in Blog

All About Japanese Particles: ては / では (-tewa, -dewa)

[Serie: All About Japanese Particles]

Note: Here we are concerned with wa in combination with the -te (-de) form of verbs. See also wa (#1, particularly no. 5) and to wa (#7).

1. Indicates the repetition of two contrasting, alternating actions.

Debiddo-san wa, kanji o kaite wa keshi, kaite wa keshi shite imasu.
David wirtes the kanji and erases them, and writes and erases them [again].

Kaigan ni wa nami ga, tosete wa kaeshi, kaeshite wa yosete imasu.
At the shore, the waves advance and recede, recede and advance.

2. In the form ni shite wa (or to shite wa): “for.”

Nichiyōbi ni shite wa, depāto ga suite imasu ne.
For the Sunday, the department stores are not vert crowded.

Ano hito wa Nihon-jin ni shite wa, Eigo ga umai desu ne.
For a Japanese, her English is pretty good.

3. A conditional pattern, always with the result clause in the negative or with a negative implication.

a) Indicates an undersirable possibility leading to a negative result.

“Hara ga hette wa ikusa ga dekinu” to mukashi no hito wa iimashita.
“You can’t fight on an empty stomach,” people of old said.

b) In the form –te wa komaru: “there will be problems if, you shouldn’t.”

Koko ni kuruma o tomete wa komarimasu.
You shouldn’t park the car here. (Lit., Parking the car here will be inconvenient [troublesome, a bother]).

c) In the form -te wa ikenai or -te wa naranai: “you shouldn’t, you mustn’t.”

Kōen de hana o totte wa ikemasen.
You should not pick flowers in the park.

Koko de tabako o sutte wa naranai.
You must not smoke here.

d) In the form –te wa irarenai: “be unable to.”

Kono mondai ni tsuite wa, watashi wa damatte wa iraremasen.
I cannot remain silent about this problem.

– Source: All about particles – A handbook of Japanese function words


Write a Comment