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は vs. わ

Nardil
Asked 6 years ago

Is there a relatively easy way to determine which symbol should be used to write the "wa" sound? On a similar topic, Is there a good way to know if は should be pronounced "ha" or "wa"?

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

3 Answers

5
Votes
+1250

Hi, Nardilさん

は and わ are not very difficult!  Basically, は is pronounced わ(wa) only when it's used as a particle.  So, if it appeares as a part of word, it is pronounced as "ha."  For example, はし (bridge), はと(pigeon).  Let's try to read loud the following sentence; はと は は が ない。(Pigeons don't have any teeth.)  Did you get it?  The first and third は are pronounced 'ha' because they're part of the words.  But the second は is 'wa' because it is a topic particle. 

You might be wondering, "What about こんにちは and こんばんは?!"  They look like one word, but originally they were こんにち(today)+は(particle), こんばん(tonight)+は(particle).  So, they are written with は. 

Masako
Answered 6 years ago

Ahhh. Now, I understand why こんにちは and こんばんは use は insted of わ. Thank you.

bree1207
Commented 5 years ago

3
Votes
+750

Don't forget -ではりません、and -ではりませんでした。 These inflections and their plain forms pronounce は as "wa".

An easy rule to remember: if the word begins with は、it is pronounced as "ha".

Otherwise, it can be confunsing to keep track of the inflections and archaic conjunctions which you couldn't possibly know anything about. It's just the same as the "k" in "knife". With enough practice, you wont even think about it ;)

Jace *\(^o^)/*
Answered 6 years ago

1
Vote
+250

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funnyjokes
Answered 1 year ago