bases of verbs, made indicates the point to which an
action or state extends: till, until, as far as, to
(1) Ichi kara j made kazoete kudasai. Please count from one to ten.
(2) Sanji made machimashita. I waited till 3 oclock.
(3) Hi ga kureru made hatarakimasu. I work until the sun sets.

b. Following nouns and particles, made singles out a thing or fact, suggesting a larger field
for the application of the verb or adjective: even
(1) Hone made tabemashita. I even ate the bones.
(2) Kodomo ni made chiisai. It is small even for children.
Note: This made may be replaced by sae.

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Japanese Particles

23. De mo
a. Following nouns and particles, de mo singles out a thing or fact for consideration and
indicates that one does not care much one way or the other: some (one, . . .thing), perhaps
(1) Ocha de mo nomimash. Shall we drink tea or something?
(2) Monterey e de mo ikimash. Lets go to Monterey or someplace.

b. Following nouns de mo, means even


(1) Watakushi de mo shitte imasu.
Even I know it.
(2) Mannenhitsu ga nakereba enpitsu de mo ii desu.
If you dont have a fountain-pen, (even) a pencil will do.

c. Following interrogative pronouns, de mo indicates: any . . .


(1) Dare de mo shitte imasu. Anybody knows it.
(2) Nan de mo arimasu. We have everything.

23. Sae
a. Following nouns or particles, sae singles out a thing or fact and suggests other things or
facts by analogy: even. The particle de may precede sae.
(1) Isogashikute shimbun (de) sae yomemasen.
Being busy, I cant read even the newspapers.
(2) Kodomo (de) sae tabemasen.
Even the children dont eat (it).

b. Following the particle ni, sae means: even by, even to


(1) Sensei ni sae dekimasen. (It) cannot be done even by the instructor.
(2) Kanai ni sae iimasen. I dont tell even my wife.

c. In a conditional clause, sae singles out a thing or fact and excludes all others: (if)
only
(1) Monterey wa tenki sae yokereba ii tokoro desu.
If only the weather were good, Monterey would be a nice place.
(2) Ame ga furi sae shinakereba yorokonde ikimasu.
If only it doesnt rain, Ill be glad to go.

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Japanese Particles

25. Shika
Shika follows nouns and particles, and is in turn followed by a negative verb and should be
translated as only, the negative verb being rendered positively.
(1) Ashi ga ippon shika arimasen.
There is only one leg.
(2) Gakk de shika Nippongo o hanashimasen.
I speak Japanese only at school.

26. Dake
a. Following nouns, particles, and conclusive bases of inflected words, dake means:
only, just, alone, at least
(1) Anata ni dake hanashimash.
Ill tell it only to you.
(2) Watakushi wa sakana dake tabemasu.
Even the children dont eat (it).
(3) Kodomo wa asa kara ban made asobu dake ga shigoto desu.
For children, just playing all day is their job.
(4) Kono shinamono wa takai dake de anmari yoku arimasen.
This article is just expensive and not very good.

b. Dake followed by ate and dake ate means: as might be expected of


(1) Sensei dake atte Nippongo ga joz desu.
As might be expected of a teacher, he is proficient in Japanese.
(2) Takai shinamono dake ate taihen ii desu.
As might be expected of an expensive item, it is very good.

c. The conditional base of verbs or adjectives plus the conclusive-attributive base of the
same verbs or adjectives plus dake expresses the idea of the more . . . the more, etc.
(1) Nomeba nomu dake nomitai.
The more I drink the more I want to drink.
(2) Yomeba yomu dake jzu ni narimsu.
The more you read, the better you become.
(3) Hayakereba hayai dake ii desu.
The quicker it is, the better it is.

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Japanese Particles

d. Conclusive-attributive base of potential verbs plus dake means as much as


(1) Nomeru dake nominasai. Drink as much as you can.
(2) Hatarakeru dake hatarakimash. Ill work as much as I can.

27. Bakari
a. Following nouns, bakari expresses extent and means: about, around
Maitsuki tabemono ni nihyaku doru bakari kakarimasu.
It costs about $200 for food every month.
b. It also expresses the meaning only, just
(1) Following nouns and particles:
(a) Ano hito wa benky bakari shite imasu.
He only studies (and does nothing else).
(b) Ano ko wa hahaoya no soba ni bakari imasu.
That child stays only by his mother.
(2) Following conclusive-attributive base of inflected words:
(a) Kono hon wa takai bakari desu.
This book is just expensive (and nothing else).
(b) Hon o yomu bakari de mo dame desu.
It is not good to just read a book.
(c) Watakushi wa uchi ni kaetta bakari desu.
I have just come home.
(d) Ano hito wa Nippon e itta bakari desu.
He has just gone to Japan.

c. Bakari followed by de naku means: not only . . . but . . .


(1) Ano hito wa Nippongo bakari de naku Eigo mo shitte imasu.
He knows not only Japanese but also English.
(2) Ano hito wa hanasu bakari de naku yomu koto mo dekimasu.
He can not only speak but also read.

d. Bakari followed by ni natte iru means to be about ready to . . .


Kono tegami wa dasu bakari ni natte imasu.
This letter is about ready to be mailed.

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Japanese Particles

e. Bakari ni follows to iwanu and means as if to say, as if saying


Yamada-san wa dete ike to iwanu bakari ni watakushi o mimashita.
Mr. Yamada looked at me as if to say, Get out!

f. Bakari ni follows aru and means only because


Hanako wa onna de aru bakari ni gunjin ni naremasen.
Hanako cannot become a soldier only because she is a woman.

28. Nari . . . Nari


Nari . . . nari is used after each of two or more nouns, phrases, or clauses, and suggests that
one of the nouns, phrases, or clauses should be chosen: whether . . . or, either . . . or
(1) Ringo nari mikan nari tabemash.
Lets eat either apples or oranges.
(2) Deru nari hairu nari nan to ka shite kudasai.
Either get out or get in, please do something.

29. Koso
a. Koso is an emphatic particle attached to nouns and means: the very, indeed
(1) Watakushi koso orei o iwanakereba narimasen.
I should be the very one who should thank you.
(2) Kondo koso (wa) iku.
Ill go this time for sure (indeed).

b. Following the conditional base plus ba, koso helps to emphatically indicate the reason
or cause of a succeeding statement: It is because (of this) that . . .
(1) Yoku tabereba koso okiku naru no desu.
It is because he eats a lot that he grows big.
(2) Ano hito wa benky sureba koso Nippongo ga jzu ni naru no desu.
It is because he studies that he becomes good in Japanese.

30. Zo
Zo is an interjectional particle used by men.
(1) Ashita mo samuku naru zo. Its going to be cold tomorrow, too.
(2) Mata kita zo. Im coming again tomorrow

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Japanese Particles

31. Yo
Yo is also an interjectional particle used by both men and women.
(1) Ashita mata kuru yo. Its going to be cold tomorrow, too.
(2) Mata kita zo. Im coming again tomorrow.
(Masculine or feminine to an inferior).

32. Na
Following the conclusive-attributive base of a verb (present tense), na expresses
prohibition or a negative imperative:
(1) Eigo de hanasu na. Dont speak in English.
(2) Soto o miru na. Dont look outside.

33. N
a. Following the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words, n gives interjectional
meaning: certainly used by men.
(1) Ky wa atsui n. It certainly is hot today.
(2) Ano onna no hito wa utsukushii n. How beautiful that woman is!
(3) Ano seito wa yoku benky suru n. That student certainly studies hard!
(4) Kore wa ii hon da n. This certainly is a good book.

b. Ii n: Following the conditional statement, to ii n, ba ii n, nara ii na helps to


emphatically indicate the reason or cause of a succeeding statement: It is because (of this)
that . . .
(1) Okane ga areba ii (ga) n. I wish I had money.
(2) Ky wa nichiybi nara ii (ga) n. I wish it were Sunday today.
(3) Ano hito ga kuru to ii (ga) n. I wish he would come.

34. Ne, N
a. Following the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words, n indicates disjunctive
questions such as isnt it, arent you
(1) Ky wa atsui desu n. Its hot today, isnt it?
(2) Kino wa warui tenki deshita n. It was awful weather yesterday, wasnt it?

b. Following the conclusive-attributive base of inflected words, ne also indicates


disjunctive questions such as isnt it, arent you, etc.
Ky wa atsui desu ne. Its hot today, isnt it?

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Japanese Particles

35. Sa
Interjectional particle used by both men and women. Sa comes at the end of sentences and
gives the meaning of: indeed, I assure you, I say
(1) Ano hito mo iku sa. Hell go, I assure you.
(2) Sakana mo suki sa. I like fish, too, indeed.

36. Ze
Interjectional particle used by men. Ze comes at the end of sentences and gives the
meaning of: I tell you, I assure you
(1) Ashita wa ame ga furu ze. Its going to rain tomorrow, I tell you.
(2) Sore wa abunai ze. Thats dangerous, I tell you.

37. Tomo
Tomo comes at the end of sentences and gives the meaning of: of course, indeed, to be
sure, certainly
(1) S desu tomo. Of course, it is so.
(2) Sore wa abunai ze. Thats dangerous, I tell you.

38. Wa
Interjectional particle used by women. Wa comes at the end of sentences and gives the
emphatic meaning: indeed
(1) Watakushi mo iku wa. Ill go too.
(2) Kono sakana wa oishii wa. This fish tastes good, indeed.

39. Keredomo, keredo


Following the conclusive bases of inflected words, keredomo or keredo expresses
opposition to the action stated by the verb: but
(1) Yoku taberu keredomo kiku narimasen.
I eat a lot, but I dont grow big.
(2) Yoku benky shita keredomo yoku wakarimasen.
I studied hard, but I didnt understand well.

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