“Choosing between wa and ga” is often considered to be one of the most difficult things for foreign learners of Japanese to master.
One of the problems is that the very concept “choosing between wa and ga” is in itself something of a misunderstanding.
Wa and ga are not two similar particles.
They are two different species of particle.
If we understand this we can get a lot closer to knowing how they really work and why one rather than the other is used in any given case.
This is a fairly complex question so we are dealing with it over two lessons. This first lesson gives the foundation of how ga and wa really work.
If you have any questions, please post them on the YouTube page and I will answer very quickly.
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Right from the beginning standard textbooks get us off on the wrong foot with the wa-particle.
They tend to leave its real function rather loosely defined, and in some respects misdefined, which gives rise to a whole host of misunderstandings and unnecessary complications.
These complications and misunderstandings make Japanese more difficult than it needs to be for beginners, and they often persist long after the beginner stage. So students of all levels can benefit from the information in this video.
The wa-particle really has no equivalent in English or other European grammar. That is why the textbooks, which base themselves on European grammar ideas, tend to be unclear about it.
Nevertheless it is not difficult to understand if you go about it in the right way.
In this ten-minute class you will learn how WA really works, what it does, and just as importantly, what it doesn’t do.
If you have any questions about this lesson, please ask them in the comments on the YouTube page.
We also recommend that you subscribe to the KawaJapa channel so that you never miss a lesson.
The course-book for this course of lessons is Unlocking Japanese. If you are taking the course seriously you need to get it!
Disclaimer: This video is not intended for the absolute beginner. If you’ve never even heard of the wa-particle, this probably isn’t the place to start. However, as soon as you are aware of the basic particles, this information can save you a lot of time, trouble and confusion. However this is information that most intermediate/advanced learners don’t have because it simply isn’t taught in regular westernized “Japanese grammar”. So everyone can benefit from learning this.
Next in our video course we are going to tackle the mysterious Japanese Zero Pronoun.
It’s the Ninja of Japanese grammar. You can’t see it. You can’t hear it. But it’s in probably 75% of all Japanese sentences, and if you don’t know it’s there it makes life a lot harder than it needs to be!
This lesson is really very simple, I think. Everything in it should be pretty obvious once it is pointed out, but this ten-minute lesson lays the foundation for understanding much more complex things with ease.
I should say that this is not intended for the absolute beginner. You need to know a little basic grammar for it to make sense. If you do it will help some important things to fall into place.
On the other hand, if you are more advanced this can help you to put your knowledge on a sounder footing.
The zero pronoun is something the textbooks don’t talk about, and they really should. It makes life so much easier!
As usual, if you have questions do post them on the YouTube page where I will answer them.
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