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A noun particle is any morpheme that denotes or marks the presence of a noun. Noun particles do not exist in English, but can be found in other languages such as Korean and Japanese.

Korean particles

Korean particles are postpositions, which differ from English prepositions in that they come after the word they mark.

  • Example #1: 새가 지붕 위에 있어요. (There's a bird on the roof.)

The particle "위에" is used to mean "on" or "above." It follows the word "지붕" ("roof").

  • Example #2: 도서관이 시장 옆에 있어요. (The library is next to the market.)

The particle "옆에" means "next to," and it follows "시장" ("market").

Japanese particles

Just as in Korean, noun particles follow the noun being marked, and can serve any of several functions in a given sentence.

  • Example #1: 昨日スーパーへ行きました。 ? (Yesterday, I went to the supermarket.)
    • Kinoo suupaa e ikimashita.

In this example, "e" is the noun particle for "suupaa" ("supermarket"). This particular noun particle denotes direction towards a place, being "supermarket."

  • Example #2: 昼ごはんは私がピザを食べた。(I ate pizza for lunch. lit. As for lunch, I ate pizza.)
    • Hirugohan wa watashi ga piza o tabeta.

The three noun particles ("wa," "ga," and "o") all serve different functions:

  • "wa" - topic marker ("hirugohan" - lunch)
  • "ga" - subject marker ("watashi" - I)
  • "o" - object marker ("piza" - pizza)
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