今日は天気が? Particle use

Can’t believe I’m having to ask such a basic question but the other party in this discussion is insistent I’m wrong so figured I’d be doubly sure I’ve not just not been taught this.

What they wrote,


What I corrected to


I stipulated that this was correct because it is today’s weather that is the topic, not ‘today’, but she was insistent her way was correct, though she also tried to explain to me that が meant ‘to be’ which cast serious doubts on her level for me.

I also looked up an example on Google and the very first one used the structure I suggested

Are both correct? Is one? Or are neither?

Either works, but the emphasis is different. I’d say you’ll typically find that 今日は天気がいい is more common, though.


Really? Its odd that it would be more common when I’ve only ever come across the other example but fair enough!

Chances are you just haven’t had enough exposure yet. 今日も・は天気が___ is the one you’ll see a majority of the time.

Funny enough, your example is the one I have never really seen and the example you give is actually slightly different. The second most common alternative ive seen is people simply saying 今日はいい天気だね or something like that. Its not wrong though, so technically both of you are right as belth said.

Also, since you’ve never seen it written the other guy’s way before, here’s a line from a VN I have the script for that uses it: 今日は天気がいいから、ちゃんと観測できそうだな. Enjoyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy


Yeah it is funny, because even in the opening to Chi’s Sweet Home, the lyrics are


So all exposure I’ve had to ‘today’s weather’ from multiple sources has used this format

Looks like I still have a lot more to learn about particles :sweat_smile: thank you for the detailed responses

Kinds seems like every example you’ve given for 今日の天気は is a question, which emphasises the difference in emphasis.

今日の天気はどうかな? = I wonder what the weather is like today?
今日は天気がいい = Today’s weather is fine.


Ah that would make sense! Thanks for pointing that out!

In fact XはYが… in general is a very common way to talk about the Y of X, not just when it comes to the weather:

  • 今日は天気がいい as opposed to 今日の天気はいい
  • あの人は背が高い as opposed to あの人の背は高い
  • 犬は毛が長い as opposed to 犬の毛は長い

XのYは… really isn’t as idiomatic.

I think that’s explained in one of the first few chapters of Genki I, can’t remember which one exactly, if you want to read up on it there.


I don’t have Genki as I started with JFZ but I’m considering making the switch once I finish with JFZ, thank you for the detailed info though!

There is a lot of nuance around this, so if you are still in Genki I level textbooks I would worry too much about it for the moment.

That said, は and の still have different meanings even if they are being used in a very similar way here. You’ve probably seen の used as a possessive, like 私のえんぴつ, which would mean “my pen” and の is being used to show that the pencil belongs to me. の can also be used to make connections between two things, without one specifically owning the other. For example, 東京大学の田中先生 (toukyou daigaku no tanaka sensei) would be a case where rather than saying it is the college’s Tanaka Sensei, they are saying Tanaka Sensei of Tokyo University. Like I said, pretty nuanced.

は on the other hand not only marks a topic, but distinguishes it from other potential topics. So when when someone says きょうは, they are not just saying “today” but they are distinguishing today from other topics in context. A more accurate translation would be “As for today, as opposed to other days, …”

So from the two examples you gave:
きょうはてんきがいいですね would be “As for today, (as opposed to other potential days) the weather is nice.”

きょうのてんきはいいですね is more like “As for today’s weather (as opposed to other day’s weather or other things of today), is nice.”

Now this is the part where I am less confident so don’t take me at my word, but I think the reason the first is more common is more a function of how people say things rather than a case of being correct or incorrect. My best guess is that の is used to make connections between two things, but the Japanese simply don’t connect the weather to the day in that way. Rather than it being weather of the day, or the day’s weather, There is just today, and something that exists today, among many other things, is weather. In English we do attribute weather to days in that fashion, so it’s just a difference of phrasing. I think if you said it your way to a Japanese person, they would understand you, but it would just sound a bit strange.

Super long response but I hope something here was helpful!

P.S. Here’s a link to a book called “Making Sense of Japanese” that discusses は and が, among other things, in much greater detail with a lot more nuance. If you’re in Genki I (or an equialent level textbook), I might hold off on reading it until you get through Genki II level books, but it’s been a really helpful resource for me. https://www.amazon.com/Making-Sense-Japanese-What-Textbooks/dp/156836492X


That does make a lot of sense, it reminds me of a scene in Shogun where someone says “Tomorrow does not exist Anjin San, there is only today” so it makes sense that they would not bring other days into focus of the context when talking about something that is occurring now.

Thankyou for the link, I’m quite busy over the next few days trying to restructure my Anki decks, but once I’m finished it will be pretty high on my list to look at :slight_smile: I’m working through JFZ3 atm so I’m not sure what the equivalency is.

I’d echo what another comment said - the XはYが construct can certainly be used to describe specific attributes of the topic at hand, be it the color of someone’s eyes, the day’s weather, whatever. So I’d say whoever you were talking with isn’t wrong. That’s not to say you’re wrong either; there are multiple ways to express an idea, either interchangeably or with different emphasis.

One thing I’m always leery of is stumbling into is the use of contrasting は usage. Sometimes using は in a sentence without a が gives implied hidden meaning that you may not intend. Misa (Misa’s Japanese Ammo) covers this a bit in her The Ultimate Guide To: は vs が video, which I recommend in general.

In general, it’s not a trivial topic. I’ll quote one of the Reddit /r/learnjapanese top posts of all time, Let me try and explain は and が for you:

Please don’t underestimate how difficult this topic is. The most useful resources I’ve ever come across talking about this topic are The Structure of the Japanese Language and Japanese A Linguistic Introduction , which, even though written by professional linguists, still use 58 and 13 pages respectively (yes you read those numbers correctly) to explain the various uses of and differences between は and が.

So having only studied Japanese for a year myself, I won’t pretend to be an authority on the topic or be able to provide exhaustive explanation.

Which brings me to my next point - I would be very hesitant to correct other learners on grammar points like this, and be very adamant about it like “No you’re definitely wrong,” if you yourself are a learner.

I never insisted I was correct, which is why I came here for further clarification, I just stipulated I was correct based on what I knew, which I simply put evidence forward for you to analyze, but remained open to the fact that there may be gaps in my knowledge which is a logical and fair position to take.

Also if I had not attempted to correct her, I would not have learned all I have learned above, staying in your own bubble and not exploring other people’s ideas, no matter how strange they may be and ‘being safe’ is incredibly detrimental to one’s learning and development of the ability to communicate ideas to other people.

So I disagree with you heavily on that front, even if one is a learner, trying to correct other users on grammar points you are familiar with is a fantastic learning tool. Yes, doing it in a manner of “I am always right and know more than anyone” is likely to trip you up and probably upset a lot of people, but her grammar usage and understanding of the grammar she herself was using painted her as a beginner too, so I corrected her in a manner that was attempting to be helpful to her learning (The conversation for which you also do not have context for how I addressed the situation) it just happened that in this situation what I thought I knew wasn’t the entire picture, so I ended up learning from her, there is no animosity about the situation from either party.

Thank you for the guide though :slight_smile:

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