Word Order of Japanese Sentences

Japanese, like Korean, always has verb at the end of a sentence.

For a simple English sentence, you would say

Tom eats apple.
subject + verb + object

But in Japanese, the word order for this sentence could be:

Tom eats apple.
Tom (topic particle) apple (object particle) eats.

Although less common to swap the position of subject and object, the following sentence is still grammatically correct:

Tom eats apple.
Apple (object particle) Tom (topic particle) eats.

You can see that particles are used to identify whether Tom or Apple is the subject of the sentence.

A complete Japanese sentence may simply be a single verb. It could have different meanings under difference circumstances, as the subject is not specified.

It could mean I am going, He is going, They are going etc, depending on the context of discussion.

Related Grammar Points