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All About Japanese Particles: と (to)

I. Follows nouns; indicates such meanings as "and" and "with," and sets off names. 1. Joins nouns, usually two or three (but not phrases and clauses): "and."  Note: Contrast with ya (#8, no. 1). アランさんとポールさんはフランス人です。 Aran-san to Pōru-san wa Furansu-jin ...
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All About Japanese Particles: や (ya)

1. Joins nouns to indicate a non-exhaustive list of items: "such things as, and ... and." Note: Ya implies that the items stated are taken as examples from a larger group of items. In contrast, to (#6, I-1) implies that ...
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All About Japanese Particles: でも (demo)

Note: In all usages except no. 6, de mo can be replaced by the more informal datte (not included in this book). See also mo, #3, and -te mo (-de mo), #4. 1. Used after nouns to emphasize a hypothetical: ...
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All About Japanese Particles: とは (to wa)

1. Indicates a word or phrase being defined, or for which a defi-nition is being asked. UNとは、国連のことです。 UN to wa, kokuren no koto desu. "UN" refers to the United Nations. リーダーの条件とは何でしょうか。 Rida no jōken to wa nan deshō ka. What ...
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All About Japanese Particles: ても (でも) -te mo (-de mo)

Note: Here we are concerned with mo in combination with the - te (-de) form of verbs and the -kute form of adjectives. See also mo (#3) and de mo (#5). 1. "Even if, even though." 明日天気が悪くても、ドライブに行きましょう。 Ashita tenki ga ...
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All About Japanese Particles: も (mo)

Note: See also -te mo (-de mo), #4, and de mo, #5. 1. Indicates that two words are equal in weight: "also, too." これは桜です。これも桜です。 Kore wa sakura desu. Kore mo sakura desu. This is a cherry tree. This is a ...
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All About Japanese Particles: が (ga)

I. Indicates the subject of the sentences or, with certain verbs and adjectives, the object. 1. Indicates existence; used with such verbs as aru, gozaimasu, iru, irassharu. あそこに私のボールペンがありますか。 Asoko ni watashi no bōrupen ga arimasu ka. Is my ball-point pen ...
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All About Japanese Particles: は (wa)

Note: Wa has several usages, but its basic function is to set off a topic (e.g., of conversation) from the rest of the sentence, which talks about the topic. Technically, wa does not indicate case (subject, object, etc.). However, in ...
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How to greet on the phone in Japanese

いつもお世話になっております。 Itsumo osewa ni nate orimasu. We appreciate all that you've done for us. One of the relatively few Japanese phrases widely recognized outside Japan is moshi-moshi, which, among its other functions, is frequently used as a sort of greeting ...
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Some ways to make excuses and deny rumors

遠慮が無沙汰になってしまいました。 Enryo ga busata ni natte shimaimashita. For fear of intruding I'm afraid I've fallen out of touch. Now and then you may run into someone —a former colleague, say, or an old classmate—with whom you once had a long-standing ...
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How to express your doubt in Japanese

何か違うんじゃない。 Nani ka chigau 'n ja nai. Something's not quite right. This is the sort of thing you might say to express doubt or dissatisfaction, to indicate that the situation has gotten mixed up or gone wrong somehow and all ...
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Japanese phrase for leaving someone’s house

おや、もうこんな時間。 Oya, mō konna jikan. Oh, look at the time! When you visit the home of a friend, it is generally left up to you as the guest to bring the visit to an end. One time-honored pretext for doing ...
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