Difference between “wa” and “ga”  

As promise, today I will explain one of the most confusing particles faced by most Japanese Learning Students.

1. Mr. Tony eats bread. – Toni-san wa pan o tabemasu.
2. Mr. Tony eats bread. – Pan wa Toni-san ga tabemasu.

The difference of the above two sentences is that (1) is talking about “Toni-san” and (2) is about “pan (bread)”. In another words, (1) is answering a question such as “What Toni-san eats?” and (2) such as “Who eat bread?”.

Either sentence does not necessarily need a question, but the main interest is “Toni-san” in (1), and “pan” in (2). The essential difference of (1) and (2) is the topic. The topic in (1) is “Toni-san”, and “pan” in (2).

The expression “Toni-san wa…” in (1) indicates that “Toni-san” is the topic, so the speaker is talking about or making question about “Toni-san”, and this is the function of “wa”. You can let the people know that you are talking about X by saying “X wa…”, and this function is called topic marker in the field of linguistics.

In other words, “wa” is a topic marker and “ga” is a subject marker.

Another example will be the combination of “wa” and “ga” in one sentences
Mr. Tony is staying in this house. Mr. Tony is a teacher.
Toni-san ga kono ie ni sunde imasu. Toni-san wa sensei desu.

In the above example, “Toni-san” is mentioned first as a “subject”. The second sentence is about “Toni-san” that is mentioned earlier and now “Toni-san” becomes a “topic”, “wa” is used instead of “ga.”

Almost all future lessons will be using “wa” and “ga”. So the more you read , the more you will understand. Stay Tune !!!


Today I will cover a new topic on “Arimasu (Have)”. When using “Arimasu”, the sentence will be a little different when translating them into English.

Here we go
Q : Do you have books? – Hon ga arimasu ka? 「ほん が あります か?」
A : Yes, I have books – Hai, hon ga arimasu 「はい、ほん が あります」

Notice that there isn’t any you (anata) or I (watashi) in the sentences when we use Japanese. This is because we are asking some one a question whether they have books or not. So Japanese will skip or in fact we cannot use the “Anata or Watashi” in the sentence. In English, it is a little funny if we skip the “You” and will end up something like “Have Books?”.

You may also notice the “ga” as all the lessons I have posted before are using “wa”. Many people who study Japanese confuse about the usage of “wa” and “ga” and I will explain on the proper usage of these 2 particles tomorrow.

Q : Do you have a camera? – Kamera ga arimasu ka? 「カメラ が あります か?」
A : No, I don’t have a camera. – Iie, kamera wa arimasen. 「いいえ、カメラ は ありません」

In the above example, you may notice the question is using “ga” and answer is “wa”. When a question word such as “who” and “what” is the subject of a sentence, it is always followed by “ga”, never by “wa”. To answer the question, it also has to be followed by “ga” if it is positive. If the answer is negative, then we must change the “ga” to “wa”.

Q : What do you have? – Nani ga arimasu ka? 「なに が あります か」
A : I have a ticket. – Kippu ga arimasu 「きっぷ が あります」
Meaning : Kamera (Camera), Nani (What), Kippu (Ticket)

Stay tune for tomorrow lesson on the use of “ga” and “wa” which is one of the most important and confusing particles use in Japanese Language.

How Much & Colors  

Today I will show you how to use “How Much” which will be commonly use when you visit Japan. I will also show you the pronunciation of each color.

Here we go :
Q : How much is this black shoe? – Kono kuroi kutsu wa ikura desu ka?
「この くろい くつ は いくら です か?」
A : This black shoe is 5,000 yen. – Kono kuroi kutsu wa gosen en desu.
「この くろい くつ は ごせん えん です」

Q : How much is that wallet? – Sono saifu wa ikura desu ka?
「その さいふ は いくら です か?」
A : Which wallet? – Dono saifu desu ka? 「どの さいふ です か?」
Q : The blue one. – Aoi no desu. 「あおい の です」
A : 3,000 yen. – Sansen en desu 「さんせん えん です」

A simple way of asking how much is point to the item and say
Q : How much? – Ikura desu ka? 「いくら です か?」
A : 4,000 yen – Yonsen en desu. 「よんせん えん です」

Meaning : Ikura (How Much), Kuroi (Black), Kutsu (Shoe), En (Yen), Aoi (Blue) , Saifu (Wallet)

Colors (Iro)
Red – Akai 「あかい」
White – Shiroi 「しろい」
Yellow – Kiiroi 「きいろい」
Brown – Chairoi 「ちゃいろい」
Green – Midori Iro 「みどりいろ」
Grey – Hai Iro 「はいいろ」
Purple – Murasaki Iro 「むらさきいろ」

For those colors which end with “i”, you may use “kuroi kutsu (black shoe)” but for those without ending with an “i”, you have to use “midori iro no kutsu (Green Shoe)”

Hope today’s lesson helps you buying something in Japanese shop.

This & That – Part 3  

We have learned “This is” & “That is” previously. Today I will show you another different way of using this & that.

If you follow what we have learned earlier, “This is” translated as “Kore wa” but what about “This car”. Can we use “Kore kuruma”? Of course not if you do not want the Japanese to laugh at you.

When we use “This car”, it’s no longer use “Kore” but to use “Kono”.

Q : Is this pencil long? – Kono enpitsu wa nagai desu ka? 
「この えんぴつ は ながい です か?」
A : Yes, this pencil is long. – Hai, kono enpitsu wa nagai desu. 
「はい、この えんぴつ は ながい です」

Q : Is that calculation difficult? – Sono keisan wa muzukashii desu ka? 
「その けいさん は むずかしい です か?」
A : No, that calculation is not difficult. – Iie, sono keisan wa muzukashiku arimasen.
「いいえ、その けいさん は むずかしく ありません」

Q : Is that small bag light? – Ano chiisai kaban wa karui desu ka?
「あの ちいさい かばん は かるい です か?」
A : Yes, that small bag is light. – Hai, ano chiisai kaban wa karui desu.
「はい、その ちいさい かばん は かるい です」

Q : Is that book interesting? – Sono hon wa omoshiroi desu ka?
「その ほん は おもしろい です か?」
A : Which book? – Dono hon desu ka?
「どの ほん です か?」
Q : This book – Kono hon desu.
「この ほん です」
A : This book is interesting – Kono hon wa omoshiroi desu.
「この ほん は おもしろい です」
Meaning : Enpitsu (Pencil), Nagai (Long), Kono Enpitsu (This Pencil), Keisan (Calculation), Muzukashii (Difficult), Chiisai (Small), Kaban (Bag), Karui (Light Weight), Omoshiroi (Interesting)

Kore – Kono (This)
Sore – Sono (That)
Are – Ano (That – very far)
Dore – Dono (Which)

Stay Tune !!! More to come.


Today, the lesson will be on Numbers Pronunciation (Kazu no yomikata)

10,000 – ichiman
20,000 – niman
30,000 – sanman
40,000 – yonman
50,000 – goman
60,000 – rokuman
70,000 – nanaman
80,000 – hachiman
90,000 – kyuuman
1,000 – sen
2,000 – nisen
3,000 – sanzen
4,000 – yonsen
5,000 – gosen
6,000 – rokusen
7,000 – nanasen
8,000 – hassen
9,000 – kyuusen
100 – hyaku
200 – nihyaku
300 – sanbyaku
400 – yonhyaku
500 – gohyaku
600 – roppyaku
700 – nanahyaku
800 – happyaku
900 – kyuuhyaku
10 – juu
20 – nijuu
30 – sanjuu
40 – yonjuu
50 – gojuu
60 – rokujuu
70 – nanajuu
80 – hachijuu
90 – kyuujuu
1 – ichi
2 – ni
3 – san
4 – shi / yon
5 – go
6 – roku
7 – nana / shichi
8 – hachi
9 – kyuu

Just use the above combination to form the number that want to read. For example : 1,234 (sen nihyaku sanjuu yon), 12,177 (ichiman nisen hyaku nanajuu nana).

See, it simple. Stay Tune !!!


Today, I will show you how to use positive and negative adjectives.

Q : Is it long? – Nagai desu ka?  「ながいですか?」
Positive A : Yes, it’s long – Hai, nagai desu 「はい、ながいです」
Negative A : No, it isn’t long – Iie, nagaku arimasen 「いいえ、ながくありません」
Meaning : Nagai (Long)

See the difference between positive and negative answer? Yes, Japanese uses different pronunciation for positive and negative adjectives. For adjectives, it is no longer use “dewa arimasen” that I have covered earlier.

It is not difficult to convert from positive to negative adjectives. Whenever the adjectives ending with “i” (exp: nagai), remove the “i” and change to “ku” (exp: nagaku). See, it’s simple.

Other Adjectives
Short – Mijikai (みじかい)
New – Atarashii (あたらしい)
Old – Furui (ふるい)
Big – Ookii (おおきい)
Small – Chiisai (ちいさい)
Fat – Futoi (ふとい)
Thin – Hosoi (ほそい)
Expensive – Takai (たかい)
Cheap – Yasui (やすい)
Heavy – Omoi (おもい)
Light – Karui (かるい)
Fast – Hayai (はやい)
Slow – Osoi (おそい)

Some adjectives are having the same pronunciation but different meaning. To diffirentiate them, normally it is base on the sentences you use.
Takai can be used for Expensive or Tall / High.

If you like to, post the negative adjectives in comments as to pratice the conversion. I will let you know if there is any mistakes. There are just too many adjectives where I can’t put eveything here. Throughout the whole course, I will teach you new words. Stay Tune !!!


Parents – Go Ryoushin (ごりょうしん)
Father – Otousan / Chichi (おとうさん・ちち)
Mother – Okaasan / Haha (おかあさん・はは)
Brothers – Kyoudai (きょうだい)
Sisters – Shimai (しまい)
Elder Brother – Oniisan / Ani (おにいさん・あに)
Younger Brother – Otoutosan / Otouto (おとうとさん・おとうと)
Elder Sister – Oneesan / Ane (おねえさん・あね)
Younger Sister – Imoutosan / Imouto (いもうとさん・おもうと)
Children – Kodomo (こども)
Husband – Dannasan / Shujin (だんなさん・しゅじん)
Wife – Okusan / Tsuma (おくさん・つま)
Son – Musuko (むすこ)
Daughter – Musume (むすめ)

You may have notice that 2 different words are representing the same meaning. They are used in different way. Here’s how :
Q : What is your father’s name? – Anata no Otousan no o namae wa?
「あなた の おとうさん の お なまえ は?」
A : My father’s name is John – Watashi no Chichi no namae wa Jon desu
「わたし の ちち の なまえ は ジョン です」

Q : How old is your mother? – Anata no Okaasan wa o ikutsu desu ka?
「あなた の おかあさん は お いくつ です か?」
A : My mother is 48 years old – Watashi no Haha wa 48 sai desu
「わたし の はは は 48 さい です」
Meaning : Namae (Name), Ikutsu (how old – age), Sai (years old – age)
When you are talking about other people’s father, you have to use “Otousan”. For own father, use “Chichi”. Same goes to Mother, Elder / Younger Brother / Sister.

You may also notice the “O” (o namae & o ikutsu). By adding “O” is to show your respect to the person you are talking to (like your boss, customer, etc)

This & That – Part 2  

Yesterday, we have gone through the basic usage of This (Kore) & That (Sore / Are). Today I would like to share with your all on other usage.

Q : Is this your car? – Kore wa anata no kuruma desu ka? 
 「これ は あなた の くるま です か?」
A : No, this isn’t my car – Iie, kore wa watashi no kuruma dewa arimasen 
 「いいえ、これ は わたし の くるま で は ありません」
Q : So, whose car is this? – Jaa, Kore wa dare no kuruma desu ka? 
 「じゃあ、これ は だれ の くるま です か?」
A : This is John’s car – Kore wa Jon no kuruma desu 
 「これ は ジョン の くるま です」
Meaning : Jaa (So), Dare (Who), Dare no (Whose), Jon (John – in Katakana)

Another usage is :
Q : What is that? – Sore wa nan desu ka? 「それ は なん です か?」
A : Which one? – Dore desu ka? 「どれ です か?」
Q : This one? – Kore desu? 「これ です」
A: This is a map – Kore wa chizu desu 「これ は ちず です」
Meaning : Dore (Which), Chizu (Map)

The sentences we used so far for This & That are a proper form like “Is this your pen?. Yes, This is my pen”. During actual conversation we can just answer : “Yes, This is mine” instead of “Yes, This is my pen”.

Here, I will show you how :
Q : Is this your pen? – Kore wa anata no pen desu ka? 「これ は あなた の ペン です?」
A : Yes, This is mine – Hai, kore wa watashi no desu. 「はい、これ は わたし の です」

Q : Is this his book? – Kore wa kare no hon desu ka? 「これ は かれ の ほん です か?」
A : Yes, it is – Hai, Sou Desu 「はい、そう です」

Q : Is that John’s car? – Sore wa Jon no kuruma desu ka? 「それ は ジョン の くるま です か?」
A : Yes, that is John’s car – Hai, sore wa Jon no desu OR Hai, sou desu OR Hai, Jon no desu
Meaning : Watashi no (my / mine), Sou (agree to something), Kare (His)

This & That  

Today’s lesson is on This & That

This – Kore(これ)
That – Sore(それ) & Are(あれ) (Are is used when the thing you are pointing is very far away)

What is this? – Kore wa nan desu ka? 「これ は なん です か?」
What is that? – Sore wa nan desu ka? 「それ は なん です か?」
Meaning : kore (this), nan (what), ka (use when asking question)

Is this a Pen? – Kore wa pen desu ka? 「これ は ペン です か?」
Is that (very far) your car? – Are wa anata no kuruma desu ka?
「あれ は あなた の くるま です か?」
Meaning : are(that), nan (what), ka (use when asking question), pen (pen), kuruma (car)

“desu” is always positive where “de wa arimasen” is negative

Q & A
Q : Is this your book? – Kore wa anata no hon desu ka? 
「これ は あなた の ほん ですか?」
A : Yes, this is my book? – Hai, kore wa watashi no hon desu 
「はい、これ は わたし の ほん です」
Meaning : hon (book), hai (yes), watashi (I), watashi no (mine), anata (you), anata no (yours)

Q : Is that your car? – Are wa anata no kuruma desu ka? 
「あれ は あなた の くるま です か?」
A : No, that isn’t my car? – Iie, are wa watashi no kuruma dewa arimasen? 
「いいえ、あれ は わたし の くるま で は ありません」
Meaning : iie (no), kuruma (car)

Other words
Mobile Phone – Keitai Denwa 「けいたいでんわ」
Dog – Inu 「いぬ」
Cat – Neko 「ねこ」
Bag – Kaban 「かばん」
Bicycle – Jitensha 「じてんしゃ」
Camera – Kamera 「カメラ」

Self Introduction (Jikoshoukai)  

When you are meeting new friends, colleagues, customers, etc, what should you say?
I am Tony, Nice to meet you – Tony Desu, Hajimemashite, Douzo Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu (トニ です。はじめまして どうぞ よろしく おねがい します)

Other common words you may use
I am the Manager of Human Resouce Department – Watashi wa jinjika no buchou desu (わたし は じんじか の ぶちょう です)
Others : Student (GaKuSei がくせい), Officer (KaiShaIn かいしゃいん), Police (KeiSaTsuKan けいさつかん), Doctor (ISha いしゃ), Secretary (HiSho ひしょ), Nurse (KanGoFu かんごふ), Banker (GinKoIn ぎんこいん), Teacher (SenSei せんせい)

I come from America – Watashi wa Amerika kara kimashita (わたし は アメリカ から きました)

I am American – Watashi wa Amerika jin desu (わたし は アメリカ じん です)
Others : British (IGiRiSu Jin イギリス じん), Mexican (MeKiShiKo Jin メキシコ じん), French (FuRanSu Jin フランス じん), Chinese (ChuuGoKu Jin ちゅうごく じん), Australian (O-SuToRaRiA Jin オストラリア じん) – Remove the “Jin” will represent Country

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