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A Closer look at が

Oni's picture

This is the 'subject marker / particle'.

降っています。 
ame
ga futteimasu.
It's raining.

There is a subtile difference between WA and GA and I don't pretend to try to completely explain it. Years from now, you will still make WA/GA mistakes. Still, in general you can say WA is the main TOPIC and GA is the more specific SUBJECT at hand. In the above example we say it is raining. The topic isn't about rain. We are simply stating the circumstances at the moment and the subject of that particular sentence is rain. If we were to talk all about rain, we would probably start with WA as in:

空から降ってくる水です。 
ame
wa sora kara futte kuru mizu desu.
As for rain, it is water that falls from the sky. (You may go on to say more about the overall topic of rain.)

Used with SUKI

わたしは猫好き。 
watashi wa neko
ga suki.
I like cats.

Question words always use GA

おいしい? 
nani
ga oishii?
What tastes good?

来ました? 
dare
ga kimashita?
Who came?

どこ一番いいところですか? 
doko
ga ichi ban ii tokoro desu ka?
Where is the best place?

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Pianogirl123's picture

Wa and Ga

The book "Japanese Step by Step," by Gene Nishi, has an incredibly detailed section on は and が.

Here's one example: は is used for describing a general fact, whereas が is used for more specific instances. If we're talking about sunrises, 日は東にのぼります。 is "The sun rises in the east." And 日が東にのぼります。 would be "Right now the sun is rising."

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