The subject of a sentence

question, grammar tip
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On this page, you can learn what the subject of a sentence is.

The subject of a sentence

The subject of a sentence is a person or a thing which controls the verb.

The words in bold below are the subject of a sentence.

  • Bill went to a party yesterday.
  • Donald is going to buy milk at a shop.
  • A car was stolen last month.

Like English, the subject usually comes at the start of a sentence in Japanese.

However, when you find the subject at the start of a Japanese sentence, you must place は or が after it.

or is called a ‘subject marking particle‘ and does not mean anything on its own.

What is the difference between は and が, subject marking particles?
Use が if you want to make the subject of a sentence specific and exclusive. Other than that, use は.

Example

わたし は ねこ がすきです。

I like cats.

  • subject marking particle: は
  • the subject of a sentence: わたし

Example 2

ちち が チョコレート を たべました。

My father ate chocolates.

  • subject marking particle: が
  • the subject of a sentence: ちち