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Confusion about this

I'm trying figure out the major differences between these two sentences, both of which use 2 subject particles twice but only one is using wa twice, the other wa and ga.

Asatte wa kaisha ni kuru koto wa dekinai to omoimasu.
Kawada san wa doitusgo to furansugo o hanasu koto ga dekimasu

The first is saying
"I think I am not able to come to the office the day after tomorrow"
The second
"Mr. Kawada is able to speak German and French"

The structures are both are similar, the only major difference is once is thinking it, the other is saying something can be 'done' yet one has ga after koto, the other wa.
Can you please tell me why


  • As you know, the particle -wa marks a topic of the sentence (i.e. what the sentence is about). But there is another use case for the particle -wa. It replaces -ga or -o in negative contexts.

    For example, compare the two sentences below:
    (1) watashi-wa sushi-o tabemasu.
         I eat sushi.

    (2) watashi-wa sushi-wa tabemasen.
         I don't eat sushi.

    In (1), which is a declarative sentence, the object 'sushi' is marked with the object marking particle -o. But this particle is replaced by -wa in (2), which is a negative sentence.

    In the first sentence in question; i.e. 'Asattte wa kaisha ni kuru koto wa dekinai to omoimasu', the particle -wa marks 'kaisha ni kurukoto' because this is the subject of a negative clause. The English translation of this clause is 'coming to office is not possible'. It's a negative clause. If it were a positive clause, then 'kaishani kuru koto' would have been marked with -ga, but since it's negative, it is marked with -wa.

    In the second sentence, the particle -ga is not replaced by -wa because it's a positive sentence.  
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