Dialogue

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Jessi: Tell Them How You Really Feel with Japanese Particles Wa and Ga!
Naomi: なおみです。(Naomi desu.)
Jessi: Jessi here. In the last lesson, we learned particles and conjunctions that are used for giving an excuse.
Naomi: For example, 風邪で学校を休んだ。(Kaze de gakkō o yasunda.)
Jessi: “I didn't go to school, because I had a cold.”
Naomi: その店は安いから人気がある。(Sono mise wa yasui kara ninki ga aru.)
Jessi: “The store is popular because it’s inexpensive.” So what particles are we covering in this lesson?
Naomi: In this lesson we’ll be comparing more uses of は (wa) and が (ga).
Jessi: Oh,that’s good to hear. Because は (wa) and が (ga) are really tough.
Naomi: そう、難しいですよね。(Sō, muzukashii desu yo ne.)
Jessi: Right. So it’s good that we get more practice! And the dialogue is between a couple of students, right?
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.) Right. ひろみさんとかおるさんです。(Hiromi-san to Kaoru-san desu.)
Jessi: Hiromi and Kaoru. Where does this conversation take place?
Naomi: 学校。(Gakkō.)
Jessi: At school. Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
かおる:テストどうだった?(Tesuto dō datta?)
ひろみ:うーん。今日のテストは問題が簡単だった。(Ūn. Kyō no tesuto wa mondai ga kantan datta.)
かおる:ひろみは、頭がいいなぁ。(Hiromi wa, atama ga ii nā.)
: ひろみは、いつも何時間勉強するの?(Hiromi wa, itsumo nan-jikan benkyō suru no?)
ひろみ:うーん。あれ?顔があかいよ。どうしたの?(Ūn. Are? Kao ga akai yo. Dō shita no?)
かおる:え?そう?。。。なんだか、お腹が痛いんだよね。(E? Sō? … Nan da ka, onaka ga itai n da yo ne.)
(バターン)(batān)
ひろみ:佐藤先生!大変!かおるが倒れた。(Satō-sensei! Taihen! Kaoru ga taoreta.)
もう一度お願いします。今度はゆっくりお願いします。(Mō ichi-do onegai shimasu. Kondo wa yukkuri onegai shimasu.)
かおる:テストどうだった?(Tesuto dō datta?)
ひろみ:うーん。今日のテストは問題が簡単だった。(Ūn. Kyō no tesuto wa mondai ga kantan datta.)
かおる:ひろみは、頭がいいなぁ。(Hiromi wa, atama ga ii nā.)
: ひろみは、いつも何時間勉強するの?(Hiromi wa, itsumo nan-jikan benkyō suru no?)
ひろみ:うーん。あれ?顔があかいよ。どうしたの?(Ūn. Are? Kao ga akai yo. Dō shita no?)
かおる:え?そう?。。。なんだか、お腹が痛いんだよね。(E? Sō? … Nan da ka, onaka ga itai n da yo ne.)
(バターン)(batān)
ひろみ:佐藤先生!大変!かおるが倒れた。(Satō-sensei! Taihen! Kaoru ga taoreta.)
今度は英語が入ります。(Kondo wa Eigo ga hairimasu.)
かおる:テストどうだった?(Tesuto dō datta?)
Jessi: How was the test?
ひろみ:うーん。今日のテストは問題が簡単だった。(Ūn. Kyō no tesuto wa mondai ga kantan datta.)
Jessi: Hmm...the questions on today's test were easy.
かおる:ひろみは、頭がいいなぁ。(Hiromi wa, atama ga ii nā.)
Jessi: Hiromi, you're smart.
: ひろみは、いつも何時間勉強するの?(Hiromi wa, itsumo nan-jikan benkyō suru no?)
Jessi: How many hours do you always study?
ひろみ:うーん。あれ?顔があかいよ。どうしたの?(Ūn. Are? Kao ga akai yo. Dō shita no?)
Jessi: Hmm...huh? Your face is red. What happens?
かおる:え?そう?。。。なんだか、お腹が痛いんだよね。(E? Sō? … Nan da ka, onaka ga itai n da yo ne.)
Jessi: Huh? Really? My stomach kind of hurts.
(バターン)(batān)
Jessi(thud)
ひろみ:佐藤先生!大変!かおるが倒れた。(Satō-sensei! Taihen! Kaoru ga taoreta.)
Jessi: Ms. Sato! Help! Kaoru collapsed!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Jessi: So one of the girls collapsed?
Naomi: そう、そうみたいですね。倒れたみたいですね。(Sō, sō mitai desu ne. Taoreta mitai desu ne.) That’s what it looks like.
Jessi: 直美さんはどうですか。体調は良いですか。(Naomi-san wa dō desu ka. Taichō wa ii desu ka.) So, are you in good health? We wouldn’t want the same thing happening to you!
Naomi: (笑) うん。悪くないですよ。(Un. Warukunai desu yo.) Not bad actually.
あ、でも、花粉症があります。(A, demo, kafunshō ga arimasu.)
Jessi: Oh, you have hay fever?
Naomi: 鼻がかゆくて、目がかゆくて、大変ですね。(Hana ga kayukute, me ga kayukute, taihen desu ne.)
Jessi: So your nose and eyes get itchy in the spring when hay fever strikes.
Naomi: 春はそうですね。ジェシーさん、アレルギーがありますか。(Haru wa sō desu ne. Jeshī-san, arerugī ga arimasu ka.) Do you have any allergies?
Jessi: I don’t, actually!
Naomi: よかったね。(Yokatta ne.)
Jessi: Yeah, maybe I’m just lucky.

Lesson focus

Jessi: In this lesson, we’ll be comparing more uses of は (wa) and が (ga).
First of all, let’s introduce one of the most common sentence structures in Japanese grammar.
Naomi: Noun1 は (wa) Noun2 が (ga) adjective… Right.
Jessi: So it explains a little bit.The second noun is part of the first noun, and the adjective describes the second noun.
Naomi: For this topic, we highly recommend that you read the lesson notes while you listen.  
Jessi First, let’s listen to a sample sentence.
Naomi: 私は頭が痛い。(Watashi wa atama ga itai.)
Jessi: Literally, this means “As for me, head is painful.” In natural English it means “I have a headache.” So here, the topic is a person, “I”; the second noun is “head”, and then the adjective after that, 痛い (itai), means “painful”.
Naomi: The second noun 頭 (atama), “head”, is part of the first noun, 私 (watashi), “I”. The adjective 痛い (itai) “painful” is describing the state of 頭 (atama). 
Jessi: Right. So in this construction, [Noun1] は (wa) [Noun2] が (ga) [adjective], the second noun belongs to or is part of the first noun.
Naomi: This is often used to describe someone’s physical state or attributes, such as “I have a headache” or “she has long hair”.
Jessi: How would you say “she has long hair” then?
Naomi: Uh, OK. “She” is 彼女 (kanojo). “Hair” is 髪 (kami). “Long” is 長い (nagai).
So the hair belongs to her, so 彼女は髪が (kanojo wa kami ga) … and then add the adjective 長い (nagai).
All together, 彼女は髪が長い。(Kanojo wa kami ga nagai.)
Jessi: So notice that we don’t actually use the verb for “have” in this sentence – just, “As for her, hair is long”, meaning “she has long hair”.
Naomi: そうそう。(Sō sō.) Right.
OK.Next, we’re going to look at the usage of は (wa) and が (ga) in a negative sentence.
Jessi: As you’ve already learned in previous lessons, が (ga) comes before certain verbs or adjectives. But when answering questions, or when those verbs or adjectives are in the negative form, the が (ga) is usually replaced with は (wa).
Naomi: It sounds really complicated. (笑)
Jessi: Right, because now the rules are kind of getting bended hear!
Naomi: うん、ごめんなさいね!(Un, gomen nasai ne!)
Jessi: If you look at some examples, it’s actually not too bad. Naomi and I are going to read a short passage so please listen for how は (wa) and が (ga) are being used.
Naomi: ジェシーさんは、兄弟がいますか。(Jeshī-san wa, kyōdai ga imasu ka.) Jessi, do you have any brothers or sisters?
Jessi: いいえ、兄弟はいません。(Iie, kyōdai wa imasen.) No, I don't have any brothers and sisters.
Naomi, said 兄弟がいますか。(Kyōdai ga imasu ka.) For the verb います (imasu) you need to mark the person that exists with が (ga), so we say 兄弟がいますか。(Kyōdai ga imasu ka.)
Naomi: And Jessi answered 兄弟はいません。(Kyōdai wa imasen.) Notice that she changed が (ga) to は (wa).
That’s because いません (imasen) is the negative form. いいえ、兄弟はいません。(Iie, kyōdai wa imasen.)
Jessi: Now, let’s do one more example.
Naomi: はい。漢字が読めますか。(Hai. Kanji ga yomemasu ka.) Can you read kanji?
Jessi: Since 読めます (yomemasu) is talking about one’s ability, the object is marked by the particle が (ga).
But if you want to answer “NO” to the question, you would say:
Naomi: いいえ、漢字は読めません。(Iie, kanji wa yomemasen.)
Jessi: You have to replace が (ga) with は (wa), and say 漢字は読めません。(Kanji wa yomemasen.)
Naomi: Does it make sense? I hope it does.
Jessi: Make sure to let us know if anything isn’t clear or if you have any questions!
Naomi: はい、お願いします!(Hai, onegai shimasu!)
Jessi: OK. Lastly, we’re going to introduce a new usage of the particle が (ga).
Naomi: Right - が (ga) when it indicates the speaker’s surprise.
Jessi: Generally speaking, when something surprising happens, the topic or subject is marked by the particle が (ga).
Now, let’s backtrack a little. First, the particle は (wa) indicates a state or event that always takes place.
Naomi: For example, ジェシーは、6時に起きる。(Jeshī wa, roku-ji ni okiru.) is “Jessi gets up at six.” But if you replace は (wa) with が (ga), say…ジェシーが、6時に起きた。(Jeshī ga, roku-ji ni okita.) “Jessi got up at 6.” The nuance is a bit different.
Jessi: Right, since が (ga) is used to indicate surprise, you can assume that the speaker wasn't expecting Jessi to get up that early.
Naomi: そう。(Sō.) (笑)そうなんですね。(Sō nan desu ne.) Like あのジェシーが6時に起きた! (Ano Jeshī ga roku-ji ni okita!) “Wow, Jessi got up at six? THAT Jessi?” (笑)
Jessi: Because I never get up that early!
Naomi: “I can’t believe this!” みたいな感じ?(mitai na kanji?)
Jessi: Right, so you’re showing surprise at that fact. Let’s give you one more example.
Naomi: 空は青い。雲は白い。(Sora wa aoi. Kumo wa shiroi.)
Jessi: The sky is blue and clouds are white. These are really general statements. But when someone sees a sunset, for example he or she would probably say
Naomi: 空が赤い。(Sora ga akai.) ”The sky is red!”
Jessi: So here, the speaker saw that the sky was red and expressed his or her surprise by using が (ga).
Jessi: In this lesson you learned some more ways to use は (wa) and が (ga).
Let’s recap this lesson with a quiz. Naomi-sensei is going to ask you a question in Japanese. Your job is to choose the best response from the choices provided. Here’s the question.
Naomi: 兄弟がいますか。(Kyōdai ga imasu ka.)
Jessi: The choices are...
Naomi: 1. いいえ、兄弟はいません。(Iie, kyōdai wa imasen.)
2. いいえ、兄弟がいません。(Iie, kyōdai ga imasen.)
Jessi: Can we hear the question again?
Naomi: 兄弟がいますか。(Kyōdai ga imasu ka.) Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Jessi: And the answer is?
Naomi: 1. いいえ、兄弟はいません。(Iie, kyōdai wa imasen.) No, I don’t have any brothers or sisters.
Jessi: So remember, when answering questions, and when certain verbs or adjectives are in the negative form, the object is marked with は (wa).
Naomi: Did you get it right? Well, that’s all for this lesson. それじゃあまた。(Sorejā mata.)
Jessi: See you next time.
DIALOGUE
かおる:テストどうだった?(Tesuto dō datta?)
ひろみ:うーん。今日のテストは問題が簡単だった。(Ūn. Kyō no tesuto wa mondai ga kantan datta.)
かおる:ひろみは、頭がいいなぁ。(Hiromi wa, atama ga ii nā.)
: ひろみは、いつも何時間勉強するの?(Hiromi wa, itsumo nan-jikan benkyō suru no?)
ひろみ:うーん。あれ?顔があかいよ。どうしたの?(Ūn. Are? Kao ga akai yo. Dō shita no?)
かおる:え?そう?。。。なんだか、お腹が痛いんだよね。(E? Sō? … Nan da ka, onaka ga itai n da yo ne.)
(バターン)(batān)
ひろみ:佐藤先生!大変!かおるが倒れた。(Satō-sensei! Taihen! Kaoru ga taoreta.)

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49 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 22nd, 2010 at 06:30 PM
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:grin:konnichiwa watashi wa maui desu,yoroshiku onegaishimasu,watashi wa nihon itta koto aru desu ne,ima wa piripin ni iru desu demo mata nihon ikitai,nihon kittara watashi no nihonggo wa mata bara bara kana? ima made mo nihonggo wa bara bara desu, japanesepod101 oshiete kudasai yorushiku onegaishimasu...

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 22nd, 2017 at 01:47 PM
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Hi 生徒1,

Thank you for posting.


Yes, that's right:smile:


Here is an example;

Doctor "お腹が痛いですか。”

Patient "お腹は痛くありません。頭が痛いです。"


Let me add that "痛くありません” is a polite form of "痛くない".


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

生徒1
February 14th, 2017 at 07:14 PM
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Hi,

what if I say お腹は痛くない, does it sounds like my stomach is not in pain?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 14th, 2017 at 03:17 PM
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Hi 生徒1,

Thank you for the comment!


You can say that が following a subject emphasizes the subject especially.

If you say "onaka wa itai" in this case, it sounds like you are asked if you have a headache and answer "(No, I don't, but) My stomach hurts though."


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

生徒1
February 14th, 2017 at 12:33 AM
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Hi ,

Do we replace が with は when verbs/adjectives are negative form all the time or only when answering a question?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 20th, 2015 at 12:50 PM
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Jeffさん、

奈津子先生にかわって、どういたしまして。

On behalf of Natsuko, you are welcome.

We are happy Natsuko sensee’s explanation helped you.

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

Jeff
March 20th, 2015 at 01:47 AM
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奈津子先生こんにちは、説明をありがとうございます。Hello Natsuko-sensei, thanks for the explanation.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 19th, 2015 at 06:44 PM
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Jeff さん、

こんにちは。


Unfortunately, the explanations on は and が is not that simple and/or straightforward.

You can, yes, use those two sentences with senses/meanings you stated.

However, the main points are:

は - - - topic marker. It means the topic you're talking about is 赤ちゃん

が - - - subject marker. It means 赤ちゃん is the action taker of the verb 起きる


The concepts of "subject" and "topic" could be a bit difficult to understand at the beginning.

One doesn't replace automatically the other. It's also about which one you need to use

over the other. It's about focus and the message you're sending. There are several possible

reasons and functions to help you understand the concepts.

Basically, so-called "subject" needs to meet the corresponding predicate which is

often a verb, adjective or noun. When the predicate is a verb, the subject is often the "action taker"

or the "doer". Also, as soon as the subject meets the predicate and is coupled with it,

its function is completed. Let's use the typical sentence that highlights this feature of subject (が):

今年の夏は、気温が高くて、湿度が低いです。(ことしの なつは、きおんが たかくて、しつどが ひくい です。)

There are two がs in this sentence, meaning that there are two "subjects".

First subject is 気温 (= temperature). The predicate for this subject is 高くて (= is high).

Now, the part talking about temperature is over because this smallest chunk of sentence

component is completed. Next subject is 湿度 (= humidity) which is coupled with 低いです (= is low).

Now, this entire sentence is about 今年の夏 (= this summer, or the summer this year) and

this is the topic of the sentence. The topic of the sentence has influence all the way through

until the end of this sentence.


Hope it helps. :wink:


Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Jeff
March 15th, 2015 at 10:32 AM
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先生こんにちは、


もう少し「は」と「が」の使い分けを説明するために、他の例文をくださいませんか。


「赤ちゃんは7時に起きた」は、赤ちゃんがいつもの通り7じにおきました。

「赤ちゃんが7時におきた」は、意外な時間に起きて、私が驚いたという意味ですか。


Hello Sensei,


Can you give some other example sentences, to explain the different usages of "wa" and "ga?"


Thanks

Japanesepod101.com Verified
January 19th, 2015 at 02:56 PM
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モノノフしょうがないさん、

今日は。

We have many definitions of using が and は so たくさんあります. :disappointed:



Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

モノノフしょうがない
January 16th, 2015 at 10:31 AM
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皆さん、こんにちは。


レッスンをありがとうございます。

意外なことを表すと「は」が「が」で換えるんですか。驚きますね。


Thank you for the lesson. So when expressing something unexpected, we replace wa with ga? I am surprised.