Foolish me … instead of reading multiple textbooks, then watching Cure Dolly videos and learning the correct way, I’ve watched Cure Dolly videos, then started reading multiple textbooks, and they’re disagreeing with her. Naturally!
But the textbooks don’t go so far as to tell you “Here’s a wrong way you might be told about, and our way is right,” which Cure Dolly does, so I suspect she is indeed correct about most of her clarifications. Nonetheless, I want 3rd party confirmation!
So my understanding is that が always marks the subject, if it’s present in the sentence as a particle, and it NEVER marks the object—at least not in Japanese. If you translate the sentence into English, because of the particularities of each language, the Ga-marked noun may end up being an object in the English version, but it’s really not in the original Japanese.
To take the usual example:
(私は) 本が好きです which in English would be rendered as I like the book.
But, in Japanese, it’s literally saying something like (As for me), the book pleasing-is. The book is the subject, and what is it doing? It’s making itself desirable, at least so far as I’m concerned. Maybe you won’t like it, but I do.
Have I got it? Because I keep reading “sometimes が marks the subject, and sometimes it marks the object,” and I think “No, I’m past that, Cure Dolly explained it.”
She did, right?