In grammar the term particle (abbreviated PTCL) has a traditional meaning, as a part of speech that cannot be inflected, and a modern meaning, as a function word associated with another word or phrase to impart meaning.
citation needed] Particles are typically words that encode grammatical categories (such as negation, mood, tense, or case), clitics, or fillers or (oral) discourse markers such as well, um, etc. Particles are never inflected.[
Related concepts and ambiguities
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Depending on context, the meaning of the term may overlap with concepts such as morpheme, marker, or even adverb as in English phrasal verbs such as out in get out. Under a strict definition, in which a particle must be uninflected, English deictics like this and that would not be classed as such (since they have plurals and are therefore inflected), and neither would Romance articles (since they are inflected for number and gender).
This assumes that any function word incapable of inflection is by definition a particle. However, this conflicts with the above statement that particles have no specific lexical function per se, since non-inflecting words that function as articles, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections have a clear lexical function. This disappears if particles are taken to be a separate class of words, where one characteristic (which they share with some words of other classes) is that they do not inflect.
Particle is a somewhat nebulous term for a variety of small words that do not conveniently fit into other classes of words. The Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language defines a particle as a "word that does not change its form through inflection and does not fit easily into the established system of parts of speech". The term includes the "adverbial particles" like up or out in verbal idioms (phrasal verbs) such as "look up" or "knock out"; it is also used to include the "infinitival particle" to, the "negative particle" not, the "imperative particles" do and let, and sometimes "pragmatic particles" like oh and well.
In other languages
- nie2: Afrikaans has a double negation system, as in Sy is nie1 moeg nie2 'She is not tired PTCL.NEG' (meaning 'She is not tired'). The first nie1 is analysed as an adverb, while the second nie2 as a negation particle.
- te: Infinitive verbs are preceded by the complementiser om and the infinitival particle te, e.g. Jy moet onthou om te eet 'You must remember for COMP PTCL.INF eat' (meaning 'You must remember to eat').
- se or van: Both se and van are genitive particles, e.g. Peter se boek 'Peter PTCL.GEN book' (meaning 'Peter's book'), or die boek van Peter 'the book PTCL.GEN Peter' (meaning 'Peter's book').
- so and soos: These two particles are found in constructions like so groot soos 'n huis 'PTCL.CMPR big PTCL.CMPR a house' (meaning 'as big as a house').
There are three types of zhùcí (助詞; particles) in Chinese: Structural, Aspectual, and Modal. Structural particles are used for grammatical relations. Aspectual particles signal grammatical aspects. Modal particles express linguistic modality. Note that particles are different from zhùdòngcí (助動詞; modal verbs) in Chinese.
There are different types of particles present in Hindi. Emphatic particles, limiter particles, negation particles, affirmative particles, honorific particles, topic-marker particle and case-marking particles. Some common particles of Hindi are mentioned in the table below:
|ही (hī) works the similar to the Japanese particle だけ (dake)
भी (bʰī) works exactly the like the Japanese も (mo)
and すら (sura) particles.
||मात्र (mātr) comes before a noun it modifies coming after a noun
or verb or adverb when the meaning of "just/mere" is conveyed.
||नहीं (nahī̃) can have multiple positions in the same sentence but can
still convey the same meaning but by default it comes before
the main verb of the sentence (and after the verb to emphasise).
Usually, it doesn't appear at the end of a sentence and also at
the beginning if the sentence starts with a noun.
न (na) and मत (mat) have rather restricted positions in a sentence and
can usually only appear around the verb in subjunctive mood
or imperative form, respectively.
||It comes after a noun and gives the noun an honourific value.
Compare with the honourific particles in Japanese
such as さま (sama) and さん (san).
||तो is used to mark the topic in the sentence which is often not
the same the subject of a sentence. It indicates either
presuppositionally shared information or shift in thematic
It has a rather flexible position in a sentence, whatever need to
but put as the topic of the sentence, it comes after that, even after
||The question-marker क्या can come at the beginning or the end
of a sentence as its default position but can also appear in between
the sentence if it cannot also be interpreted as its non-particle meaning
of "what" at a mid position in the sentence. 
ना can only come at the end of a sentence and nowhere else. It
conveys that the asker is in doubt or is seeking for a confirmation.
||The case marking particles require the noun to be declined
to be in their oblique case forms. However, these markers (except for )
themselves can inflect and change forms
Comparison of these case markers with Japanese case
markers and their usage overlap:
|The genitive marker in Hindi cannot be considered a particle as per the definition that particles cannot be inflected. The genitive marker का (kā) inflects for the number and gender of the object it shows possession of.
The genitive markers are का (kā), के (ke), की (kī) and की (kī) for masculine singular, masculine plural, feminine singular and feminine plural possessives respectively. There are compound postpositions or markers in Hindi
(such as, के ऊपर (ke ūpar) "above", के लिए (ke liye), की ओर (kī or) "towards", की वजह से (kī vajah se) "because of") which make use of the genitive markers के (ke) and की (kī) as their primary stem and
hence all such postpositions cannot be considered as particles.
A German modal particle serves no necessary syntactical function, but expresses the speaker's attitude towards the utterance. Modal particles include ja, halt, doch, aber, denn, schon and others. Some of these also appear in non-particle forms. Aber, for example, is also the conjunction but. In Er ist Amerikaner, aber er spricht gut Deutsch, "He is American, but he speaks German well," aber is a conjunction connecting two sentences. But in Er spricht aber gut Deutsch!, the aber is a particle, with the sentence perhaps best translated as "What good German he speaks!" These particles are common in speech but rarely found in written language, except that which has a spoken quality (such as online messaging).
Turkish particles have no meaning alone; among other words, it takes part in the sentence. In some sources, exclamations and conjunctions are also considered Turkish particles. In this article, exclamations and conjunctions will not be dealt with, but only Turkish particles. The main particles used in Turkish are:
- ancak[note 1]
- başka, another
- beri, since
- bir, one
- bir tek, only
- dair, regarding
- doğru, right
- değil, not
- değin, mention
- denli, as much
- dek, until
- dolayı, due
- diye, so
- evvel, before
- gayri, informal
- gibi, like
- göre, by
- için, for
- ile, with[note 2]
- kadar, until
- karşı, against
- karşın, Although or despite
- mukabil, corresponding
- önce, prior to
- ötürü, due to
- öte, beyond
- rağmen, despite
- sadece, only
- sanki, as if
- sonra, then
- sıra, row
- üzere, to
- yalnız, alone
Particles can be used with the simple form of the names to which they are attached or in other cases. Some of particles uses with attached form, and some particles are always used after the relevant form. For examples, "-den ötürü", "-e dek", "-den öte", "-e doğru":
- Bu çiçekleri annem için alıyorum. ("anne" is nominatif)
- Yarına kadar bu ödevi bitirmem lazım. (datif)
- Düşük notlarından ötürü çok çalışman gerekiyor. (ablatif )
Turkish particles according to their functions. Başka, gayrı, özge using for other, another, otherwise, new, diverse, either
- Senden gayrı kimsem yok. No one other than you.
- Yardım istemekten başka çaremiz kalmadı. We have no choice but to ask for help.
Göre, nazaran, dâir, rağmen using for by, in comparison, about, despite.
- Çok çalışmama rağmen sınavda hedeflediğim başarıyı yakalayamadım.
- Duyduğuma göre bitirme sınavları bir hafta erken gerçekleşecekmiş.
- Şirketteki son değişikliklere dâir bilgi almak istiyorum.
İçin, üzere, dolayı, ötürü, nâşi, diye using for bFor, with, because, because of, how.
- Açılış konuşmasını yapmak üzere kürsüye çıktı.
- Bu raporu bitirebilmek için zamana ihtiyacım var.
- Kardeşim hastalığından nâşi gelemedi.
Japanese and Korean
The term particle is often used in descriptions of Japanese and Korean, where they are used to mark nouns according to their grammatical case or thematic relation in a sentence or clause. Linguistic analyses describe them as suffixes, clitics, or postpositions. There are sentence-tagging particles such as Japanese and Chinese question markers.
Polynesian languages are almost devoid of inflection, and use particles extensively to indicate mood, tense, and case. Suggs, discussing the deciphering of the rongorongo script of Easter Island, describes them as all-important. In Māori for example, the versatile particle "e" can signal the imperative mood, the vocative case, the future tense, or the subject of a sentence formed with most passive verbs. The particle "i" signals the past imperfect tense, the object of a transitive verb or the subject of a sentence formed with "neuter verbs" (a form of passive verb), as well as the prepositions in, at and from.
In Tokelauan, ia is used when describing personal names, month names, and nouns used to describe a collaborative group of people participating in something together. It also can be used when a verb does not directly precede a pronoun to describe said pronouns. Its use for pronouns is optional but mostly in this way. Ia cannot be used if the noun it is describing follows any of the prepositions e, o, a, or ko. A couple of the other ways unrelated to what is listed above that ia is used is when preceding a locative or place name. However, if ia is being used in this fashion, the locative or place name must be the subject of the sentence. Another particle in Tokelauan is a, or sometimes ā. This article is used before a person's name as well as the names of months and the particle a te is used before pronouns when these instances are following the prepositions i or ki. Ia te is a particle used if following the preposition mai.
- Nobiliary particle
- Ilocano particles
- Okinawan particles
- Proto-Indo-European particles
- Uninflected word
- used with "Ama, fakat, lakin" (but).
- used with "Ve" (and)
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