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Pronunciation of a sentence in Japanese.

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28 messages over 4 pages: 1 2 3 4  Next >>
RiderofNesme
Diglot
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United States
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Speaks: English*, Spanish
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 Message 1 of 28
27 November 2007 at 6:31pm | IP Logged 
When saying Are you going to have a beer?Which is the correct pronunciation "Biru o nomi masu ka" or Biru nomi masu ka".

Also why are they using O instead of WA?
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Volte
Tetraglot
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Switzerland
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Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 2 of 28
27 November 2007 at 6:41pm | IP Logged 
RiderofNesme wrote:
When saying Are you going to have a beer?Which is the correct pronunciation "Biru o nomi masu ka" or Biru nomi masu ka".

Also why are they using O instead of WA?


They're using O instead of WA because 'beer' is the direct object, not the subject. In English, you say "Are you going to drink a beer?", and beer is what you'd drink; it's the same in Japanese. If they used wa, it would be "Is the beer going to drink X?", where X is something implicit, understood through context or convention; I have trouble imagining what it could be in this case.
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ryuukohito
Bilingual Diglot
Groupie
Malaysia
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Speaks: EnglishC2*, Malay*
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 Message 3 of 28
28 November 2007 at 1:32am | IP Logged 
I will try to provide a simple and effective comparison to help you, without going into grammar:

"Biru wa nomimasu ka?" -> As for beer, would you drink it?

"Biru wo nomimasu ka?" -> Would you drink the beer?

When you use 'wo' (を) you are doing something directly to the object (in this case, the beer). If you use wa (は), you are merely referring to it.

A simple (and sweeping) explanation to help beginners is this: if you are doing something to an object (e.g. 'eating rice', 'kicking a ball', 'ironing clothes', 'reading a book') you would use the を particle.

That is the simplest explanation I can give. I hope I've helped. (I apologize in advance if any learned students of Japanese find mistakes in my simple explanation.)
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furyou_gaijin
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Japan
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 Message 4 of 28
28 November 2007 at 7:23am | IP Logged 
And what about 'biru GA nomimasu ka'? :-)))
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ryuukohito
Bilingual Diglot
Groupie
Malaysia
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89 posts - 98 votes 
Speaks: EnglishC2*, Malay*
Studies: French, Japanese

 
 Message 5 of 28
28 November 2007 at 11:31am | IP Logged 
Err, that's the part which I don't quite understand, because they seem to have similar functions in this case. But going by Tae Kim's explanation I'd gather that 'ga' is an identifier particle, and would be more suitable, as in 'biru ga nomimasu ka', but the thread-author did not ask for a comparison of 'ga' and 'wo', so there.

Please do not embarrass me, I am not very fluent in Japanese (yet) :)
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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
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 Message 6 of 28
28 November 2007 at 4:22pm | IP Logged 
furyou_gaijin wrote:
And what about 'biru GA nomimasu ka'? :-)))


Your Japanese is much better than mine, but as far as I can tell, that's something that's absolutely never said. If I'm wrong, please enlighten me. Beer, whether a subject or a 'topic', just doesn't drink, at least in my universe.


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SpaceCakeGirl
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United States
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Speaks: English*
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 Message 7 of 28
28 November 2007 at 11:13pm | IP Logged 
The benefits of having a Japanese textbook to consult!

The short answer, what I would tell you without a book to reference, is that 'wa' is the TOPIC marker while 'ga' is the SUBJECT marker. They are frequently interchangable, but not always.

Now, my textbook (Yookoso) says:

1. use ga after a question word and in the answer to a question using such a word.
"dono hito ga buraunsan desu ka"
which person   Ms. Brown is ?

2. Use wa in statements or questions that seek to identify or describe X.
kore wa hon desu.
this    book is.

are wa hon desuka
that   book is ?

3. Use wa in negative statements
ano hito wa kawamurasan dewaarimasen.
that person   Mr. Kawamura   is not.


There's a more advanced section discussing these particles, but I think that that's enough grammar for one day, haha.
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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
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Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 8 of 28
29 November 2007 at 5:58am | IP Logged 
SpaceCakeGirl: That's a typical textbook entry. However, none of your three points apply to furyou_gaijin's post, as far as I can see, unless you're arguing for an implicit question word and an interpretation of "which beer would you like to drink?".


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