The Japanese particle “wo” (o): What it is and how to use it

Object in Japanese sentences structure (hiragana)

The particle “wo”「を」 is one of the most common and useful particles. It is also one of the simplest to understand.

This is great for two reasons:

  1. With just a few examples, we can easily see how to use “wo”「を」 in a sentence, as you will see below.
  2. We can take advantage of the simplicity of “wo”「を」 to try to better understand some more general concepts related to Japanese sentence structure – concepts that can be applied to other particles too.

In this article we will look at what “wo”「を」 is, how to use it in a sentence, and a few things to be careful of. We’ll also touch on some more advanced concepts that give some insight into the bigger picture of the Japanese grammar system.

The Japanese particle “ga”: What it’s for and when to use it (and not “wa”)

The particle “ga”「が」 is probably one of the most misunderstood due to its apparent similarities to the particle “wa”「は」. However, “ga”「が」 itself is actually surprisingly straightforward.

In this article, we will look at the purpose of the subject particle “ga”「が」, as well as compare it to “wa”「は」 to see why these two particles are so easily confused. We will also look at some situations where “ga”「が」 is more commonly used, and why “ga”「が」 is preferred over “wa”「は」 in those situations.

How to use Anki to supercharge your Japanese learning

Learning a new language invariably requires you to remember a lot of new information.

Over the past several decades, a lot of research has concluded that one of the most effective ways to memorize things and ensure they remain in your long-term memory is a technique called “Spaced Repetition”.

In this article, I’m going to explain what exactly spaced repetition is, and show you how you can use a particularly popular app called Anki to incorporate spaced repetition into your Japanese study efforts.

I’ll also give you some ideas for how you can use Anki to enhance your Japanese learning, beyond just the typical uses of vocabulary and kanji.

Make no mistake, this technique is extremely powerful, and Anki is the go-to app for people in a variety of fields, particularly those that need to memorize copious amounts of information such as medicine, law, and of course, languages.

Let’s supercharge your Japanese language skills!

Japanese Expressions of Time (and when to use the particle “ni”)

Time expressions are incredibly useful in any language. Sometimes, even if you can’t say much else, the ability to refer to different points in time can make a world of difference.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of how to specify different points in time in Japanese, including the most important part – how to use these expressions in a sentence.

Before we get started, however, we need to be clear about one thing…

Expressions of time are often lumped together into a single group, but the reality is there are different types of time expressions. The main three are:

  • Timing = when something happens
  • Frequency = how often something happens
  • Period/duration = how long something happens for

In this article, we will be focusing on the first one – timing.

(For a detailed explanation of all three, with tons of examples, check out chapter 6 of my book).

Giving and Receiving in Japanese – Agemasu, Kuremasu, Moraimasu

Giving and receiving in Japanese

The words used to describe the acts of giving and receiving in Japanese can be quite confusing, but they needn’t be.

In a nutshell, there are two words that mean “to give”:

  • agemasu
  • kuremasu

And another word that means “to receive”:

  • moraimasu

What most often confuses people is the fact that there are three words to describe actions that, in English, can be expressed with just two words.

More options = more trying-to-figure-out-when-to-use-what.

Fortunately, however, there is a simple way to look at these words that will eliminate any uncertainty about their use in 99% of situations.

In this article, we will see how we can easily differentiate between the words for “giving” and “receiving” in Japanese. In doing so, we will also cover everything you need to know to form sentences using the verbs “agemasu”「あげます」, “kuremasu”「くれます」, and “moraimasu”「もらいます」.

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