English grammar has articles and prepositions, but Japanese grammar has particles that follow a noun to show the noun's function. Japanese particles denote such things as the topic of the sentence; the start point, end point, and direction of the action; the tools and means of the action; and even the subject and direct object of the sentence. The following table shows the Japanese particles with pronunciations in parentheses, their English equivalents (if one exists), and their roles.

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