The GA particle and its functions

Let's learn more today about the GA particle and its functions!

the GA particle and its functionsWhen we start our Japanese language studies, we often fall into the addiction of associating a single function to each particle of Japanese grammar.

The GA particle and its functions

In my case, I spent a lot of time believing that the GA particle had the sole function of indicating the subject's position in Japanese sentences. After some time of study, I realized that I was sadly mistaken…

In the previous article about the GA particle, I wrote about some usage tips for this particle. So, in today's article, we're going to look at some of the main functions of the GA particle.

Using the GA particle between two sentences

In many cases, the GA particle can assume the function of conjunction, performing an opposition (or contradiction) between two sentences in Japanese. In these cases, the GA particle can be translated as but, yet, however, yet, or yet.

Examples:

桜の花はきれいだが、香りがない。

Cherry blossoms are beautiful, but they don't smell.

この映画は面白いが、長すぎますね。

This movie is cool, but it's too long. It is not?

In other cases, the GA particle in the middle of sentences in Japanese can only serve as a form of connection between them. Thus, assuming the same function as ours and in Portuguese.

Examples:

昨日富士山を始めて見ましたが、きれいでした。

I saw Mount Fuji for the first time yesterday and it was very beautiful.

山田さんは赤い車を買いましたが、あなたも買いました。

Mr Yamada bought a red car… and so did you. It was not.

Note that the difference between the two cases above is that in the first, the second sentence has an opposite meaning to the first sentence. And in the second case, the second sentence just complements the first sentence.

Adding important information

At the start of some conversations, the GA particle can be used to introduce important information or just draw attention to start the conversation.

Phrases like these are used to remember something, or give information that is very important for understanding the context of the conversation.

Examples:

私、田中さんと申しますが、山田さんはいらっしゃいますか。

My name is Tanaka. Is Mr Yamada at home?

失礼ですが。。。あなたは本田さんですか。

Excuse me, but… Are you Mr. Honda?

The GA particle and incomplete sentences

Despite being a similar concept to the previous item, the difference between incomplete sentences and above sentences is that incomplete sentences express an implicit idea; that was not described in the sentence. Furthermore, this “implicit idea” usually expresses an opinion contrary to the sentence that was said.

Examples:

私は富士山を見に行きましたが。。。

I went to see Mt. Fuji, but… (I didn't see anything).

彼は高い家に住んでいましたが。。。

He used to live in a big house, but… (now he lives in a small house)

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