Particles in the Japanese language are very important and serve multiple functions. For example, it can help differentiate a sentence’s subject from its object or to show the direction of motion.
An important point about particles is that they are also called “post-position”, because of the particles being positioned directly after the word that is related to it. This will be explained later in a different article.

In addition, when using the particle in informal situations, especially when speaking, particles are dropped. However, a good reason why to use particles and not drop it is that not every word has a fixed position when speaking or writing.

For example, the object sometimes might come before the location and or action is performed. As such, the particles are attached usually to the words related to it even if the position and order are not the same.
Particles help people understand what words are performing in a sentence.

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Let’s Learn Particles は (wa), を (o), and も (mo)

There are 16 common Japanese particles, but in this article, we will focus on three particles: は (wa), を (o), and も (mo).

Check this video as well for Japanese particles.

Japanese Particle: は (Wa)

This particle is used when you want to mark your sentence’s subject. は (Wa) also emphasize what is being said or told about the subject. Although the topic of your sentence could be a noun or a person, は (Wa) can also be used at the end of other things such as verb phrases.

Format: [ A ] は  [ B ] です。 =  [ A ] is [ B ].

Example: Noun

(EN)Shiroi inu wa suki desu
The sentence implies that
you like white dogs, as opposed to other colors of dogs.

Example: Verb

(EN)Asoko no heya ni haitte wa ikemasen.
Translation: You must not enter that room over there.

As a reminder, in Japanese, the sound “wa” is a particle and is written in the hiragana character “は”, although it is usually pronounced as “ha”. Therefore, the other words that have “wa” sounds are written with the hiragana character “wa” (わ)”.

Japanese Particle: を (o)

The particle を (o) is used to mark your sentence’s object. In any case or time, whether it is physical or metaphysical, it is directly acted upon in a sentence which again can be marked with を (o). To put it simply, the particle を (o) follows nouns and noun phrases.

Compared to English, the sentence’s object comes immediately after the verb. However, in Japanese, it comes immediately before the particle を (o) followed by the verb.

Format: Noun + を (o) + verb

(EN)Koucha o nomimasu.
Translation: I drink black tea.

Note that if “o” is a particle, the hiragana character is written as “を”.  Although it is supposed to be pronounced as “wo”, the “w” is not pronounced most of the times. The particle “o” is never written in hiragana character as “o” (お). Furthermore, the hiragana character を (o) is never used except when using it as the particle.

Japanese Particle: も (mo)

The particle means “also” or “too”. も (mo) is usually placed after the noun(s). It can be replaced with は (wa). In addition, も (mo) can be used before verbs in the –te form verbs (even if [verb]…).

[Object] も [property / action] です。


(EN)Watashi mo Nihongo wo benkyou shite imasu.
Translation: I am also studying Japanese.

In the case of “also”

(EN)Kohī ga suki desu. Koucha mo suki desu.
Translation: I like coffee. I also like tea.


(EN)Ame ga futte mo, gakkou ni ikanakute wa narimasen.
Translation: Even if it rains, I have to go to school.

Translation: Even if it rains, I have to go to school.

Note that when translating audio sources, to not get confused with the particle も (mo) with the adverb もう (mou), meaning “already“.

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In this article, we discussed and learned about the Japanese particles: は (wa), を (o), and も (mo).

は (wa) is used to define a topic and can be used at the end, for example with verb phrases. As for を (o), it is used to mark a sentence’s object and follows nouns and noun phrases. Finally, も (mo) is usually placed after the noun but can be placed before verbs in the –te form verbs.

Although it may be complicated grammatically, in order for people to read, listen, and comprehend, it is a very useful tool.

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