Omitting Particles in Japanese – When can you skip Wa, O, Ga, E in Japanese?

Posted by on October 16, 2020 – Japanese Study
omitting particles in japanese

Omitting particles in casual spoken Japanese is very common.  But when can you do this – and how should you do it?

In this short blog we will show you which particles can be skipped and which must remain.

Japanese Particles can be omitted only in conversational sentences, not in written language.

The first rule about Japanese particles is that omitting them can only occur in spoken Japanese. So when you are writing Japanese – remember to include them!

Japanese sentence patterns determine some relationships between words

As the heading above implies, the basic Japanese sentence pattern has an order which informs the relationship between certain words.

The basic sentence pattern in Japanese has the word order ” is is to V. ” (Subject is object is / to verb) , and its role can be understood by the position of the word even without particles. So, in a basic japanese sentence「は」and「を/が」 can be omitted.

Let’s look at a more detailed chart below that explains some of the common examples of omitted particles in Japanese Grammar.

Particle

Sentence / Particle

Can it be omitted? 

(Subject) ・お誕生日(は)いつ?
When is your birthday?

・山田さん(は)いる?
Is Yamada san there(here)??

 

Yes.

(Target or purpose)
(Target)

 

(Subject of movement or a state)

ケーキ(を)食べる?
Do you know where fresh fish are sold?

新鮮な魚(が)売っているところ(を)知っている?
Do you eat Cake?

・ねこ(を)飼いたいと思ってるんだ。
I think I would like to have a cat.

・背(が)高くなったね。
(You have gotten taller)

 

Yes.
(Direction)
(Direction・Destination)

・天気(が)いいから、海(に)行こうよ。・
Because the weather is nice – let’s go to the ocean.

今から、飲み(に)行かない?Why don’t we go out(drinking) now?

 

Yes.
(Passive・Causative)

・この傷(を)見て、猫にひっかかれたの。
Look at this scar, a catch has scratched me.

・不注意で子供に怪我(を)させてしまった。
I injured my child inadvertently (by accident).

 

No.
(time)で(Place
(together)
・7時に銀座で友達とご飯(を)食べるから、6時にうち(を)出ようっと。

I’m going to eat with my friends in Ginza at 7, so I should leave home at 6 o’clock.

 

No.
(Possesive) ・それ、私の時計。
That’s my watch.・

学校の先生なんだ。
I’m a teacher for the school.

 

No.
(Means, deadline, cause, etc.) ・これ、1週間でできる?
Can you do this in 1 week?・

ハサミで切ったら?
What if you cut it with scissors?

 

No.
(Parallels・addition) ・紙とペン(は)ある?
Do you have paper and a pen?

 

No.
(Other) ・サッカーより野球のほうが好き。
I like baseball more than soccer.

・え、私がするの?
Eh, I should do it?・

この間、田中さんが行ったってレストラン、昨日テレビに出てたよ。
That restaurant that Tanaka-san went to the other day was on TV last night.

No.
(Other) ・姉は背(が)高いんだけど、私は低いの。
My sister is really tall, but I’m short.・

四国はまだ行ったことがないな。
I still haven’t been to Shikoku yet.

No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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