In Japanese there are many ways that you can say and. In today’s lesson we will discuss two common ways and their differences.
You are probably familiar with the normal Japanese word for and.
It is to (pronouned “toh”)
This and is used in cases where you are describing a finite list.
For example, we would use to in the following sentence:
There is a book and a pencil on top of the table (but nothing else on the table)
hon to enpitsu ga teburu no ue ni arimasu
But, in the following example we need to use a different “and”. The following example is of an infinite list:
There is a book and a pencil on top of the table (but there’s other stuff on top of the table too)
hon ya enpitsu ga teburu no ue ni arimasu
So, the simple rule to follow is if you are creating an infinite list use ya, otherwise use to.
Let’s look at each word individually:
to and (used for finite lists, ie. the list includes everything)
ya and (used for infinite lists, ie. the list doesn’t include everything)
ga subject marker particle
no possessive particle
ni direction particle
arimasu to exist (there is)
See you next time,