Particles are an essential component of the Japanese language, and a facility with their use is essential for a mastery of both spoken and written forms. This new workbook will help students acquire that facility. It introduces 60 particles and their 188 basic functions in order of frequency of usage. Each function is illustrated with example sentences, and exercises are presented every few lessons to allow users to test their understanding, writing directly in the workbook and checking their work against the answers provided. A basic vocabulary is employed throughout to allow students to concentrate fully on one important goal—the mastery of Japanese particles.
<By grouping particles that are similar in function, this book helps students pin down differences in usage that would ordinarily take years to master. Definitions, sample sentences, usage notes, and quizzes enable students to move to a higher level of comprehension.
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For English-speaking students of Japanese, particles are perhaps the most difficult aspect of the language to learn. It would be no exaggeration to say that, for most people, they can never be completely mastered. Thus, the study of particles is a lifetime undertaking, and students need a lifelong companion to help them along the way. That companion is A Dictionary of Japanese Particles.
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It is possible to classify particles into case particles, focus particles, conjunctional particles, and sentence-final particles.
1. Case particles
Case particles usually follow nouns and express the function of the noun in the sentence or in the phrase. More specifically, they express the relationship between nouns, or between a noun and a verb or an adjective. Case particles include ga, o, ni, no, de, e, kara, made, to, ya, and ka.
Chichi ga otōto o shikarimashita.
My father scolded my little brother.
Watashi no tomodachi no imōto ga kimashita.
My friend’s younger sister came (here).
2. Focus particles
Focus particles follow words and another particle in order to focus on the entity denoted by the word and express sentence-external information such as the speaker’s knowledge, understanding, mood, attitude, and perspective. Focus particles include wa, mo, bakari, sae, demo, dake, shika, shi, and koso.
Karaoke ni wa yoku ikimasu. Izakaya ni mo yoku ikimasu.
I go to karaoke very often. I also go to izakaya very often.
Ichiman’en shika arimasen.
I have only 10,000 yen.
3. Conjunctional particles
Conjunctional particles follow phrases and clauses and conjoin verbs and adjectives or create adverbial phrases/clauses. Conjunctional particles include te, tari, tara, to, ka, ba, node, noni, kara, and ga.
Kinō wa tabete nonde nemashita.
I ate, drank, and slept yesterday.
Ashita no tenki wa dō ka wakarimasen ga, tabun hareru to omoimasu.
I’m not sure about tomorrow’s weather, but I think that it will probably be fine.
Tabako wa karada ni warui node, yamemashita.
Cigarettes are not good for health, so I quit.
4. Sentence-final particles
Sentence-final particles are placed at the end of a sentence and specify the function of the sentence or show the speaker’s mood, attitude, or subtle implications. Sentence-final particles include ka, ne, yo, and na.
Ii desu ka. (question)
Is it okay?
Ano hito wa kirei desu ne. (seeking agreement)
That person is pretty, isn’t she?
Kore wa dame desu yo. (emphasis)
This one is not good.
Ame wa furu kana. (speculation)
I wonder whether it will rain.
MASAHIRO TANIMORI – ERIKO SATO