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Postby willy_allen2005_505658 » August 2nd, 2015 9:06 pm

Was wondering why when introducing yourself you use はたしは instead of はたしの. Since your talking about your name I thought maybe it was possessive. Or is your name just used as the topic in this case. ありがとうございます

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Re: Particles

Postby jim.schuler » August 2nd, 2015 9:58 pm

Note: I'm a beginner. This is how I currently understand it:

First, your hiragana reads "hatashi wa," not "watashi wa." は is only "wa" when it's a particle. わ is "wa."

わたしは has the rough meaning of "as for me." You are identifying yourself as the topic of discussion, similar to how you are the topic of discussion when you say "I am Joe" or "I am a student" or "I am Canadian" in English. In Japanese, you'll notice these sentences all follow the same construction: わたしは...です, or "I am."

"わたしの" is "my." If you wanted to literally say "My name is," it would be something like わたしのなまえは. You still need to use は, but in this case, the topic of discussion is your name, not you. And I have no idea if this phrase would be considered odd or not.

If you were to say "わたしのたなか, it wouldn't translate to "I am Tanaka," but rather "Tanaka is mine," which obviously sends a completely different message.

I'm now wondering if something like "That's my Tanaka" or "That's our Tanaka" would carry the same meaning in Japanese as in English.

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Re: Particles

Postby willy_allen2005_505658 » August 2nd, 2015 11:09 pm

Makes sense. ありがとうございます

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Re: Particles

Postby community.japanese » August 6th, 2015 6:55 am

jim.schuler san,
You perfectly understand the difference and explained well.
"That's my Tanaka" means ‘watashi no tanaka san’ and "That's our Tanaka" means ‘watashitachi no tanaka san.’

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.
Yuki 由紀

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