Japanese/Lessons/Other uses of particles

Combining particles


When の and が are used together following a verb, the の makes the action a noun (similar to the gerund; -ing), and the が indicates that this action is the subject of the sentence.

よむ の が いい Reading is good (cool).

This was not an exception, but rather an example of how Japanese language works. One combination may be more obvious than other. For example でも: で implies small emphasize and indicates method, and も means "also". The combination may be translated as "even":

ばか で も それ は わかる よ Even a fool knows that.

Sentence-ending particles may also be combined:

この ねこ は しろい よ ねえ isn't this cat white... (meaning "look, how white this cat is, don't you see it...").

In this case よ is used as an emphasizer, and ねえ implies that you think other person should know (see) it and agree with your opinion.

Simple clauses


The particles may be also used to link expressions and clauses.

ねこ が みる ゆめ  え A painting about the cat's dream. (Lit. "The painting of dream the cat's dreaming)

"ねご が みる ゆめ" is a complete expression that means "the dream that the cat dreams". Then this expression used as a noun to modify painting, indicating the theme of the painting.

あの おとこ の かぞく  すごい The family of that man is awesome.





Another でも, different form the one mentioned before. This one means "but". It always comes at the beginning of a sentence.

にほんご が すき だ。 でも えいご が きらい だ。 I like Japanese. But I hate English

けど, けれど, けども, けれども


"but", "however". All four forms are used the same way, but the longer the form, the more formal it is. Unlike でも, which comes at the beginning of a sentence, けど・けれど・けども・けれども are used to combine two sentences into one sentence (two clauses into one clause).

たなかさん は つよい けど やさしい。 Mr. Tanaka is strong but (he is) kind.

In longer sentences the Japanese comma, "、", is often inserted after "けど・けれど・けども・けれども" to make the sentence easier to read.

にほんご が すきだ けど、えいご が きらい だ。 I like Japanese but I hate English