Japanese Lesson 10 – Subject can have three type of nuances.

Subject in Japanese is basically made by connecting a particle “wa” after noun or pronoun.

But subject with “ga” or “mo” is often used.
In English, there is no variety like this.
Each of them has a different nuance, but that’s quite expressive.


Subject with “ga”

As an example, I translate the following English sentence.

She is a nurse.

a) Kanojo wa kangoshi desu.
b) Kanojo ga kangoshi desu.

About the example, we can show these two Japanese sentences.
a) is a normal sentence, but b) has a little unique nuance.

When a speaker expresses an answer about the topic in the conversation, the answer is set up as the subject with “ga” for highlighting.

But this explanation is abstract and you may not understand.
I can summarize it like this.

a) is an answer for the question “What is she?”.
b) is an answer for the question “Who is a nurse?”.

About b), “kanojo” (she) is the most important meaning in the situation, and the speaker puts the word at the subject to use it in the first part of the sentence.

For example, this expression is used in the following situation.

> A man is searching a nurse in a group with some women.
> A member of the group said to the man pointing to a woman, “Kanojo ga kangoshi desu” (She is a nurse).

Of course, you can make a sentence without “ga”.
At that time, the subject exchanges with the complement.

Kangoshi wa kanojo desu.

But, we feel the impact of this sentence is lower than above b).

Let’s check some examples.

I go to Tokyo.
Watashi ga Tookyoo e iki masu.
Boss said in front of his team members, “Can somebody go to Tokyo?”
Then you made an offer by above words.

Yumi teaches Japanese.
Yumi ga Nihongo o oshie masu.
Boss needs to teach new foreign workers Japanese.
And Yumi has wanted to teach Japanese.
A member in the office commended Yumi to the boss as the teacher by above words.

I eat sushi.
Watashi ga sushi o tabe masu.
All of your group visiting Japan haven’t eaten sushi, and they can’t eat raw fish.
But you were interested in sushi. You said above words bravely.

Subject with “mo”

Particle “mo” makes a phrase with additional meaning.

When subject has the particle “mo”, the person of subject does the same action following the others.
“Too” or “also” is added in the sentence in English, but the phrase with “mo” means such situation definitely.

Boss: Can somebody go to Tokyo?

Mr.A : I go to Tokyo.
Watashi ga Tookyoo e iki masu.

Mr.B : I go to Tokyo, too.
Watashi mo Tookyoo e iki masu.

Mr.A expressed he want to go, and Mr.B expressed the same intention soon.

You can use “mo” in object.

Direct object has “o” as the particle.
You can use “mo” as the particle.
At that time, the object has an additional meaning.

I eat sushi.
Watashi wa sushi o tabe masu.

Let’s change the “o” in object to “mo”.

Watashi wa sushi mo tabe masu.
I am eating various dishes.
And I say that I eat sushi as the additional dish.

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