topic with postposition

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Senior Member
English / Chinese
In another forum, someone said that the topic in the sentence "トムには本をあげた" is "トムに".

I just want to confirm, is "トム" the topic or "トムに" ?

Must topics be nouns?
  • xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Some people do say トムに is the topic because of the は after it, and トムには is not the same as トムは.
    However, bear in mind that other people may not consider トムには as the topic, but as the contrast of the sentence. Here you're entering a messy controversy... :)

    PS: I forgot to mention another controversy, more relevant to your question: in discussing the topic/ contrast matter, some people (= not all) do conveniently ignore the postposition に/ で/ まで/ から/ etc... after the noun.
    Last edited:
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