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Japanese

Lesson 204: が as an object marker

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One of the new words you will learn in this lesson is , 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 る。 どうも。
supuun to fooku to naihu ga iru. doumo.
Sentence from Tatoeba

Note how the particle 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 in Japanese.

Rain is visible; / (I) can see rain.あめ が える。
ame ga mieru.
A typhoon is audible; / (I) can hear a typhoon.たいふう が こえる。
taihuu ga kikoeru.

Just like える and こえる, the verb かる is used with the 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 and こえる, where the subject is active.

Do you understand Chinese?ちゅうごく が わかる か。
tyuugokugo ga wakaru ka.
Literally: is Chinese understood?
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