2 Basic Rules How to use は & が properly

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Often, we ask our Japanese friends “How to use は & が properly”, they either can’t give you an answer, or tell you to feel the language. Well we can’t blame them. It is true that there has been arguments about how to use は and が even nowadays, the arguments still continue among professionals.

However, there are still some basic rules to play with it. In this article, let’s take a look at those basic rules that help us to use は & が properly. 🙂

Basic Rules of は & が

2 basic rules hot to use は and が

1) Noun & Adjective come after は, Verb comes after が

Japanese sentence is roughly divided into 3 types: Noun phrase, Adjective phrase, and Verb phrase. For instance,

佐藤さんは社長。 (Noun)
佐藤さんが来た。 (Verb)

The subject in above sentences is 佐藤さん. It is not hard to notice that noun and adjective come after は, and verb comes after が. Thus, usually は presents the subject in a “noun phrase” and “adjective phrase”, and が presents the subject in a “Verb phrase”.

2) When noun and adjective come after が, verb comes after は, it holds a meaning of specifying certain person/thing by excluding others.

For instance, if we exchange above examples は to が, and が to は,

佐藤さんが社長だ。 (Noun)

The above sentences are answers to following questions:


In other words, it means to exclude others and to specify certain person in the sentence.

The 2 basic rules is just a partly explanation of は & が, there are still many exceptions depending on the situation and conversation. Well, learning the 2 basic rules still help us to gain a better understanding of Japanese language. 🙂


Japanese language is difficult to learn but we will NOT surrender, right? 🙂 Stay tuned with Naruhodo Japan for more Japanese language learning tips in future. 😀 You’re awesome!

A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.