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は wa

This is the topic marker. Used when changing or refreshing topics in conversation

わたしは watashi wa - 'I' The 'I' is the big idea of what is being talked about. Always translated as 'I' never 'me.'

が ga

This is the subject marker. The one doing the action. わたしが watashi ga - 'I' The 'I' is the subject of the action. Always translated as 'I' never 'me.'

を o

This is the direct object marker. The thing acted upon.
コーヒを のみます。
kouhi o nomimasu
(I) drink coffee.

へ e

This is a directional marker. to, toward
toukyou e ikimasu
(I) am going to Tokyo. (can also use に)

に ni

This is a multipurpose marker:

  1. indirect object (receiver) 本を あなたに あげます。hon o anata ni agemasu(I) give you a book.
  2. place where something is going to 東京に いきます toukyou ni ikimasu (I) am going to Tokyo. (can also use へ)
  3. time (at, in) 7時に しゅっぱつ。shichi ji ni shuppatsu(I) will leave at 7.
  4. in/at a place 東京に すんでいます。toukyou ni sundeimasu (I) live in Tokyo.
  5. purpose (to) コーヒに しましょう。kouhi ni shimashou - Let's have coffee.

で de

This is also a multipurpose marker:

  1. by means of くるま で いきましょう。kuruma de ikimashou Let's go by (means of) car.
  2. place where the action happens いえで テレビを みます。 ie de terebi o mimasu(I) watch tv at home.
  3. cause, reason たいふうで 木が たおれました。taifuu de ki ga taoremashita - Because of the typhoon, a tree fell.

から kara

  • from (a starting point in time or place)

アメリカ から きました。
amerika kara kimashita.
(I) came from America.

まで made

  • until, through, as far as
    • TIME:

watashi wa shichi ji kara hachi ji made nihongo wo benkyou shimasu.
I study Japanese from seven until eight.

    • PLACE:

koko kara toukyou made sanjuu pun kakarimashita.
From here to Tokyo, it took 30 minutes.

の no

  • 's, of (possessive)

watashi no hon desu.
(it's) my book.
amerika no furorida shuu kara kimashita.
(I) came from America's Florida state. (I came from Florida, America.)

とか toka

  • and, or -> etc. (used in lists of 2 or more things and then the list continues)

gakkou de eigo toka furansu go toka doitsu go nado wo benkyou shimashita.
In school, I studied English, and French, and German...
何か飲む? お茶とかコーラとか。。。
nanika nomu? ocha toka kora toka...
Wanna drink something? Tea... or Coke ... or...

や ya

  • and -> etc. (used in lists of 2 or more nouns and then the list continues)

お茶やコーヒーがあ る。
ocha ya ko-hi- ga aru.
(We) have tea and coffee...

も mo

  • also, too

watashi mo kuma no pu-san ga suki.
I like Winnie the Pooh too!
doitsu go mo hanaseru.
I can also speak German.

が ga

  • but

熊のプーさんが 好きですが どらえもんは あまり 好き じゃない。
kuma no pu-san ga suki desu ga, Doraemon wa amari suki ja nai.
I like Winnie the Pooh but I don't like Doraemon too much.

NOTE: The first ga in the above example is the subject marker

mainichi renshuu shimasu ga...
Everyday I practice but...

けれども keredomo

(Also かれど, けど)

  • although, though

でも demo

  • but

しかし shikashi

  • but, however
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