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Japanese Particles Guide

Japanese Particles Guide


particles are a very important part of japanese! since this language has a pretty flexible word order, it is important to know how to use these particles so you can convey the right meaning! remember, particles always come after the word they are modifying!


 (wa) – topic

  • as for A…
  • speaking of A…
  • 天気なんですか。= Speaking of the weather, how is [it]?

 (ga) – subject

  • used to mark the subject of the sentence
  • 私はペットいます。= I have a pet. (lit. As for me, a pet exists.)
  • “I” is the topic and “pet” is the subject
  • if the subject and the topic are the same,  can be used just to make it easier for the speaker.

 (no) – noun modifier

  • A’s B
  • B of A
  • 犬はかわいいです。= My dog is cute.

 (ka) – question

  • added to the end of a sentence to mark a question
  • no question mark is needed
  • the sentence structure remains the same
  • 今日何をします。= What will you do tonight?

 (mo) – too; also

  • used when two or more people do the same activity, you go to two places, you do something on two different occasions, etc.
  • も replaces particles , and 
  • 私は犬が好きです。私はねこ好きです。= I like dogs. I also like cats.
  •  is added on to other particles.
  • 私はスーパーに行きました。私は図書館に行きました。= I went to the supermarket. I also went to the library.

 (ne) – isn’t it?; right? [tag question]

  • used to ask for clarification or feedback
  • 天気はいいです。= The weather is good, isn’t it?

 (yo) – assurance

  • this particle has an authoritative tone.
  • it gives assurance to the listener
  • 天気はいいです。= I assure you, the weather is good.

 (o) – direct object

  • many verbs take a direct object
  • the object is usually placed right before the verb
  • 私は本読みます。= I read a book.

 (de) – location

  • in/on/at (a place)
  • 図書館勉強します。= I study at the library.

 (e) – goal of movement

  • to (a place)
  • 私はスーパー行きます。= I go to the supermarket.
  • へ can be replaced with に, but へ is more commonly used for this purpose

 (ni) – goal of movement; time; existential location

  • to (a place)
  • at (time)
  • on (day)
  • in (month, year, etc.)
  • 金曜日八時クラスがあります。= I have class at 8 on Friday.
  •  is never placed with relative time expressions (i.e. today, tomorrow, next week), いつ (when), and regular intervals (i.e. every day, every week)

 (to) – together with; listing nouns

  • with (someone)
  • A and B
  • 友達買い物をします。= I went shopping with a friend.
  • 日本語英語を話します。= I speak Japanese and English.