Components

Grammar detail: particle が

particle が - subject marker
315 words
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が is the subject marker. It indicates the grammatical subject of a sentence, and is placed immediately after it.
The difference between は (the topic marker) and が (the subject marker) can be tricky, because in English, 'subject' and 'topic' are often synonymous, and the translations of sentences which use one or the other may be identical. Often either は or が may be used in a given context. The key difference is that が puts emphasis on the subject, so it is used to indicate that something in particular is the subject, whereas は simply indicates that something is being discussed.
Consider the following examples:
これあなたです
Is this yours?
これあなたです
Is this one yours?
The use of が in the second sentence indicates that 'this thing in particular' is the subject of the sentence - as in, 'is this one yours (and not that one)?'.
Here are a few more illustrations showing how が is appropriate when we are describing a specific item:
かあ
さん
せつめい
説明
わかりやすかった
Mom's explanation was easy to understand.
あか
ギター
おと
かった

The red guitar sounded good.
みぎ
あし
いた
です
My right leg hurts.
In many situations the 'topic' and the 'subject' are the same thing in a sentence. However, this is not necessarily the case, and if they are different we use the topic particle は to denote the topic, and the subject marker が to denote the subject. Let's look at a few examples to illustrate:
わたし
くも
こわ
です
I'm afraid of spiders.
わたし
さかな
おい
美味
しい
おも
います

I think fish are tasty.
バスケ
たの
しい

Basketball is fun.
かのじょ
彼女
おお
きい
です
She has big eyes.
テスト
むずか
しかった

The test was hard.
In practice, when you are referring to yourself - in other words the topic is 私は - it can be omitted entirely. The topic (and topic marker) would typically be omitted whenever it is obvious from the context - for more information, see 'I' omission.
The distinction between は and が is one of the hardest things for a new Japanese learner to master. However, in real life, choosing the wrong particle rarely make a sentence incomprehensible, so don't worry about it too much! As your Japanese progresses, you will develop a 'feel' for the right choice.
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Kanji used in this grammar

シ   わたくし    わたし I, myself   
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ボ   はは mother   
セツ   ゼイ   と to explain, persuade   
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メイ   ミョウ   あかり light   あかるい bright   あかるむ to brighten   あからむ to become luminous (at dawn)   あきらか obvious   あかす to lay bare   あ to open   あける to empty   
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セキ   シャク   あか    あか red   あからむ to turn red   あからめる to blush   
オン   イン   sound   おと    ね    
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リョウ   よ good   
ウ   ユウ   みぎ right   
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ソク   あし foot; leg   た to add   た    たりる to be sufficient   
ツウ   いた painful   いた to hurt, be painful   いためる to hurt, damage   
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フ   こわ frightening   
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ギョ   さかな    うお fish   
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ビ   うつくしい beautiful   
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ミ   あじ taste   あじわう to taste   
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シ   おも to think   
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ガク   ラク    music   たのしい happy, pleasant   たのしむ to be happy   
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ヒ   かれ he   
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ジョ   ニョ   ニョウ   woman; female   おんな woman   め woman   
ボク   モク   eye   ま-    め    
ダイ   タイ   おおきい big   おおいに very much   おお-    
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ナン   むずかしい difficult   かた hard   
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