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).

アランさんポールさんはフランス人です。
Aran-san to Pōru-san wa Furansu-jin desu.
Alain and Paul are French.

白いゆり赤いばらの花を買いましょう。
Shiroi yuri to akai bara no hana o kaimashō.
Let’s buy some white lilies and red roses.

2. Indicates a comparison or contrast: “and” or (when a choice is asked for) “or.”

Note: In this usage, to must follow each of the nouns.

この会社その会社では、資本金が違います。
Kono kaisha to sono kaisha to de wa, shihon-kin ga chigaimasu.
This company and that company have different amounts of capital.

りんごみかんどちらが好きですか。
Ringo to mikan to dochira ga suki desu ka.
Which do you like better, apples or mandarin oranges?

3. “Together, with.”

社長は部長食事をしています。
Shachō wa buchō to shokuji o shite imasu.
The company president is eating out with the division manager.

明日この問題について、先生話すつもりです。
Ashita kono mondai ni tsuite, sensei to hanasu tsumori desu.
Tomorrow I intend to discuss this problem with my teacher [instructor, doctor, lawyer, etc.].

*4. Indicates a change or result (commonly used in the phrase to naru)

Note: Ni (#13, no. 8) is also used in this pattern; to is more formal and is commonly used in writing.

オリンピックの開会式の日なった。
Orinpikku no kaikai-shiki no hi to natta.
The day of the opening ceremony of the Olympics arrived. (Lit., It became the day of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.)

今年の海外旅行者は、1000万人なった。
Kotoshi no kaigai-ryokōsha wa, issen-man-nin to natta.
[The number of] overseas travelers this year reached ten million.

*5. Following an expression of quantity, reinforces the negative idea of the sentence: “(not) as much as.”

あの山に登るには、2時間かかりません。
Ano yama ni noboru ni wa, ni-jikan to kakarimasen.
It won’t take as long as [won’t take even] two hours to climb that mountain.

あの会社とは2取引きをしたくない。
Ano kaisha to wa nido to torihiki o shitaku nai.
I don’t want to have dealings with that company ever again. (Lit., I don’t want to have dealings with that company two times [because I’ve dealt with them once already and know what they’re like].)

II. Used after onomatopoeic adverbs, or follows a word, clause, or sentence and precedes such verbs, as iu, kiku, and omou to indicate what someone said, asked, thought, etc.

1. Indicates what someone said, ordered, asked, etc.

山本さんが、あとで電話するおっしゃいました。
Yamamoto-san ga, ato de denwa suru to osshaimashita.
Yamamoto said that she would phone later.

母が先生によろしく申しておりました。
Haha ga sensei ni yoroshiku to mōshite orimashita.
Mother said to give her regards to you (who are my teacher, doctor, etc.).

渡辺さんが9時までに事務所に来るように、言っていました。
Watanabe-san ga kuji made ni jimu-sho ni kuru yō ni, to itte imashita.
Watanabe said that you should come to his office by nine o’clock. / Watanabe asked that you come to the office by nine o’clock.

2. Indicates what someone thinks or feels.

来年は、アメリカへ行こう考えています。
Rainen wa, Amerika e ikō to kangaete imasu.
I’m thinking of going to the United States next year.

電車は9時に出る思いましたが、10時でした。
Densha wa kuji ni deru to omoimashita ga, jūji deshita.
I thought the train would leave at nine o’clock, but [it left at] ten. / Or, I thought the train was going to leave [was scheduled to leave] at nine o’clock, but it turned out to be ten.

3. Indicates the name of something, about which an explanation follows; usually used when the name alone would not be under-stood. Always used in the form to iu (or some variation): “that (who, which) is called, known as.”

「世界」いう雑誌を知っていますか。
“Sekai’ to iu zasshi o shitte imasu ka.
Do you know the magazine Sekai?

ブリー・スカイズいうホテルに泊まりました。
Burii Sukaizu to iu hoteru ni tomarimashita.
I stayed at a hotel called Blue Skies.

まず、田中いう部長に書類をもらって下さい。
Mazu, Tanaka to iu buchō ni shorui o moratte kudasai.
First of all, get the documents from a section manager named Tanaka.

4. Used after onomatopoeic adverbs.

小川がさらさら、道のそばを流れていた。
Ogawa ga sarasara to, michi no soba o nagarete ita.
A sparkling brook flowed alongside the road.

星がきらきら輝いています。
Hoshi ga kirakira to kagayaite imasu.
The stars are twinkling.

III. Follows verbs and adjectives to form a conditional: “if, unless, whether or not.”

1. Indicates that a second action follows immediately upon the action preceding it; often used with sugu (immediately, right away): “as soon as.”

Note: -Tara (#35, no. 5) and nari (#46, no. 3) can be used here with much the same meaning.

朝起きるすぐ、カーテンを開けます。
Asa okiru to sugu, kāten o akemasu.
As soon as I get up in the morning, I open the curtains.

昨日は会社の仕事が終わる、まっすぐ家に帰った。
Kinō wa kaisha no shigoto ga owaru to, massugu ie ni kaetta.
Yesterday, as soon as work was over, I went home. / I went straight home after work yesterday.

2. Indicates the inevitability of a second action following the one preceding it: “when, as.”

日本では春になる桜が咲きます。
Nihon de wa haru ni naru to sakura ga sakimasu.
When spring comes in Japan, the cherry trees bloom. / In Japan, the cherry trees bloom with the coming of spring.

車が多くなる交通事項が増えます。
Kuruma ga ōku naru to kōtsū-jiko ga fuemasu.
As (the number of) cars increases, the (incidence of) traffic accidents rises. / The more cars there are, the more traffic accidents occur.

不景気になる失業者が増えます。
Fu-keiki ni naru to shitsugyō-sha ga fuemasu.
When there is a recession, the number of jobless increases.

3. Indicates a hypothetical condition: “if, unless.”

Note: -Ba (#34, no. 1) and -tara (#35, no. 1) have much the same meaning. Compare also -ba (#34, no. 2).

山田さんが来ない会議が始められません。
Yamada-san ga konai to kaigi ga hajimeraremasen.
If Yamada doesn’t come, the meeting can’t be started. / We can’t start the meeting unless Yamada comes.

明日、天気がいい野球ができます。
Ashita, tenki ga ii to yakyū ga dekimasu.
If the weather is good tomorrow, we can play baseball.

4. Indicates that something has been learned as a result of a certain action: “when, after, as a result of.”

Note: -Tara (#35, no. 4) can also be used with this meaning.

銀行へ行く、もう閉まっていた。
Ginkō e iku to, mō shimatte ita.
When I went to the bank, [I found] it was already closed.

交番で道を聞く、その会社はすぐ見つかった。
Kōban de michi o kiku to, sono kaisha wa sugu mitsukatta.
After asking the way at a police box, I found [located] the company right away.

5. Used with two verbs (either two different verbs ending in -yo/-o, or the same verb repeated, the first ending in -yo/-o, the second in the negative -mai); indicates a lack of concern over which of the two events occurs: “whether … or (not).”

「円」が強くなろう弱くなろう、私の生活には関係ありません。
“En” ga tsuyoku narō to yowaku narō to, watashi no seikatsu ni wa kankei arimasen.
Whether the yen gets stronger or grows weaker [rises or falls], it has no effect on my [daily] life.

彼女が一人でパーティーに行こう行くまい、私はかまいません。
Kanojo ga hitori de pati ni ikō to iku mai to, watashi wa kamaimasen.
I don’t care whether she goes to the party alone or not.

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

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 the items stated are the only ones under consideration. Ya is often combined with nado (“and such”), reinforcing its basic meaning.

テーブルの上に、おすしやきとりてんぷらなどがあります。
Tēburu no ue ni, osushi ya yakitori ya tenpura nado ga arimasu.
On the table, there are such things as sushi, yakitori, and tempura.

私の部屋には、コンピューターステレオが置いてあります。
Watashi no heya ni wa, konpyūtā ya sutereo ga oite arimasu.
In my room there is a computer, a stereo, and such.

*2. In the idiomatic expression ya ina ya (following a verb root): as soon as, no sooner had.”

駅に着くいな、電車が出てしまった。
Eki ni tsuku ya ina ya, densha ga dete shimatta.
No sooner had I arrived at the station than the train left.

おふろに入るいな、電話が鳴った。
Ofuro ni hairu ya ina ya, denwa ga natta.
No sooner had I gotten into the bath than the phone rang.

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

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: “even, even if.”

つまらない会議でも仕事ですから出なければなりません。
Tsumaranai kaigi de mo shigoto desu kara denakereba narimasen.
Even if it’s a boring meeting, you have to attend since it’s [part of] the job. / You have to attend even the boring meetings since it’s [part of] the job.

嫌いな食べ物でも、体によければ食べた方がいいですね。
Kirai na tabemono de mo, karada ni yokereba tabeta hō ga ii desu ne.
Even if it’s food you dislike, you should eat it if it’s good for your health. / You should eat even food you dislike if it’s good for your health.

2. Used after nouns for emphasis: “even.”

その仕事は私でもできましたから、あなたならすぐできますよ。
Sono shigoto wa watashi de mo dekimashita kara, anata nara sugu dekimasu yo.
Since even I was able to do that work, you will be able to do it immediately. / If / can do it, you should be able to do it [handle that job] with ease.

動物でも人間の心がわかります。
Dōbutsu de mo ningen no kokoro ga wakarimasu.
Even animals can understand the human heart.

3. Used after an interrogative word for positive emphasis: “any-(one, where, etc.).”

ジョンさんは、日本料理ならなんでも食べます。
Jon-san wa, Nihon-ryōri nara nan de mo tabemasu.
John will eat any [kind of] Japanese food.

私は、夜だったらいつでもいいですよ。
Watashi wa, yoru dattara itsu de mo ii desu yo.
As long as it’s at night, any time is all right for me. / Any time at night is fine with me.

4. Used in the form donna … de mo: “whatever.”

ヨーロッパへ行ったら、どんな美術館でも見てみたい。
Yōroppa e ittara, donna bijutsu-kan de mo mite mitai.
If I go to Europe, I’ll want to see whatever museums [I can].

英語のできる人なら、どんな人でもかまいません。
Eigo no dekiru hito nara, donna hito de mo kamaimasen.
As long as it’s someone who can speak English, it doesn’t matter who it is. / Anyone who can speak English will do.

5. Used with two or more nouns which serve as examples of a larger list: “either … or (and others of a similar nature).”

松本さんは運動神経がいいので、テニスでも、ゴルフでもできますよ。
Matsumoto-san wa undō-shinkei ga ii no de, tenisu de mo, gorufu de mo dekimasu yo.
Given Matsumoto’s good reflexes, he can play either tennis or golf [or any other sport].

片岡さんは、外国語に興味を持っているから、フランス語でも中国語でもすぐ覚えてしまう。
Kataoka-san wa gaikoku-go ni kyōmi o motte iru kara, Furansu-go de mo Chūgoku-go de mo sugu oboete shimau.
Since Kataoka is interested in foreign languages, he can easily pick up either French or Chinese [or any other language].

6. Indicates one possibility: “… or something.”

映画でも見に行きませんか。
Eiga de mo mi ni ikimasen ka.
Hou about going to see  a movie or something?

レコードでも聞きましょうか。
Rekōdo de mo kikimashō ka.
Shall we listen to a record or something?

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

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 are the prerequisites of leadership?

*2. Used between two clauses that are opposed in meaning; the first clause represents a concession to the second (usually in the form to wa ie): “though, even though.”

政府を信用していないとはいえ、政府のやり方に従わないわけにはいかない。
Seifu o shin’yō shite inai to wa ie, seifu no yarikata ni shitagawanai wake ni wa ikanai.
Even though you don’t trust the government, you [still] have to adhere to its way of doing things. / You may not trust the government, but you must still adhere to its ways of doing things.

とはいえまだ寒い。
Haru to wa ie mada samui.
Even though it’s spring, its still cold.

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

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 warukute mo, doraibu ni ikimashō.
Even if the weather is bad tomorrow, let’s go for a drive. / Let’s go for a drive tomorrow even if the weather’s bad.

友達が作ってくれたので、あまりおいしくなくても料理は全部食べましたよ。
Tomodachi ga tsukutte kureta no de, amari oishiku nakute mo ryōri wa zenbu tabemashita yo.
Since a friend prepared the food [for me), I ate everything, even though it didn’t taste very good.

2. After verbs, used in conjunction with interrogatives for emphasis: “no matter where (who, what, etc.).”

武田さんは、いくら飲んでも酔わないんですよ。
Takeda-san wa, ikura nonde mo yowanai-n desu yo.
No matter how much Takeda drinks, he doesn’t get drunk.

お花見のときは、どこへ行っても人でいっぱいだ。
Ohanami no toki wa, doko e itte mo hito de ippai da.
During flower-viewing time, there are crowds of people wherever you go.

3. Emphasizes an approximate limit: “at the most.”

そのカメラなら、高くても5万円くらいでしょう。
Sono kamera nara, takakute mo go-man-en kurai deshō.
At the most, that camera will cost around ¥50,000. (Lit., That camera, even if it’s expensive, will be about ¥50,000.)

あの芝居は長くても3時間で終わりますよ。
Ano shibai wa nagakute mo san-jikan de owarimasu yo.
That play will last three hours at the most.

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

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。これ桜です。
Kore wa sakura desu. Kore mo sakura desu.
This is a cherry tree. This is a cherry tree, too.

ポールさんは日本語を勉強しています。ナンシーさん日本語を勉強しています。
Pōru-san wa Nihon-go o benkyō shite imasu. Nanshii-san mo Nihon-go o benkyō shite imasu.
Paul is studying Japanese. Nancy is also studying Japanese.

2. Showing similar nouns in parallel construction: “and, as well as, both.”

私の会社には、アメリカ人中国人います。
Watashi no kaisha ni wa, Amerika-jin mo chūgoku-jin mo imasu.
There are both Americans and Chinese in my company.

花子さんは、すしてんぷら好きですよ。
Hanako-san wa, sushi mo tenpura mo suki desu yo.
Hanako likes both sushi and tempura.

3. Indicates an addition: “as well as, in addition.”

これは黒ですが、白い靴ありますよ。
Kore wa kuro desu ga, shiroi kutsu mo arimasu yo.
These are black, but we have white shoes as well.

日本では子供だけでなく、大人マンガを読んでいます。
Nihon de wa kodomo dake de naku, otona mo manga o yon-de imasu.
In Japan, not only children read comic books, but adults as well.

4. Shows emphasis or absence of doubt concerning a question of time, quantity, etc.: “any number of times, continually.”

あの映画は何度見ました。
Ano eiga wa nando mo mimashita.
I have seen that movie any number of times.

このレストランは、いつ混んでいます。
Kono resutoran wa, itsu mo konde imasu.
This restaurant is always crowded.

5. Indicates total negation concerning a question of quality or quantity (accompanied by a negative verb): “no, nothing.”

ありませんが、召し上がって下さい。
Nani mo arimasen ga, meshiagatte kudasai.
We have nothing special to offer, but please help yourself. (Lit., There is nothing, but please eat [a conventional phrase].)

あの部屋には、だれいませんよ。
Ano heya ni wa, dare mo imasen yo.
There is no one in that room.

6. To emphasize the extent of a number: “all of, as much (many) as.”

スミスさんは漢字を5000知っています。
Sumisu-san wa, kanji o gosen mo shitte imasu.
Mr. Smith knows all of five thousand kanji.

そのアパートの家賃は、一ヶ月90万円するそうです。
Sono apāto no yachin wa, ikkagetsu kyujū-man-en mo suru sō desu.
The rent for that apartment is said to be as high as ¥900,000.

7. Indicates approximation (by showing an approximate upper limit) regarding number or quantity: “around, up to.”

1時間あれば、ホテルから空港へ行けます。
Ichi-jikan mo areba, hoteru kara kūkō e ikemasu.
If you have as much as an hour, you can get from the hotel to the airport. / You can get from the hotel to the airport inside an hour [in an hour or so].

5万円出せば、いいカメラが買えますよ。
Go-man-en mo daseba, ii kamera ga kaemasu yo.
If you spend up to ¥50,000, you can get a good camera. / You can buy a good camera for ¥50,000.

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

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ありますか。
Asoko ni watashi no bōrupen ga arimasu ka.
Is my ball-point pen over there?

あそこに郵便局あります。
Asoko ni yūbin-kyoku ga arimasu.
There’s a post office over there.

私の会社には、女の人50人以上います。
Watashi no kaisha ni wa, onna no hito ga gojuū-nin ijō imasu.
There are more than fifty women in my company.

Note: Wa can replace ga in such sentences when (first example below) something is being contrasted (my ball-point pen, say, in contrast to my pencil) or when (second example) information is being presented about a subject already identified. See wa (#1, nos. 1, 4).

私のボールペンあそこにありますか。
Watashi no bōrupen wa asoko ni arimasu ka.
Is my ball-point pen over there?

郵便局はどこにありますか。
(郵便局)駅の前にあります。

Yūbin-kyoku wa doko ni arimasu ka.
(Yūbin-kyoku wa) eki no mae ni arimasu.
Where is the post office?
(The post office is) in front of the station.

2. Indicates the subject of the predicate.

あそこに桜咲いています。
Asoko ni sakura ga saite imasu.
The cherry trees are blooming over there.

あの山を見てください。まだ雪残ってきますよ。
Ano yama o mite kudasai. Mada yuki ga nokotte imasu yo.
Look at that mountain. There’s still snow on it. (Lit., … snow still remains.)

Note: When making a contrast, wa (#1, no. 4) can replace ga:

あそこに桜咲いていますが、梅咲いていません。
Asoko ni sakura wa saite imasu ga, ume wa saite imasen.
The cherry trees are blooming over there, but the plum trees are not.

3. Indicates the subject of an intransitive verb.

開きました。
To ga akimashita.
The door opened.

降っている。
Ame ga futte iru.
It’s raining.

Note: Wa (#1, no. 4) can replace ga for contrastive purposes:

降っているが、雪まだ降っていません。
Ame wa futte iru ga, yuki wa mada futte imasen.
It’s raining, but it’s not snowing yet.

4. Indicates the subject of the sentence when new, as-yet-unknown information is being presented.

こちら山田さんです。
Kochira ga Yamada-san desu.
This is Mr. Yamada. (a personal introduction)

昨日友達のジャックあなたに会いたいと言っていました。
Kinō tomodachi no Jakku ga anata ni aitai to itte imashita.
Yesterday my friend Jack said that he wanted to meet you.

Note: Here again wa (#1, no. 4) can replace ga for contrastive purposes:

ご紹介します。こちらが山田さんで、こちら鈴木さんです。
Goshōkai shimasu. Kochira ga Yamada-san de, kochira wa Suzuki-san desu.
Let me do the introductions. This is Mr. Yamada, and this is Ms. Suzuki.

5. Used with interrogative words in questions.

a) In general questions:

どの人課長ですか。
Dono hito ga kachō desu ka.
Which one [person] is the section chief?

一番早く来ましたか。
Dare ga ichiban hayaku kimashita ka.
Who came [arrived] first?

Note: Wa (#1, nos. 1, 2) can replace ga if a topic is being presented:

課長どの人ですか。
Kachō wa dono hito desu ka.
The section chief—which one [person] is he? / Which one is the section chief?

b) In asking for a choice:

すしとてんぷらとどちら好きですか。
Sushi to tenpura to dochira ga suki desu ka.
Which do you like better, sushi or tempura?

中国語と日本語と、どちら難しいですか。
Chūgoku-go to Nihon-go to, dochira ga muzukashii desu ka.
Which is more difficult, Chinese or Japanese?

6. Indicates the subject of a relative clause.

先週私見た映画はつまらなかった。
Senshū watashi ga mita eiga wa tsumaranakatta.
The movie I saw last week was boring.

1週間で私読む本は4冊です。
Isshūkan de watashi ga yomu hon wa yonsatsu desu.
I read four books a week [in one week]. (Lit., Four books is what I read in one week.)

Note: No (#17, 1-5) may replace ga in this usage.

7. Indicates the subject of a clause ending in ka.

なぜ彼そんなことをやったか、わかりません。
Naze kare ga sonna koto o yatta ka, wakarimasen.
I don’t know why he did that [lit., … something like that].

どうして彼女あんなつまらない本を読んでいるのか、不思議です。
Dō shite kanojo ga anna tsumaranai hon o yonde iru no ka, fushigi desu.
It is a mystery to me [beyond me] why she’s reading such a boring book [a boring book like that].

8. Indicates the subject of a subordinate or conditional clause when it is different from the subject of the main clause.

a) Subordinate clauses:

日本にくる前に、(私は)この部屋をきれいに掃除しなければならない。
Haha ga Nihon ni kuru mae ni, [watashi wa] kono heya o kirei ni sōji shinakereba naranai.
Before my mother comes to Japan, I have to make this room nice and dean.

来たとき、私はごちそうを作った。
Haha ga kita toki, watashi wa gochisō o tsukutta.
When my mother came, I prepared quite a spread.

来たあと、私は買物に出かけた。
Haha ga kita ato, watashi wa kaimono ni dekaketa.
After my mother came, I went out shopping.

b) Conditional clauses.

あの人行くんだったら、私は行かない。
Ano hito ga iku-n dattara, watashi wa ikanai.
If he’s going, I am not.

あなたそう言うなら、納豆を食べてみます。
Anata ga sō iu nara, nattō o tabete mimasu.
If you say so [if you recommend it, insist, etc.], I’ll try some fer-mented beans.

9. Indicates the object of verbs of ability (dekiru, wakaru, and the potential forms of verbs).

阿部さんはゴルフできます。
Abe-san wa gorufu ga dekimasu.
Abe can play [lit., do] golf.

岡田さんはピアノ弾けます。
Okada-san wa piano ga hikemasu.
Okada can play the piano.

山田さんは中国語わかります。
Yamada-san wa Chūgoku-go ga wakarimasu.
Yamada understands Chinese.

Note: Wa (#1, no. 4) can replace ga to create a contrast:

山田さんは、中国語わかりますが、英語わかりません。
Yamada-san wa, Chūgoku-go wa wakarimasu ga, Eigo wa wakari-masen.
Yamada understands Chinese, but not English.

10. Indicates the object of verbs of sensation (mieru and kikoeru) as well as suru in certain uses.

ここから富士山見えます。
Koko kara Fuji-san ga miemasu.
Mt. Fuji can be seen from here. / You can see Mt. Fuji from here.

朝の台所は、コーヒーの香りします。
Asa no daidokoro wa, kōhī no kaori ga shimasu.
The kitchen smells of coffee in the morning. / In the morning you can smell coffee [brewing] in the kitchen.

Note: Wa (#1, no. 4) can replace ga for contrast:

ここから富士山見えますが、登る人の姿見えません。
Koko kara Fuji-san wa miemasu ga, noboru hito no sugata wa miemasen.
You can see Mt. Fuji from here, but not the figures of the people climbing it.

11. Indicates the object of verbs and adjectives of necessity (hitsuyi da, iru).

私はお金要る。
Watashi wa okane ga iru.
I need money.

交通の安全のため、厳しい規則必要です。
Kōtsū no anzen no tame, kibishii kisoku ga hitsuyō desu.
Strict rules are needed for traffic safety.

Note: Wa (#1, no. 4) replaces ga when a contrast is being made:

私は、お金要るが、物要らない。
Watashi wa, okane wa iru ga, mono wa iranai.
I need money, but I don’t need things.

12. Indicates the object of adjectives of desire (hoshii and the -tai form of verbs). Compare the use of o (#18, no. 5) with the -garu and -tai forms of verbs.

時間とお金欲しい。
Jikan to okane ga hoshii.
I want time and money.

冷たいもの飲みたい。
Tsumetai mono ga nomitai.
I want something cold to drink.

Note: Wa (#1, no. 4) replaces ga when a contrast is being made:

冷たいもの飲みたいが、温かいもの要りません。
Tsumetai mono wa nomitai ga, atatakai mono wa irimasen.
I’d like to drink something cold, but not anything hot.

13. Indicates the object of verbs and adjectives of emotion (suki da, kirai da, ureshii, kanashii, kowai, shinpai suru, etc.). Compare the use of o (#18, no. 5) with verbs in the -tai and -garu forms.

私はモーツアルト大好きです。
Watashi wa Mōtsuaruto ga daisuki desu.
I love Mozart.

ジョンさんは納豆嫌いです。
Jon-san wa nattō ga kirai desu.
John doesn’t like fermented soybeans.

秋になると台風心配です。
Aki ni naru to taifū ga shinpai desu.
In the fall, typhoons are a worry [a problem].

花子はこんなすばらしいプレゼントをくれたんですよ。その気持ち嬉しいです。
Hanako wa konna subarashii purezento o kureta-n desu yo. Sono kimochi ga ureshii desu.
Hanako gave me this wonderful present. I’m so pleased by her thoughtfulness.

Note: Wa (#1, no. 4) can be substituted for ga to create a contrast:

ジムさんは納豆嫌いだが、するめ大好きです。
Jimu-san wa nattō wa kirai da ga, surume wa daisuki desu.
Jim doesn’t like fermented soybeans, but he loves dried cuttlefish.

14. Indicates the object of adjectives of ability (jozu na, heta na, tokui na, kiyo na, etc.).

新しい首相は、俳句上手だそうです。
Atarashii shushō wa, haiku ga jōzu da sō desu.
The new prime minister is said to be good at haiku.

小川さんは語学得意で、フランス語もイタリア語もできます。
Ogawa-san wa gogaku ga tokui de, Furansu-go mo Itaria-go mo dekimasu.
Ogawa is good at languages; she can speak both French and Italian.

Note: Wa (#1, no. 4) replaces ga when a contrast is intended:

新しい首相は、俳句上手ですが、政治まあまあです。
Atarashii shushō wa, haiku wa jōzu desu ga, seiji wa māmā desu.
The new prime minister is good at haiku, but his politics are just so-so.

II. Used between clauses (and sometimes at the end of sentences), usually with the meaning “but.”

1. Used between two clauses to indicate that they are opposed in meaning (cf. 11-3, below): “but, although.”

この頃昼は暖かいんです、夜は寒くなりました。
Konogoro hiru wa atatakai-n desu ga, yoru wa samuku narima-shita.
Lately, the days are warm, but the nights have turned cold. / It’s warm during the daytime these days, but cold at night.

私の家からスーパーは近いんです、駅は遠いです。
Watashi no ie kara supa wa chikai-n desu ga, eki wa tōi-n desu.
The supermarket is close to my house, but the train station is far away.

2. Indicates that a given subject has two different qualities: “but, although.”

桜の花はきれいだ、香りがない。
Sakura no hana wa kirei da ga, kaori ga nai.
Cherry blossoms are pretty, but they have no fragrance.

この映画は面白い、長すぎますね。
Konō eiga wa omoshiroi ga, nagasugimasu ne.
This movie is interesting, but it’s just too long.

3. Connects two clauses without any adversative implication (cf. 11-1, above): “and.”

谷さんは頭がいい、横田さんもいいです。
Tani-san wa atama ga ii ga, Yokota-san mo ii desu.
Tani is intelligent, and so is Yokota.

昨日富士山を初めて見ました、きれいでした。
Kino Fuji-san o hajimete mimashita ga, kirei deshita.
I saw Mt. Fuji for the first time yesterday, and it was beautiful.

4. Indicates a preliminary remark.

Note: This type of sentence is often terminated after ga, at which point the interlocutor, sensing what it is to follow, takes up the thread of conversation.

私、広野と申します、ご主人はいらっしゃいますか。
Watashi, Hirono to mōshimasu ga, goshujin wa irasshaimasu ka.
My name is Hirono. Is your husband home?

先日お願いしたことです、どうなりましたでしょうか。
Senjitsu onegai shita koto desu ga, do narimashita deshō ka.
About the request I made several days ago, how has it turned out [has there been any progress)?

5. Used at the end of the sentence.

Note: These usages are essentially the same as those in 11-4, above, except that the second clause isn’t stated outright (Words in brackets show only one of various imaginable contexts.)

a) Implies an unstated meaning that is in contrast to the one stated: “Well, yes, but.”

おっしゃることはもっともです ……
Ossharu koto wa mottomo desu ga
What you say is quite right, but … [it’s difficult to implement now].

b) Softens a refusal: “I am sorry, but …”

部長は今会議中でございます ……
Buchō wa ima kaigi-chū de gozaimasu ga
The division chief is in a meeting now … [so you’ll have to wait to see him].

6. When used at the end of a sentence or clause and preceded by to ii, indicates that the speaker wants the event to come out as stated. Context determines whether or not the wish is actually realizable: “it would be nice if; it would have been nice if.”

来年外国へ旅行できるといい、だめのようです
Rainen gaikoku e ryokō dekiru to ii ga, dame no yo desu.
It would be nice if I could make a trip abroad next year, but it seems as though I can’t [seems impossible].

早く春が来るといいんだ
Hayaku haru ga kuru to ii-n da ga
It would be nice if spring came soon. / I hope spring comes soon.

彼女が独身だといいんだ
Kanojo ga dokushin da to ii-n da ga . . .
I hope she is single. / (Or, knowing that she is not) I wish she were single.

7. Used idiomatically after contrastive verbs or adjectives: “whether or not.”

a) After the forms of contrastive verbs or adjectives.

私は助かろう死のうかまいません。
Watashi wa tasukarō ga shinō ga kamaimasen.
I don’t care whether I live [lit., am saved] or die.

暑かろう寒かろう私は大丈夫です。
Atsukarō ga samukarō ga watashi wa daijōbu desu.
I’m all right [it doesn’t bother me] whether it’s hot or cold.

b) After the and -mai forms of the same verb.

私が行こう行くまい、あなたには関係ないことです。
Watashi ga ikō ga ikumai ga, anata ni wa kankei nai koto desu.
Whether I go or not has nothing to do with you [is not your concern].

田中さんが信じよう信じまい、僕ははっきりとUFOを見ました。
Tanaka-san ga shinjiyō ga shinjimai ga, boku wa hakkiri to yūfō o mimashita.
Whether Tanaka believes it or not, I clearly saw a UFO.

8. Used in the expression V + ga hayai ka: “as soon as, no sooner had.”

窓を開ける早いか、猫が飛び込んできた。
Mado o akeru ga hayai ka, neko ga tobikonde kita.
No sooner had the window been opened than the cat jumped in. / As soon as I opened the window the cat jumped in.

横になる早いか、すぐ眠ってしまった。
Yoko ni naru ga hayai ka, sugu nemutte shimatta.
No sooner had I lain down than I fell asleep. / I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

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

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 practical terms, it often (but not always) comes after the subject of the sentence. See also to wa (#7) and -te wa (#47).

1. Indicates that information is being presented about something that is already known or that has been identified.

あそこに赤い本がありますね。あれ漢字の本です。
Asoko ni akai hon ga arimasu ne. Are wa kanji no hon desu.
Over there is a red book, right. It’s a kanji book. / See the red book over there? That’s a kanji book.

あの大学、四谷駅の近くにあります。
Ano daigaku wa, Yotsuya-eki no chikaku ni arimasu.
That university it’s near Yotsuya Station. / That university is near Yotsuya Station.

2. Indicates a topic, which is then identified or explained.

明日日曜日です。
Ashita wa nichiyobi desu.
As for tomorrow, it’s Sunday. / Tomorrow is Sunday.

鯨は魚でありません。
Kujira wa sakana de wa arimasen.
As for the whale, it is not a fish. / The whale is not a fish.

Note: If ga replaces wa in these sentences, the noun which it follows is no longer being presented as a topic but as the subject of the predicate (see ga, #2, I-2). The switch from topic (wa) to definite subject (ga) lays stress on the latter. For example:

あっさて日曜日ですね。
違います。明日日曜日ですよ。

Asatte wa nichiyobi desu ne.
Chigaimasu. Ashita ga nichiyobi desu yo.

The day after tomorrow is Sunday, isn’t it.
You’re wrong there. Tomorrow is Sunday.

3. In the construction N + wa N + ga, wa indicates a topic (the first noun) about which an aspect or quality (the second noun) is explained.

象は鼻長いです。
wa hana ga nagai desu.
The elephant its nose is long. / Elephants have long noses.

竹本さん性格優しいです。
Takemoto-san wa seikaku ga yasashii desu.
As for Takemoto, her personality is gentle. / Takemoto has a gentle nature.

4. Used to show contrast between two items or ideas, both of which are signified by wa.

漢字難しいですが、日本語の文法あまり難しくないんです。
Kanji wa muzukashii desu ga, Nihon-go no bunpo wa amari muzu-kashiku nai-n desu.
Kanji
are difficult, but Japanese grammar is not very difficult.

北海道の冬寒いですが、東京暖かいです。
Hokkaidō no fuyu wa samui desu ga, Tōkyō wa atatakai desu.
The Hokkaido winter is cold, but [the] Tokyo [winter] is warm. / It’s cold in Hokkaido in the winter, but warm in Tokyo.

Note: In some cases, only one item or idea is explicitly mentioned. For example, in the following sentence, the implication is that the person might go to a cheaper restaurant.

高いから、あのレストランに行きません。
Takai kara, ano resutoran ni wa ikimasen.
Because it’s expensive, I won’t go to that restaurant. / I am not going to that restaurant because it’s too expensive.

Note: In its contrastive function, wa comes after other particles (e.g., ni wa, de wa). Two important exceptions are when it replaces ga and o, as in the next example.

バターを買いましたか。
マーガリン買いましたが、バター買いませんでした。

Batā o kaimashita ka.
Māgarin wa kaimashita ga, batā wa kaimasendeshita.

Did you buy some butter? I bought some margarine, but I didn’t buy any butter. / I bought some margarine, but not any butter.

5. In the forms V-te wa iru (first example below) and V –masu base followed by wa and suru (second and third examples), wa indicates emphasis. See also -te wa (#47).

コンピュータを持っていますが、まだ使って()いません。
Konpyuta o motte wa imasu ga, mada tsukatte (wa) imasen.
I own a computer [I do own a computer], but I haven’t used it yet.

あの人を知っていますが、あまり話したことありません。
Ano hito o shitte wa imasu ga, amari hanashita koto wa arimasen.
I know him, but I haven’t spoken to him much.

お茶飲みましたが、時間がなかったので食事しませんでした。
Ocha wa nomimashita ga, jikan ga nakatta no de shokuji wa shi-masen deshita.
I had some tea, but since there wasn’t much time, I didn’t eat (have a meal).

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