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Ga vs. O

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Ga vs. O

Postby sakura » Mon 06.20.2005 2:47 pm

I notice that 'ga' is sometimes followed by an action word and that 'O' is always followed by an action word. But how do you know when to put the action after the 'Ga' or 'O' particle word. Can someone help with this?

Here are 2 exmples of what I mean:

1. 'Ame ga futteimasu' which means 'It's raining'
2. 'Doa o akeru' which means 'Open a door'

The first one is used with 'Ga' and the second is used with 'O'

Im probably just understanding this wrong but thats why I posted :) Anyways, I would really like specific help on this. Thank you :)
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RE: Ga vs. O

Postby mandolin » Mon 06.20.2005 3:29 pm

The trouble you're having is more related to how you're viewing the particles themselves. The particles don't always come before the action, they modify the word that comes before them, not the word that comes after.

'ga' makes something a subject.
'o' makes something the direct object (of the verb ).

1. Ame ga futteimasu.

Ga modifies the word before it, so Ame is the subject. This sentence literally translates to "The rain is falling."

2. Doa o akeru.

O modifies the word before it, so the door is the direct object of the verb, meaning it's what -recieves- the action. So "Open a/the door" is correct in translation.

On a more technical grammar note, the difference between using 'ga' and 'o' is the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs in english. Ex:

3. The boy jumps. <--- intransitive
4. The boy opens. <- transitive

Sentence 4 in this case is not a complete sentence. WHAT does the boy open?

4a. The boy opens the door.

The door is our object.

Person 1: Dare wa doa o akeru ka?
Person 2: Otokonoko ga doa o akeru.

Who opens the door?
The boy opens the door.

One note I gotta make on myself here... I know akeru is the imperative, but I'm still bad at conjugating the verbs.... gomen!
Last edited by mandolin on Mon 06.20.2005 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Ga vs. O

Postby jinksys » Mon 06.20.2005 5:50 pm

Holy crap that made alot of sense :)
seriously, good work! I understnad those two particales x5 better now.
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RE: Ga vs. O

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 06.20.2005 6:33 pm

One thing I want to add here:

Mandolin is correct that the word modifies (or, perhaps it's better to say identifies the function of) the previous noun / pronoun.

HOWEVER, it is the verb that determines what particle will be used.

When you are talking about ga (subject marker) vs. wo (direct object marker), it is usually pretty simple to choose which to use... if you understand transitive and intransitive verbs in English.

However, a lot of less obvious particles "go with" particular verbs. To give a few nonobvious examples:

If you think something, that is "nanika TO omou". If you understand something, that is "nanika GA wakaru". If you ride on or in something, that is "nanika NI noru."

Also, which particle to use with suru-verbs is not always easy to guess.

In general, I memorize the particle along with the verb, and I recommend doing this from the very beginning. Not only do you need to know the proper particle in order to actually produce a sentence using the verb, but when you are reading, the verb and particle are sometimes separated by subsidiary material and you will quickly be lost if you don't mentally "be on the lookout" for a verb to match up with the particle you just saw.

Just some food for thought. But when I make flash cards I put the particle in parens in front of the verb and memorize both of them as a unit.

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RE: Ga vs. O

Postby mandolin » Mon 06.20.2005 6:37 pm

I never thought of trying to pair 'ni' and such with verbs in particular, I had memorized the particles by their function (showing direction, a place where movement happens, a place where something is located, etc). Your method seems much easier, I think I'll give that a shot. :P
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RE: Ga vs. O

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 06.20.2005 6:43 pm

The main tricker is not really ga and wo, but ga and ha. I found a great list of the differences (in japanese). I'll post it when I get some free time at work today.
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RE: Ga vs. O

Postby mandolin » Tue 06.21.2005 3:17 am

No, 'wa' is a topic marker. It is generally something that has already been talked about. Many times something that would be marked with 'wa' is left out all together.

I'd had a hard time trying to figure out, in that case, why people say "Watashi wa (name) desu." when introducing themselves, if the speaker hasn't yet been discussed or whatnot. What someone told me was, that their very presence in the conversation makes them an 'old topic' so I've sort of gone with that ever since.

Anyone else have more insight on that?
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RE: Ga vs. O

Postby mandolin » Tue 06.21.2005 3:23 am

Oh, I just noticed the new thread here: http://www.thejapanesepage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=796
Last edited by mandolin on Tue 06.21.2005 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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