You may feel difficulty when learning Japanese particles because there are many particles and one particle has many meanings.

It’s understandable. I have been learning English over 20 years, but I am still struggling to use prepositions.

In this article, I will teach you very basic Japanese particles (は、が、を、へ、に、と、で、から、まで).

There are many Japanese particles, but I chose these 9 particles for now.

I will explain は, が, を, に, へ in this article and と, で, から, まで in a second article.

Each particles have many meanings, but I will teach only the principal ones.

Particles are huge topics, but when you finish reading this article, you will acquire the essential knowledge of particles, so please read this article to the end.

Let’s see the two rules to using は.

Rule of は
  1. Topic
  2. Comparing

I will explain the details.

For more information, read this article.

What’s the difference between Japanese は and が?


は mentions the topic which you are talking about.

For example, きょうは 雨です, which means it will rain today.

You are talking about today’s weather, so you say きょう 雨です.


When we compare two things, we use は.

For instance, 山すきですが、うみすきじゃありません, which means I like mountains, but I don’t like sea.

This sentence compares mountains and seas.

Therefore, we use は.

Again, I explain in more detail in this article.

Please read this article too.

What’s the difference between Japanese は and が?

I picked two rules for が.

Rule of が
  1. New information
  2. Exclusive

Let’s see each rule.

New information

There is a very famous old Japanese story, called Peach Boy.

The begging of the story goess…





Long time ago, there was an old man and woman.

The old man went to a mountain and the woman went to a river.

In the first sentence, we have no idea who the old man and woman are, but we know who they are in the second sentence.

That’s why we use が in the first sentence and は in the second sentence.


When you say AがB, it means A is the one.

が excludes others.

For example, if someone says わたしリーダーです, it means I am a leader and others are not.

On the other hand, if someone says わたしリーダーです, he (or she) just mentions his (or her) position.

More information in this article.

What’s the difference between Japanese は and が?

I pick two basic rules for を.

Rule of を
  1. Object
  2. Moving

Let’s see the details.


This is very essential.

を is a part of the object.

Object means a noun or a pronoun that is acted upon by a verb.

Let’s see some examples.


わたしは きのう ラーメンたべました。


I ate ramen yesterday.

In this case, ramen is an object, which is affected by a verb (ate).

Thus, we say ラーメンたべました。

Let’s see another example,


わたしは ともだちに プレゼントあげました。


I gave my friend a present.

In this sentence, a present is a noun which acted upon by a verb (gave).

Therefore, we say プレゼント あげました。

However, this is different from English.

In English, there are two objects in this sentence, which are “present” and “friend”.

“Friend” is thought of as an indirect object, which means the recipient of an action.

We use に for indirect objects.

Please read ”に” part in this article.


When something moves to somewhere, we use を.

Let’s see two examples.


わたしは こうえん あるきました。


I walk in a park.

I walk in a park means I move in a park.

Like this, を connects a place where you are moving.

Let’s see another example.


とりが 空 とんでいます。


Birds are flying in the sky.

You know, birds are moving in the sky.

They are flying somewhere, so we say とりが 空 とんでいます。

You may know place+で.

I will explain the difference between を and で in the next article.

4 Essential Japanese particles -と、で、から、まで-

I chose three very basic rules.

These are supposed to appear in beginner textbooks, so they are essential.

Rule of に
  1. Time
  2. Existence
  3. To who

Let’s learn the roles of に.



This is very very very basic role of に.


6じ おきます。


I wake up at 6.


5じ かえります。


I go back home at 5.


にちようび レストランへ いきました。


I went to a restaurant on Sunday.

What’s the difference between にちようび…いきました and にちようび…いきました?

If someone asked you when you went to a restaurant, you would say にちようびに…いきました because you are answering the day that you went.

On the other hand, if you are talking about what you did on Sunday, you would say にちようびは…いきました because にちようび is the topic of your conversation.



あります and います are used to mention existence.


つくえの した ねこが います。


There is a cat under the desk.


コンビニの なか フードコートが あります。


There is a food court in convenient stores.

Please read this article for more information.

Japanese aru vs iru, what’s the difference?

To who

As we discussed in ”を part” , we usually use を for indirect object.

Let’s see some examples.


おかあさん プレゼントを あげました。


I gave my mom a present.


かぞく にもつを おくりました。


I sent my family a package.


せんせいは がくせい にほんごを おしえます。


A teacher teaches students Japanese.

I teach you one way to use へ, which is a direction.

For instance,


わたしは ロンドン いきました。


I went to London.

In this case, I focus on the direction rather than the place.

You can switch へ to に, but に focuses on the destination rather than the direction.

To know the difference, let’s see another example.


たいふうが 日本 きています。


A typhoon is coming to Japan.

In this case, the direction (to Japan) is more important than the destination and we don’t know where the typhoon will arrive precisely.

Therefore, both に and へ work, but using へ is more accurate.


These particles are called かくじょし and these are essential knowledge for speaking Japanese.

If you use the correct particles, we don’t care about the grammatical order.

However, when you use the wrong particles, it will lead to miscommunication.

That’s why please practice particles in this article and the next article.

I’ll teach you で, と, から and まで next time.


① わたしは せんせい( )にほんご( )ならいます。

② きょう( )うみ( )いきます。

③ あの どうろ( )わたりましょう。

④ あの こうえん( )コヨーテが います。

⑤ いつも 10じ( )ねます。

⑥ もう ごはん( )たべましたか。

⑦ Q. だれが ケーキを たべましたか。

  A. わたし( )たべました。

⑧ げつようび( )日本( )いきます。

⑨ わたしは あなた( )ケーキ( )つくりました。

⑩ 10月10日( )こうえんで イベントが あります。


① わたしは せんせい(に)にほんご(を)ならいます。

② きょう(は)うみ(へ/に)いきます。

③ あの どうろ(を)わたりましょう。

④ あの こうえん(に)コヨーテが います。

⑤ いつも 10じ(に)ねます。

⑥ もう ごはん(を)たべましたか。

⑦ Q. だれが ケーキを たべましたか。

  A. わたし(が)たべました。

⑧ げつようび(に)日本(へ/に)いきます。

⑨ わたしは あなた(に)ケーキ(を)つくりました。

⑩ 10月10日(に)こうえんで イベントが あります。

If you have questions about this exercise, please contact me or leave a comment below.

If you’d like to learn more Japanese, please feel free to contact me.

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