Particles in Japanese are short words that immediately follow a noun, adjective, verb, or sentence. They are used to show the relationship of words in a sentence. There are hundreds of them and they can be extremely frustrating for learners.
I will list my known particles here and update this page as I study more Japanese and learn more about the correct use of particles.
Usage of が
が introduces the subject of a sentence.
じゅぎょうが 始まります。 - The class begins.
が can also show likes, dislikes or capability.
私は とんかつが すきです。 – As for me, I like tonkatsu.
母は たまねぎが すきではありません。- As for my mother, (she) doesn’t like onions.
兄は 日本語が へたです。 – As for my older brother, (he) is bad at Japanese.
が can show something mentioned for the first time.
Usage of は
は highlights the word as the main topic of the sentence after it has been shared.
あの せんせいが 私たちの 先生です。- That teacher over there is our teacher. [が is introducing the fact]
私たちの 先生は きびしいです。 – As for our teacher (he/she) is strict. [ は is introducing the teacher (先生 – sensei) as the main topic of the sentence]
は can be placed after words that specify time or place.
去年は 三年生でした。 – Last year (I) was a third year student.
は can also specify the Topic of the whole sentence.
兄は 手が 大きいです。- My older brother has big hands.
は is used in place of を when the object of the verb is the topic.
スミス先生が 英語を 教えます。 – Smith sensei teaches English.
英語は スミス先生が 教えます。 – As for English, Smith sensei teaches (it).