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Ga vs Wa

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Ga vs Wa

Postby h3lladvocate » Sun 08.27.2006 9:54 pm

whats the difference between Wa and Ga? They seem to mean the same thing but i see them all over in differnt places. Can someone give me a good explination of the 2?
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby kanadajin » Sun 08.27.2006 10:14 pm

Maybe you should try searching.. This question has been asked millions of times..
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby chiisu321 » Sun 08.27.2006 10:37 pm

On most pages it is taught that Ga is used to emphasize the subject and Wa is used to emphasize the rest of the sentence.
That is just a simple explanation. It took me a long time to understand. My friend had to say a lot of different sentences to me before i got it. Now i understand it but have a hard time explaining =[
Try asking someone you know speaks japanese to help you. I think it's better to hear it then to read it.
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby chikara » Sun 08.27.2006 10:46 pm

Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby Oracle » Sun 08.27.2006 10:55 pm

Check out the forums for some previous discussions. Don't worry - all English-speaking-background learners have problems with these two. To put it in a little context, this is sort of like asking "In English, what's the difference between 'the' and 'a' ?" : The difference seems so obvious to native speakers that they've probably never thought about it, but when learning as a second language it's actually quite hard to get a feel for when to use which.

There are pages and pages grammatical explanations you can find about は and が on the web, but to really use these two perfectly takes lots of exposure to Japanese over a long period until one or the other "just sounds right".

btw Japanese kids have worked out the difference between は and が by the time they're about 3 years old and they never get it wrong again :(
Last edited by Oracle on Sun 08.27.2006 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby paul_b » Mon 08.28.2006 1:52 am

I've got a book several hundred pages long entitled 「は」と「が」 (or was it 「が」と「は」?). Either way I've never managed to finish reading it ... ^ ^;
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 08.28.2006 4:27 am

There was a good 7 page explanation in the Unicom 2級 book I read last year.
I posted it up here as one of my first posts, but I'm sure it's been buried by now. It was the most concise (but kind of general) explanation I had seen.
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby Tspoonami » Mon 08.28.2006 8:57 pm

Here's what I think... but I've never seen this in any grammar things, so I am probably wrong.

If you use 'wa,' after a noun, then you have defined what the conversation is about. Until somebody else says a different noun and 'wa,' it is known that you are talking about the first noun. If you use 'ga,' you are still talking about the first noun, but with other nouns.

It's like saying: 'The cat took his book to the store. There, he read the book.'

The cat would be defined by 'wa,' and the book by 'ga.' In the second sentence, the cat would be assumed [in Japanese].

Ironically, I am not completely sure how to write that sentence in Japanese [because I'm lazy]... so I probably shouldn't be writing to 'educate.' I'm probably totally wrong, anyway.

That's how I think of it... If it's wrong, please tell me why!

Is this sentence correct?
猫さん は みせ に いきました、 そして かれの本 を もってきました。
Neko-san went to the store, and he brought his book.

I didn't even use 'ga'... lol.
Last edited by Tspoonami on Mon 08.28.2006 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby richvh » Mon 08.28.2006 9:02 pm

Actually, in verb predicate sentences, が is used for scene setting, so in your first sentence the cat would be marked by が and in the second it would be marked by は or omitted.
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby Christian_ » Mon 08.28.2006 9:55 pm

Tae Kim's Guide has a perfect explanation, think of は as a topic particle, and が as an identifier particle. Hope that helps, :|
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby kanadajin » Mon 08.28.2006 10:36 pm

I heard that "Ga" is used for feelings.. emaple

Watashi wa nihongo ga daisuki

watashi wa neko ga suki

or even

watashi wa neko ga Kurai
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 08.29.2006 2:55 am

watashi wa neko ga Kurai


きらい, not くらい
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby keatonatron » Tue 08.29.2006 3:43 am

Harisenbon wrote:
watashi wa neko ga Kurai


きらい, not くらい


Unless it was depressed all the time and talked about nothing but the futility of felinity. (feline + humanity)
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby kuroi » Tue 08.29.2006 3:25 pm

I got told by a nice Japanese pen-pal of mine, that [in broken english]:

Basically, ask yourself a question if your head..
Q: Who ate sushi?
A: watashi ga sushi wo tabemashita

Q: What did you do?
A: watashi wa sushi wo tabemashita

That kind of clears it up for me, in a way.. like ask yourself that question in your head to distinguish it.
I don't know if its the correct way.. though.. or I didn't understand her properly. ;[

Edit:
Thats how she explained it, anyways.. I'm guessing its hard for a Japanese to give a valid explaination too.. Lol
Last edited by kuroi on Tue 08.29.2006 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Ga vs Wa

Postby Christian_ » Tue 08.29.2006 5:31 pm

Kuroi, that's a perfect explanation.
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