164. Using は to indicate possession instead of の

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Lesson 164: Using は to indicate possession instead of の

One way to express the sentence Yuko's eyes are big in Japanese would beゆこさんのおおきいです, which is perfectly acceptable. However, using the particle , we could write the sentence without the possessive particle like this: ゆこさんはおおきいです.

In the latter sentence we do not have to directly specify that the big eyes are Yuko's. It is inferred that they belong to her because she is the topic of the sentence.

The table below includes more examples of this pattern using instead of .

English Japanese
Yuko's eyes are big. ゆこさんのおおきいです。
yuko san no me ha ookii desu.
Yuko's eyes are big. ゆこさんはおおきいです。
yuko san ha me ga ookii desu.
Her father is a teacher. かのじょはおとうさんがせんせいです。
kanozyo ha otousan ga sensei desu.
Her new paintings are really beautiful. かのじょあたらしいがとてもきれいです。
kanozyo ha atarasii e ga totemo kirei desu.
Jon's house is old and near the park. ジョンさんはいえふるくて、こうえんちかくです。
zyon san ha ie ga hurukute, kouen no tikaku desu.

Lesson contributors

Denholm Nahon