Particle is the heart of Japanese language. There are many particles, and you need them to form a sentence. This post will introduce briefly 3 particles you need to form up simple sentences.
N は … ＝ N is …
This is the most basic sentence structure that most Japanese language learners start with. Actually, the main part of this structure is N は. は (written as “ha,” but spelled “wa”) is a particle indicating the subject of the sentence. Japanese particles come after a noun, and it is not always needed to have anything after it.
- 私は留学生です。(watashi ha gakusei da)＝I am a student
- これは？(kore wa?)＝This is…? (What is this?)
[N1] の [N2] = [N1] ‘s [N2] = [N2] of [N1]
N2 is belong to N1, see examples
- 私の本 (watashi no hon)＝my book
- 部屋の中 (heya no naka)＝in the room
- A会社の高野さん (A-kaisha no Takano-san)＝Mr./Ms. Takano from company A
- 日本人の友達 (watashi no nihonjin no tomodachi)＝Japanese friend
- 私の日本人の友達の中川さん (watashi no nihonjin no tomodachi no Nakagawa)＝My Japanese friend, Nakagawa
- 私のものだ、これは (watashi no da, kore wa) = Mine, this is (this is mine). ** N2 can be omitted, it is not needed that は must come before the description in a sentence.
…か？ = …?
か can be added at the end of sentence to make it become a question. In casual language, it can be omitted (intonation needed to make it sounds like a question).
To answer Yes/No question
はい、… (hai) = Yes ….
いいえ、… (iie) = No. ….
- Q: あなたの本ですか？(anata no hon desu ka)＝Is this your book?
A: はい、私のです。(hai, watashi no desu)＝Yes, it’s mine?
- Q: あなたの友達じゃなかったですか？(anata no tomodachi ja nakatta ka?)＝ Wasn’t that your friend? (I thought he was)
- これか？(kore ka?)＝So, it’s this?
More examples **何 (nan/nani) = what
- これは何ですか？ (kore wa nan desu ka)＝what is this?
- これは何だ？ (kore wa nan desu ka)＝what is this? **less polite, は can be omitted
- 何だ これは？ (kore wa nan desu ka)＝what is this? **は can be omitted
- 何これ？ (nani kore)＝what is this?
- 何です？ (nan desu-su)＝what is this?