Need Some Grammar Help, ASAP!

It’s not really ASAP, but I would like it preferably sooner!

I just have a quick question. In one of my grammar exercises (specifically, particles), “ここが図書館だ。” was the answer. I would’ve thought it was “ここは図書館だ。” Are both right? Am I just stupid? Will someone help me??

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Well, @Leebo 先輩 or @Belthazar 先輩 would be able to give a much more correct answer, but as you need the quick answer…

As I understand it, the difference is that in ここは図書館だ we are answhering “What is this place?” - “This is the library
In ここが図書館だ we are answering “Which place is the library?” - “This place is the library”

It’s very probable that I’m wrong though.


They don’t mean the same thing, so it’s impossible to say without looking at the exercise that both are right here. If you search は vs が you’ll find loads of discussion on it. There are numerous reasons why one or the other would be chosen for a given sentence.


Can you give me one of those numerous reasons?

Thank you very much for the speedy answer! You are much appreciated.

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Sambonjuku has a pretty good video on that here: Introduction to “が” and “は”

Basically, は emphasizes what comes after and が emphasizes what comes before.

  • ここは図書館だ - This is THE LIBRARY.
  • ここが図書館だ - THIS is the library.

However, there are two important things to note here:

  1. This only applies to sentences with one or the other, not both.
  2. が is a grammatical part of speech. You can’t have a complete sentence without it even if it’s omitted as being understood.

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