Lesson 204: が as an object marker
One of the new words you will learn in this lesson is 要る, which means to have; to want.
|I need a spoon, a fork, and a knife. Thank you.||スプーン と フォーク と ナイフ が 要る。 どうも。|
supuun to fooku to naihu ga iru. doumo.
Sentence from Tatoeba
Note how the particle が is used to mark what would be the object in English. This is like saying a spoon, a fork and a knife are needed.
The same pattern applies to the verbs can see and can hear. What would be the direct objects in English, are marked by the particle が in Japanese.
|Rain is visible; / (I) can see rain.||雨 が 見える。|
ame ga mieru.
|A typhoon is audible; / (I) can hear a typhoon.||台風 が 聞こえる。|
taihuu ga kikoeru.
Just like 見える and 聞こえる, the verb 分かる is used with the が particle. Note that these word share the fact that the actual subject (the seer, the hearer, the understander), is passive, unlike in verbs such as 見る and 聞こえる, where the subject is active.
|Do you understand Chinese?||中国語 が わかる か。|
tyuugokugo ga wakaru ka.
Literally: is Chinese understood?