Ask-a-Teacher: Sorry in advance for yet another wa and ga question
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Question to Teacher: Sorry in advance for yet another wa and ga question
Course 2 Lesson 4: For the Dogs (About This Lesson)
Post Date: 2016-12-31 03:44:23
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2016 Jun 29
I still have a long way to go but feel I'm getting a little better at determining which to use but the reading comprehension questions in section A4-7 have me stumped. The sentences:
A4-7 #7: Akirakun no ie ni neko wa nanbiki imasu ka
A4-7 #8: Akirakun no ie ni doubutsu ga nanbiki imasu ka
If I have it correct both questions are almost exactly the same, i.e. how many cats versus how many animals. Why is it wa when speaking of cats and ga when speaking of animals?
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JFZ Teacher (Kanako)
Post Date: 2017-01-03 17:39:20
2003 Mar 03
There are two sentence patterns to describe the location of animate things.
A: (Place) に(someone/animal) がいます。
= There is (someone/animal) in/at (place).
By default, the subject particle が marks the animate thing.
B: (Someone/animal) は (place) にいます。
= (Someone/animal) is at/in (place).
When emphasizing or being specific, は is used.
As for your first sentence, は is used to be specific. The speaker knows Akira has both dogs and cats, but he wants to know particularly how many “cats” Akira has.
あきらくんの いえに、ねこは なんびき いますか。
(AKIRA KUN NO IE NI, NEKO WA NANBIKI IMASUKA)
= As for cats, how many are there at Akira’s house?
However, it is ok to use が instead in above sentence if it does not need to be emphasized.