Home Japanese Language The 17 Most Necessary Japanese Particles and The right way to Use Them

The 17 Most Necessary Japanese Particles and The right way to Use Them

The 17 Most Necessary Japanese Particles and The right way to Use Them


japanese sentence particles

Japanese particles are small phrases in hiragana that come after the phrases they modify, they usually’re completely important to turning into conversational in Japanese.

They don’t have any that means on their very own, however you’ll see them in almost each sentence.

They inform us how every phrase is expounded. When speaking about espresso, for instance, the particle tells us if it was given to you, taken from you or included with your breakfast.

On this submit, you’ll discover ways to use 17 Japanese particles, together with some must-know Japanese endings (like ね and よ).


Particle Perform
1. Mark the topic
2. Comply with a query phrase
1. Mark the sentence subject
2. Present distinction
3. Add emphasis
1. Point out a query
2. Checklist choices and options (“or”)
Mark a direct object
1. Checklist a number of responses to a query
2. Present collaborative relationship (“with”)
1. Point out possession
2. Ask casual questions
Touch upon a number of issues (“too”)
1. Mark time, location and path
2. Present verb’s vacation spot
3. Mark oblique objects
4. Present that one thing exists
1. Present the place motion happens
2. Point out using one thing
Present vacation spot/path of motion
1. Politely finish a sentence
2. Search settlement
Mark definitive finish to condemn
Specific that one thing should be performed

Emphasize males’s statements
1. Specific opinions (principally utilized by males)
2. Search settlement
ちゃった Specific remorse (principally utilized by ladies)
もん 1. Specific dissatisfaction
2. Point out an excuse
3. Present an emotional response

1. (Topic Marker)

が is used to…

  • Point out the topic of a sentence
  • Comply with a query phrase (like who, what or the place)

が lets us know the sentence’s topic (who or what it’s about). The one exception is that typically は (which we’ll be taught subsequent) does the job for it.

However to maintain it easy, know that any time the particular person talking is giving new info, が is used.

You’ll additionally discover that typically, the topic of a sentence in Japanese is totally different than the topic in English.

Take this sentence for instance:

(わたしは ねこが すきです。)
I like cats.

In English, the topic can be “I.” However in Japanese, the topic is definitely “cats.”

It’s because any time the next verbs are used, が follows the item as an alternative of the topic:

  • 好き (すき) — to love
  • 嫌い (きらい) — to dislike
  • ほしい — to need
  • できる — to have the ability to

Let’s check out just a few extra examples of が:

(わたしは くも こわいです。)
I’m afraid of spiders.

(わたしは なっとう すきじゃないです。)
I don’t like natto.

Who ate the cake?

Within the final sentence, “who” is a query phrase, which is why が comes after 誰 (だれ). Any time a query phrase is the topic (like who, what and the place), the particle you utilize is が.

2. (Matter Marker)

は is used to…

  • Mark the subject of the sentence (the factor we’re going to speak about/touch upon)
  • Present distinction
  • Add emphasis

が and は are comparable, however as an alternative of indicating the topic, は tells us what or who the sentence is about.

For instance:

I’m Katie.

Kim is Japanese.

In relation to displaying distinction, a helpful tip is to think about the Japanese particle は as that means ” as for…” or “talking of…”.

For instance:

I don’t watch films, however I do learn books.

Or, say you and your roommate are in a pet retailer. An worker comes up and asks which kind of pet you want. In the event you say 私は猫好きです (I like cats), you’d use が. That is like saying “as for me, I like cats.”

But when your roommate likes canines as an alternative, she would use は to point out distinction. For instance:

(いぬ すきです。)
I like canines.

3. (Query Particle)

か is used to…

  • Signifies a query is being requested
  • Checklist choices and options (much like that means “or”)

When asking a query in Japanese, add か to the top of the sentence.

For instance:

Whos the trainer?

What time is it?

One other widespread approach to make use of か is to checklist choices and options. For instance:

Do you want cats or canines?

Who’s the trainer, Tanaka or Nakatani?

Consider it as saying “cats or canines, which one do you want?” And “Tanaka or Nakatani, which one is the trainer?”

4. (Direct Object Particle)

を is used to…

A direct object is a factor being acted upon. For instance, whenever you say “I’m listening to a music,” music is the direct object as a result of it’s the factor being listened to.

In trendy Japanese, を as a particle is pronounced as “o,” not “wo.”

(わたしは にほんご べんきょうしています。)
I’m learning Japanese.

(わたしは ねこ みます。)
I see a cat.

5. (Connecting Particle)

と is used to…

  • Checklist a couple of response to a query
  • Present who you’re doing one thing with

When itemizing objects in Japanese, consider と as that means “and.”

For instance:

I like cats and chinchillas.

I can communicate Japanese and English.

When itemizing greater than two objects, add と to the top of every one on the checklist.

The opposite approach to make use of と is to point out relationships. In these conditions, you’ll be able to consider it as that means “with.”

It’s typically adopted by 一緒に (いっしょに), which implies “collectively,” and goes after the particle は.

(私は) 彼一緒に日本語を勉強しています。
([わたしは] かれ いっしょに にほんごを べんきょうしています。)
I’m learning Japanese with him.

(いま、だれ はなしていますか?)
Who’re you speaking with/to proper now?

(おかあさん はなしています。)
I’m speaking with my mother.

6. (Possession Particle)

の is used to…

  • Point out possession (proudly owning one thing)
  • Ask casual questions

To say one thing belongs to somebody, merely tack の onto any noun.

For instance:

Whose cat is that?

That’s my cat.

(うわ、ねこ めが とてもきれいです!)
Wow, the cat’s eyes are actually stunning!

Watch out with the final sentence.

If we have been to say 猫の目とてもきれいです, what was a pleasant praise with が abruptly turns into a veiled insult.

Altering が to は makes this sentence sound like, “Effectively, the cat’s eyes are stunning… however the remainder of it isn’t.”

の can be used to ask casual questions. Girls and youngsters primarily use it this fashion, so that you may say it’s the extra cute or female strategy to ask a query.

The place are you?

Is that this okay?

Is right here okay?

What’s the matter?

7. (Addition Particle)

も is used to…

  • Make a remark about a couple of factor
  • Imply “too” or “additionally”

This can be a cool particle much like the Pokemon Ditto—it may possibly connect onto and even substitute different particles to imply “additionally” or “too.”

It reveals that no matter we stated about the very first thing applies to the second, as properly.

For instance:

I like cats. I additionally like canines.

I’m learning Japanese. I’m learning Mandarin, too.

It may additionally imply “each.”

Do you want canines or cats?

(どっち! ねこもいぬすきです。)
Each! I like cats and canines.

8. (Location and Time Particle)

に is used to…

  • Mark time, location and path
  • Present the vacation spot of a verb
  • Mark oblique objects
  • Present that one thing exists

When utilizing a verb of movement (reminiscent of “to go”), you need to use に to say the place you’re going to.

For instance:

(きょう でぃずにらんどいくよ!)
I’m going to Disneyland right now!(Casual)

The place do you reside?

The place did you go yesterday?

Within the final sentence, の is used to emphasize that you simply’re in search of a proof from somebody.

に additionally marks the oblique object of a sentence—or, “who” will get the results of an motion.

For instance:

(がくせいは せんせい しゅくだいをていしゅつした。)
The coed palms their homework to the trainer. (casual)

(わたしは ともだち えがおを みせた。)
I smiled at my good friend. (Casual)

In these sentences, the trainer and the good friend are the oblique objects as a result of they’re those who obtain the motion (being handed homework and being smiled at).

Lastly, の reveals the place one thing exists.

The construction for this utilization is:

(Someplace) に (one thing) が (ある/いる)

The verb いる is used with dwelling, animate objects whereas the verb ある is used with non-living, inanimate objects.

For instance:

(つくえの うえ えんぴつが ある。)
There’s a pencil on the desk. (Casual)

(はこのなか ねこが いる。)
There’s a cat within the field. (Casual)

9. (Location Particle)

で is used to…

  • Present the place an motion takes place
  • Present using one thing

Not like に, there’s no motion concerned with the Japanese particle で. This particle is used to point out the placement of an exercise.

Above, we requested any individual the place they went the day past. For the sake of this submit, let’s take issues full circle and say that he went to a pet retailer.

You may then ask:

Oh? What did you do there? (What did you do at that place?)

(にほん にほんごを べんきょうしています。)
I’m learning Japanese in Japan.

で can also be used to precise the utilization of one thing. For instance:

I got here by automobile.

10. (Route Particle)

へ is used to…

  • Present the vacation spot or path of a motion

The particle へ can be utilized to explain the place you’re going, identical to the particle に.

Nevertheless it doesn’t at all times carry the identical nuance.

へ can carry a stronger feeling of “in direction of” than “to,” so it’s essential to concentrate to what context it’s being utilized in.

東京 (に/へ) 行った。
(とうきょう [に/へ] いった。)
I went to Tokyo. (Casual)

Whether or not に or へ is used, each of those sentences imply “I went to Tokyo.”

However for those who use へ, this is also learn as “I went/set off towards Tokyo,” leaving the likelihood that you simply didn’t truly get to Tokyo however grew to become distracted alongside the way in which.

Not like に, the particle へ can come earlier than の, permitting a noun for use. Japanese folks typically use this construction to make metaphorical statements, like this one:

(へいわへの あゆみ。)
A step towards peace.

11. (Confirming and Agreeing)

ね is used to…

  • Politely finish a sentence
  • Search settlement or affirmation

ね is a quite common sentence-ending particle and a well mannered strategy to finish a sentence.

Hearken to any dialog between Japanese ladies and also you hear a lot of ね. It’s used on the finish of a sentence to hunt affirmation, however it’s totally different from か in that it’s not outright asking a query.

To point uncertainty, say ね with a rising tone.

When on the lookout for settlement, use a softer, decrease tone.

Consider it as a approach to make sure everybody within the dialog is on the identical web page. It’s like saying “isn’t it?” or “proper?”

It’s chilly!

That girl is fairly

This bag is dear, isn’t it?

12. (Emphasis and Exclamation)

よ is used to…

  • Point out a definitive finish to a sentence

よ is among the most helpful sentence endings within the Japanese language. It’s used equally by each genders and is much less passive than ね.

The speaker is completely certain of what they’re saying, they usually’ve already shaped a robust opinion or have confirmed the assertion.

That film was superior.

It’s scorching!

I perceive!

なくちゃ and なきゃ are used to…

  • Specific that one thing should be performed

I had a tough time with this one as a result of it was by no means taught within the classroom, however you’ll actually hear なくちゃ and なきゃ lots.

They’re colloquial replacements for the extra formal phrase なければならない.

The usual that means is that you could do one thing and there’s no strategy to get out of it. There’s some remorse behind the phrases however it may possibly’t be helped!

なくちゃ is extra widespread, however the youthful era typically makes use of なきゃ, which is a shortened model.

 I’ve to review.

I’ve to eat.

I’ve to depart now.

14. / (Emphasis Utilized by Males)

さand ぞ are used to…

  • Emphasize males’s statements

Males primarily use さ so as to add emphasis to their statements. It’s extraordinarily uncommon for ladies to make use of this.

The usage of さ conjures up nostalgic photographs of Japanese males fanning themselves and listening to the sound of wind chimes on a scorching summer season’s day whereas commenting on the suffocating warmth. In some methods, it may be used because the stronger, manlier model of よ.

For much more emphasis, draw out the さ sound.


That is the one!

It’s heavy!

ぞ is one other widespread phrase for males to finish their sentences with correct emphasis and unswayed judgment.

The ぞ sound is commonly drawn out when males use it to precise pleasure and power. In the event you’re a fan, you’ve in all probability heard male characters in anime collection utilizing ぞ once they’re emoting, as anime characters are liable to do.

As compared, for those who hear a lady utilizing it, she is likely to be attempting to be “one of many guys.”

Let’s go!

Let’s drink!

Let’s look/watch!

15. (Expressing Opinions)

な is used to…

  • Specific opinions (generally utilized by males)
  • Search affirmation

な is commonly utilized by males often in the identical age group. It sounds much like ね, with a rising intonation, however the sound comes off rougher.

It’s additionally used far more in informal conditions than ね, which is extra acceptable in a piece surroundings.

な is a approach of expressing an opinion or feeling with out asserting your self an excessive amount of. Nonetheless, it can be used to verify info, as within the first instance right here:

おい! 喫茶店にいくんだよ
(おい! きっさてんにいくんだよ?)
Hey! Aren’t you going to the espresso store?

That canine is cute.

That’s unusual, isn’t it?

ちゃった is used to…

  • Specific remorse (generally utilized by ladies)

ちゃった is a highly regarded strategy to finish a sentence, used mostly by ladies. It expresses remorse or doing one thing with out considering.

It’s equal to the English slang, “my dangerous” or “wasn’t considering.”

Or, within the case of the third instance under, it may be used to imply one thing has occurred “regrettably.”

As for construction, the verb endings are modified relying on if they’re -ru, -tsu or -u verbs. Then, add ちゃった onto the ending of the verb.

I forgot.

I ate (all of it).

My good friend’s fish died (regrettably).

17. もん (Expressing Dissatisfaction)

もん is used to…

  • Specific dissatisfaction
  • Point out an emotional response
  • Point out an excuse

もん is an informal strategy to specific dissatisfaction with a flip of occasions or an emotional response. It additionally works when you must clarify your actions or reactions.

Sure phrases like だって are typically positioned firstly of the sentence to regulate the extent of emotion whereas explaining oneself.

もん isn’t that widespread, however it’s an cute strategy to finish a sentence. A phrase of recommendation: keep away from this ending except you’re deliberately attempting to be babyish!

I don’t perceive!

I simply can’t do it!

Aww, however I need to go to the onsen…


Consider these 17 Japanese particles because the wire to a necklace. With them, you’ll have the ability to string collectively any sentence you want.

The extra you follow them, the extra naturally they’ll come to you.


Watch Japanese TV, hearken to Japanese songs and eat a wide range of Japanese media to get a really feel for a way native audio system use particles. 

With a program like FluentU, you’ll be able to observe together with the interactive subtitles and click on on phrases and particles you don’t know, forgot or need to see extra examples of.

Glad studying!