Beginner Japanese/Particles

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A particle is a pseudo-word which has no meaning, but a function in maintaining order in a sentence. Particles tie directly into the concept of sentence structure, as they are used to mark where certain parts of the sentence lie in relation to others.

Japanese sentence structure is Subject, Object, Verb. That's all you should really worry about in Japanese, as the rest of the sentence can be in horrible repair, but as long as the Subject is first, Verb last with the Object somewhere in the middle, and so far as an introductory course is concerned, YOU'RE SPEAKING JAPANESE!!

The particles are as follows:

  • (wa) marks the subject of a sentence. (Note: When is used as a particle it is pronouced "wa", not "ha".)
  • (ga) marks an object, usually animate.
  • (o, or wo) marks the direct object of a sentence (usually inanimate). (Note: When is used as a particle it can be pronouned "o" or, less commonly, "wo".)
  • (e) specifies the direction of an action. (Note: When is used as a particle it is pronounced "e", not "he".)
  • (ka) indicates a question when used at the end of a sentence.
  • (no) is used to create a modifier phrase or possessive term (equivalent to English 's).
  • (na) marks an adjective that, typically, is derived from a foreign language.
  • (mo) - "also" (substitutes for wa, ga, or wo)
  • (de) - "by means of", "in"/"at" for actions, "and" (not used often)
  • (ni) denotes place, "in"/"at" for existence.
  • (to) - "and", object of "say" or "think".
  • (ya) - "and" for an incomplete list.
  • から (kara) specifies the starting point of an action.
  • まで (made) specifies the ending point of an action.
    • 月曜日から金曜日まで働きます。 [I] work from Monday to Friday.


Read Basic Particles and More Particles on how to use these particles.


  • Be familiar with particles, especially は, が, を, か


Leave any question here.

Question: What is the difference between ending particles ぞ and ぜ please?

See also[edit]

Project: Beginner Japanese
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