'Ga' and 'Wo'
  • I'm new here. =)

    Er, I know some japanese, I learnt them from a book. =\.

    I still don't know when to use 'ga' or 'wo'. Can anyone help me?
  • Posted By: Vaes
    [p]I'm new here. =)[/p][p]Er, I know some japanese, I learnt them from a book. =\.[/p][p]I still don't know when to use 'ga' or 'wo'. Can anyone help me?[/p]

    Particles is possibly the hardest part of beginner japanese, but I'll try to explain.

    Basically, が is a subject marker. It shows who did what.
    を however, is an object marker. It shows who an action was applied to.

    This might be enough for you to understand, it might not, so here's japanese examples which portray the difference:

    魚が食べる。 (sakana ga taberu)
    "Fishes are eating".

    魚を食べる。 (sakana wo taberu)
    "I'm eating fish."

    As you can see, the sentences are more or less identical in Japanese, the only difference is whether が or を is used, but that difference alone makes the English sentences completely different. As I said, が tells us that Fish is the subject, that the fish is doing the verb (which is eat in this case). を however shows that the fish is the target of the verb.
  • が - ga is also used for when you have no control over something and if you're introducing something new.

    For example:
    When you introduce your family, you end with 'ga imasu.'

    LIke tobbertoths example about the fishes eating
    さかながたべます。 (sakana ga tabemasu.)
    "Fishes are eating".

    You don't have control over the fishes eating, so 'ga' is used.
  • Posted By: Aj
    [p]が - ga is also used for when you have no control over something and if you're introducing something new.[/p][p]For example:
    When you introduce your family, you end with 'ga imasu.'[/p][p]LIke tobbertoths example about the fishes eating
    さかながたべます。 (sakana ga tabemasu.)
    "Fishes are eating".[/p][p]You don't have control over the fishes eating, so 'ga' is used.[/p]

    From a pure grammatical statepoint, that isn't a very good idea of looking at it even though it's actually correct in many cases. What you mean with が implying you have no control is because of 自動詞 and 他動詞, which of course have a lot to do with が but even there, it just means が signifies subject. For example, when you introduce your family using が, the family is the subject, they are "doing" the imasu action.

    Thinking that が means subject lets you use が correctly always. Thinking が means that you have no control means you might use it incorrectly in situations like 私はこれが欲しい (which means "I want this") since you have control over that to some extent. が just shows who is doing what, so any time you are the one doing something, ga will mean you have complete control over it. I also do not think が really have any meaning in introducing something new... however, it does have a function of "singleing out". For example:

    - これは誰がやる?
    - 私がやる。

    This effectivly means "Who will do this?" "I will do it."
    If は is used in the last sentence instead of が, that line would mean something along the lines of "Well, i'll do it (and you guys may do it too)".
  • 魚が食べる。Fishes are eating.

    魚は食べる。Fishes eat.

    Is this correct?
  • Posted By: cyaoeu
    [p]魚が食べる。Fishes are eating.[/p][p]魚は食べる。Fishes eat.[/p][p]Is this correct?[/p]


    More or less. The top one is correct, but the bottom one should litteraly be translated to "As for fishes, eating". While it's implied that the fishes are eating, depending on context it could be otherwise. は only implies that fishes are the topic of the conversation, how it's related to the verb is not definite.
  • Posted By: Tobberoth
    [quote]
    Posted By: cyaoeu
    [p]魚が食べる。Fishes are eating.[/p][p]魚は食べる。Fishes eat.[/p][p]Is this correct?[/p]
    [p]More or less. The top one is correct, but the bottom one should litteraly be translated to "As for fishes, eating". While it's implied that the fishes are eating, depending on context it could be otherwise. は only implies that fishes are the topic of the conversation, how it's related to the verb is not definite.[/p][/quote]

    Actually, in order to get the meaning of "eating" instead of just "eat", you need to use the Te-form:

    魚が食べる。The fish eats.
    魚は食べる。As for the fish, it eats.
    魚が食べている。The fish is eating.
    魚はたべている。As for the fish, it is eating.

    It should be noted that the distinction between が and は in the above sentences is a matter of splitting hairs, and they mean virtually the same thing in this context. Using が simply conveys a more declarative feeling.
  • -ている really is a more definite way of declaring something as ongoing. It's not incorrect to translate 食べる as eating in this case because it can both be a present ongoing action or a future action, though in general 食べる is used for it's future implications. Or general behaviour (where -ている can be used as well). It's important too quickly separate English from Japanese in this sense since the languages are way to dissimilar to be translated word for word.

    Good point though since it's important to know while learning -te form.
  • Posted By: Tobberoth
    [p]-ている really is a more definite way of declaring something as ongoing. It's not incorrect to translate 食べる as eating in this case because it can both be a present ongoing action or a future action, though in general 食べる is used for it's future implications. Or general behaviour (where -ている can be used as well). It's important too quickly separate English from Japanese in this sense since the languages are way to dissimilar to be translated word for word.[/p][p]Good point though since it's important to know while learning -te form.[/p]


    To sate my own curiosity, could you list some sources that state that this is the case? Wikipedia seems to be contradictory:

    Posted Wikipedia
    [p]In most cases, the non-past tense cannot be used to indicate one's current state, such as in the English sentence "I am shopping". Rather, it can only be used to express habit or other actions that are expected to continue into the future, such as in "I shop". To convey the former, the te form with iru must be used.[/p]
  • Posted By: Captain_Thunder
    [quote]
    Posted By: Tobberoth
    [p]-ている really is a more definite way of declaring something as ongoing. It's not incorrect to translate 食べる as eating in this case because it can both be a present ongoing action or a future action, though in general 食べる is used for it's future implications. Or general behaviour (where -ている can be used as well). It's important too quickly separate English from Japanese in this sense since the languages are way to dissimilar to be translated word for word.[/p][p]Good point though since it's important to know while learning -te form.[/p]
    [p]To sate my own curiosity, could you list some sources that state that this is the case?Wikipediaseems to be contradictory:[/p]
    Posted Wikipedia
    [p]In most cases, the non-past tense cannot be used to indicate one's current state, such as in the English sentence "I am shopping". Rather, it can only be used to express habit or other actions that are expected to continue into the future, such as in "I shop". To convey the former, the te form with iru must be used.[/p]
    [/quote]

    Well, my point was that when translating from English to Japanese, one has to be open to the idea that changing tense etc makes sense because one doesn't say something in that manner in both languages. That's why machine translation will never work between English and Japanese but works good between Korean and Japanese.

    But yeah, I can give an example of what I'm talking about:
    腹が立つ (hara ga tatsu) - "that makes me sick" or "that's disgusting".
    In this common phrase, you're not using -te iru form, but you're talking about something happening right now as you're saying it.

    Whole example:
    絶対過労死だったのに会社に認定されなかった。 - Even though it definitely was death from overwork, it wasn't acknowledged by the company.
    本当?腹が立つね! - Really? That makes me sick.

    There's also the idea that one can use -ing in English to express habits, so in those situations you use -ing when translating, even though it wasn't used in Japanese. Example:
    泳ぐのが好きです。
    I like swimmING. / I like to swim.

    Both translations are correct. Gerund in English is one thing and -te iru is often translated/explained using gerund BUT it isn't a 100% match all the time. For example in my example meanings used above, I could be talking about habits and use gerund when translating into English.
  • Posted By: Captain_Thunder
    [quote]
    Posted By: Tobberoth
    [quote]
    Posted By: cyaoeu
    [p]魚が食べる。Fishes are eating.[/p][p]魚は食べる。Fishes eat.[/p][p]Is this correct?[/p]
    [p]More or less. The top one is correct, but the bottom one should litteraly be translated to "As for fishes, eating". While it's implied that the fishes are eating, depending on context it could be otherwise. は only implies that fishes are the topic of the conversation, how it's related to the verb is not definite.[/p][/quote][p]Actually, in order to get the meaning of "eating" instead of just "eat", you need to use the Te-form:[/p][p]魚が食べる。The fish eats.
    魚は食べる。As for the fish, it eats.
    魚が食べている。The fish is eating.
    魚はたべている。As for the fish, it is eating.[/p][p]It should be noted that the distinction between が and は in the above sentences is a matter of splitting hairs, and they mean virtually the same thing in this context. Using が simply conveys a more declarative feeling.[/p][/quote]

    魚は食べる。 As for the fish, it eats. OR As for fish, I eat it.

    お肉はて食べません。 I don't eat meat.
    魚は? What about fish?
    魚は食べる。 I eat fish.

    It's important to remember that は can be used to mark either a subject or an object, with the meaning depending entirely on the context.

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