Check my setence please

If I wanted to ask “Any practice partners here?” would “練習相手いますか?” be correct? Want to make sure I don’t soon embarrass myself with bad grammar.

If you want it to be proper grammar, you’d probably put a の between 練習 and 相手. But presumably anyone could figure it out from that “jam two nouns” together form.

But that wouldn’t necessarily make it natural.

You’re asking for someone to practice Japanese with you?

I’m writing a self introduction for college roommates to see and was thinking about throwing it out to see if there was anybody who I could practice with.

Interestingly, says 練習相手 all together means “sparring partner”.

I think that would sound cooler anyways

Might be good to try to avoid sounding cool in a language you’re learning (at least early on). If you try to be cool or funny, it might just come off as not knowing what you’re saying.

I’d go with:


Three changes:

  1. の placed between two nouns
  2. が particle added.
  3. Replaced question mark with a period since the か particle serves as the question marker. For casual speech, you could replace the か particle with a question mark and change the verb to the dictionary form as follows:


Ah, yeah, didn’t even notice the missing が. It definitely does depend on who you’re talking to. Friends? You can toss most of your particles out the window as long as it doesn’t impact the meaning.

Why が instead of は? I thought since が was the subject marker it implies some sort of action taking place, or does いる count as a kind of action? I know it’s kind of a basic question, but I mostly do a lot of reading instead of constructing my own sentences.

If you’re introducing something new to the conversation, it’s not the topic yet, so unless it’s something everyone already knows (i.e. the sun rises in the east) then you’re going to use が for that first instance. Considering that you don’t know if there are any practice partners around, it’s not common knowledge (an existing conversation topic) yet.

が doesn’t necessitate an action, it just means something is the grammatical subject (in addition to other uses). Usually things that are marked with は can also be the subject, but は has its own implications.

That’s an oversimplification. There are books on this distinction.

Google around for more が / は fun

I’ve read a bunch of articles about は vs が, but I liked this one if you’re interested.

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