The most confusing aspect of the (Ga が) particle is the difference between Wa は and Gaが. Japanese particle Ga is the subject Marker and Wa is the topic marker.

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Japanese particle ga (が) marks the subject of the sentence

But wait, what’s the difference between the topic and the subject? Well according to the experts:

  • Topic: non-grammatical context for the whole sentence.
  • Subject: a grammatical relationship only to the verb.

Ok so in all honestly this is very difficult for all learners. So we are going to start off by looking at a simple sentence structure to try and grasp this better.

We are going to learn to say “I like” or “dislike” something We will be able to see here both wa and ga at play in one sentence.

私は本が好きです。 

Watashi wa hon ga suki desu 

わたしはほんがすきです

I like books

Watashi わたしthe topic of the sentence, marked by Wa は (The topic marker).Waは the topic marker.Honほん – book . Ga the subject marker – Gaが comes after the subject. Ga がis marking the subject of which the topic has a relationship with. I (The topic) likes Books (The Subject)

Let’s look at some more examples

Watashi wa anata ga suki desu. 

私はあなたが好きです 

わたしはあなたがすきです

I  like you

わたし”I” the topic

あなた”You” the Subject

Now we can swap that around too so the subject and topic swap places.

Anata wa watashi ga suki desu  

あなたは私が好きです 

あなたはわたしがすきです

You like me.

Examples of Japanese particle ga

Okay lets do some more sentences to help with saying I like and dislike, reinforcing the usage of the GA がparticle.

貴方は本がきらいです 

あなたはほんがきらいです 

Anata wa hon ga kirai desu

You don’t like books

僕は飲み物が好きだ 

ぼくはのみものがすきだ 

Boku wa nomimono ga suki da

I like drinks

君は食べ物が好きだ。

きみはたべものがすきだ。

Kimi wa tabemono ga suki da

You like food

私は物がきらいです

わたしはものがきらいです

Watashi wa mono ga kirai desu

I don’t like things

父は母が好きです

ちちはははがすきです

Chichi wa ha haha suki desu

Father likes mother

Lastly, you don’t always have to use 私はwatashi wa僕は boku wa, If the listener understands already that we are talking about you then it’s not necessary

For example

Watashi wa hon ga suki desu  =  Hon ga suki desu
私は本が好きだ = 本が好きだ

If the listener already understand the context of the conversation you don’t always have to use the topic. Remember this is the first basic usage of GA が the subject marker. We will cover the others at a later date, for now ensure you master this usage!

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