Okay, instead of just translating stuff, let's actually learn to understand~ ;D
So, my question...
What is the difference in using か (ga) and は (h/wa) ?
How would you know when to use か instead of は when forming a sentence?
I know that は in used to indicate the topic we're talking about, so when / why is か used when forming a sentence?
Okay! So on top of everyone else's answers, I'm throwing in what I learned from some books on Japanese grammar that were actually written in Japanese for Japanese students about this whole 「が」 and 「は」 issue. Because it's a really hard topic that even Japanese people can't really explain off the top of their heads to foreigners.
Some quotes (and their translations) from the book for you:
"ga" is used in cases when one wants to express a temporary
phenomenon or condition.
"ha" (pronounced "wa") is used in cases when one wants to express a general
property or condition.
海が青い。 The sea is blue.
風がすずしい。 The wind is cool.
雪は白い。 Snow is white.
氷は冷たい。 Ice is cold.
山がきれいだ。 The mountain is pretty.
努力が大切だ。 Putting in effort is important.
車は便利だ。 Cars are convenient/handy.
So in the examples, things that are described with "ha" are more or less generally accepted to be as they have been described. Snow is white. Ice is cold. Cars are convenient/handy. Maybe if you're from Antarctica you may not find ice as cold as the rest of us, and maybe if you can teleport from place to place, cars may not be convenient for you, but in general
these things are accepted to be true, and therefore are described with "ha."
Things described with "ga" are more temporary
, as in they could change in a few days or even a few hours, depending on when you said it, and even depending on who said it. So in the morning, the sea could be blue, but at night, when it's not reflecting the sky, it would be black which is why "ga" is used in that sentence. The mountain is pretty now, but in a few days when winter sets in, it will be barren. Putting in effort is important now to me, but in a few days when I don't have a deadline or a competition, it may not be important to me anymore. And on that note, maybe I think it's important, but you might not. This is why "ga" is used in those sentences above.
In the example on the other page that cyclo posted, if you are stating the fact that you are a student, the rest of the world will accept that fact and believe that you are a student. "Watashi ha gakusei desu (私は学生です）." Even though you may not be a student for forever, the fact is is that for a period of however long, you will be a student and it's not going to change right away (in general - we'll disregard students who say they are students when they are about to graduate in a day or something). For "Watashi ga gakusei desu （私が学生です）," as explained by the website, you are most likely responding to something that someone asked, and therefore, you would only be THAT SPECIFIC student that the person is asking about for a temporary amount of time. Two days later, he could be asking about a different student. Which is where the "ga" and "ha" differentiation comes in.
The important verbs that more or less always use "ga" also describe temporary things. "Suki (好き） - to like," "kirai (嫌い） - to hate" "iru (居る） - to be/to exist (living/animate things)" "aru (ある) - to be/to exist/to have (non-living/inanimate things)" You can like one thing one second and hate it the next. A person can be next to you one second and then not be there the next.
It's a hard topic to understand and I mess them up all the time still (I heard that even Japanese people sometimes mess them up), but I hope this helped you understand "ga" and "ha" a little more than you did before
What happens to a verb when you attach its polite 'base' to the suffix -kirenai 切れない？
待ち切れない tachikirenai 'Tachi' comes from 'tatsu' for 'cut'
断ち切れない machikirenai 'Machi' comes from 'matsu' for 'wait'
I know that 「切れない」 on its own means 'not cut' but when you combine the words as above I'm all confused.....
You switched your kanji around (I got really confused for a second lol); the top one is "machikirenai" and the bottom one is "tachikirenai" but anyway...
「切れない」 when attached to the "stem/base (whatever you wanna call it)" form of verbs means that whatever verb you were doing was "too much/too many/too long/too burdensome to finish or complete." So 待ち切れない (machikirenai) is translated as "I can't wait!" (either in a good meaning or a bad meaning). It's basically expressing that there's too much time left
so you can't wait （待ち） any longer
. 断ち切れない (tachikirenai) would be translated as "I can't cut them off/I can't break this off!" in terms of enemies that can't be cut off （断ち）
because there are too many of them
, or a relationship that is in too deep
so you can't break it off （断ち） anymore
. Another example would be 数え切れない (kazoekirenai) which is translated as "countless" which is basically, there are too many to count （数え）
Hope that helped.