Sorry...no Notes exist yet for this entry... [ Add Note(s) ]
Particles used with verbs
In this section we will learn some new particles which will be essential for
verbs. Basically, we will learn how to specify the direct object of a verb and
the location where a verb takes place (either physical or abstract).
The direct object 「を」 particle
The first particle we will learn is the object particle because it is a very straightforward particle. The 「を」 character is attached to
the end of a word to signify that that word is the direct object of the verb. This character is essentially never used anywhere else. That is why the
katakana equivalent 「ヲ」 is almost never used since particles are always written in hiragana. The 「を」 character, while technically pronounced
as /wo/ essentially sounds like /o/ in real speech. Here are some examples of the direct object particle in action.
（１） 魚を食べる。- Eat fish.
（２） ジュースを飲んだ。- Drank juice.
Though it may not seem like the direct object we're familiar with in English, places can be the direct object of motion verbs such as 「歩く」 and 「走る」.
Since the motion verb is done to the location, the concept of direct object is the same in Japanese. However as you can see by the examples, in English, it often translates to
something a bit different due to the slight difference in the concept of direct object.
（３） 街をぶらぶら歩く。- Aimlessly walk through town. (Lit: Aimlessly walk town)
（４） 高速道路を走る。 - Run through expressway. (Lit: Run expressway)
When you use 「する」 with a noun, the 「を」 particle is optional and you can treat the whole [noun+する] as one verb.
（１） 毎日、日本語を勉強する。- Study Japanese everyday.
（２） メールアドレスを登録した。- Registered email address.
The target 「に」 particle
The 「に」 particle can specify a target of a verb. This is different from the 「を」 particle in which the verb does something to the direct object.
With the 「に」 particle, the verb does something toward the word associated with the 「に」 particle. For example, the target of any motion verb
is specified by the 「に」 particle.
（１） ボブは日本に行った。- Bob went to Japan.
（２） 家に帰らない。- Not go back home.
（３） 部屋にくる。- Come to room.
Since the motion verb 'to come' doesn't target toward but rather from, using 「に」 would mean "come to". If you want to say, "come from" instead you
would need to use 「から」 (which means "from") instead of 「に」. It is also often paired
with 「まで」, which means 'up to'.
（１） アリスは、アメリカからきた。 - Alice came from America.
（２） 宿題を今日から明日までする。- Will do homework from today to tomorrow.
The idea of a target in Japanese is very general and is not restricted to motion verbs. For example, the location of an object is defined as the
target of the verb for existence （ある and
いる）. Time is also a common target. Here are some examples of non-motion verbs and their targets
（１） 猫は部屋にいる。- Cat is in room.
（２） 椅子が台所にあった。- Chair was in the kitchen.
（３） いい友達に会った。- Met good friend.
（４） ジムは医者になる。- Jim will become doctor.
（５） 先週に図書館に行った。- Went to library last week.
Don't forget to use 「ある」 for inanimate objects such as the chair and 「いる」 for animate objects such as the cat.
There is a slight difference in meaning between using the target particle with time and not using anything at all.
（１） 友達は、来年、日本に行く。 - Next year, friend go to Japan.
（２） 友達は、来年に日本に行く。 - Friend go to Japan next year.
The target particle makes the date a specific target emphasizing that the friend will go to Japan at that time. Without the particle, there is no
The directional 「へ」 particle
While 「へ」 is normally pronounced /he/, when it is being used as a particle, it is always pronounced /e/ （え）. The primary difference between the 「に」 and 「へ」 particle
is that 「に」 goes to a target as the final, intended destination (both physical or abstract). The 「へ」 particle, on the other hand, is used to express the fact that one is
setting out towards the direction of the target. As a result, it is only used with directional motion verbs.
It also does not guarantee whether the target is the final intended destination, only that one is heading towards that direction.
In other words, the 「に」 particle sticks to the destination while the 「へ」 particle is fuzzy about where one is ultimately headed.
For example, if we choose to replace 「に」 with 「へ」 in the first three examples of the previous section, the nuance changes slightly.
（１） ボブは日本へ行った。- Bob headed towards Japan.
（２） 家へ帰らない。- Not go back towards home to house.
（３） 部屋へくる。- Come towards room.
Note that we cannot use the 「へ」 particle with verbs that have no physical direction. For example, the following is incorrect.
（誤） 医者へなる。- （Grammatically incorrect version of 「医者になる」.）
This does not mean to say that 「へ」 cannot set out towards an
abstract concept. In fact, because of the fuzzy directional meaning of this particle, the 「へ」 particle can also be used to talk about setting out towards certain future goals or expectations.
（１） 勝ちへ向かう。 - Go towards victory.
The contextual 「で」 particle
The 「で」 particle will allow us to specify the context in which the action is performed. For example, if a person ate a fish, where did he eat it?
If a person went to school, by what means did she go? With what will you eat the soup? All of these questions can be answered with the
「で」 particle. Here are some examples.
（１） 映画館で見た。- Saw at movie theater.
（２） バスで帰る。- Go home by bus.
（３） レストランで昼ご飯を食べた。- Ate lunch at restaurant.
It may help to think of 「で」 as meaning "by way of". This way, the same meaning will kind of translate into what the sentence means. The
examples will then read: "Saw by way of movie theater", "Go home by way of bus", and "Ate lunch by way of restaurant."
Using 「で」 with 「何」
The word for "what" （何） is quite annoying because while it's usually read as 「なに」, sometimes it is read as
「なん」 depending on how it's used. And since it's always written in
Kanji, you can't tell which it is. I would suggest sticking with 「なに」 until someone corrects you for when it should be 「なん」. With the 「で」 particle, it is
read as 「なに」 as well. (Hold the mouse cursor over the word to check the reading.)
（１） 何できた？ - Came by the way of what?
（２） バスできた。 - Came by the way of bus.
Here's the confusing part. There is a colloquial version of the word "why" that is used much more often than the less colloquial version 「どうして」
or the more forceful 「なぜ」.
It is also written as 「何で」 but it is read as 「なんで」. This is a completely separate word and has nothing to do with the 「で」 particle.
（１） 何できた？ - Why did you come?
（２） 暇だから。 - Because I am free.
The 「から」 here meaning 'because' is different from the 「から」 we just learned and will be covered
while written the same way, is read differently and mean completely different things.
Don't worry. This causes less confusion than you think because 95% of the time, the
latter is used rather than the former. And even when 「なにで」 is intended, the context will leave no mistake on which one is being used. Even in this short
example snippet, you can tell which it is by looking at the answer to the question.
When location is the topic
There are times when the location of an action is also the topic of a sentence. You can attach the topic particle （「は」 and 「も」） to the three
particles that indicate location （「に」、「へ」、「で」） when the location is the topic. We'll see how location might become the topic in the following examples.
ボブ： 学校に行った？- (Did you) go to school?
アリス： 行かなかった。- Didn't go.
ボブ： 図書館には？ - What about library?
アリス： 図書館にも行かなかった。 - Also didn't go to library.
In this example, Bob brings up a new topic (library) and so the location becomes the topic. The sentence is actually an abbreviated version of
「図書館には行った？」 which you can ascertain from the context.
ボブ： どこで食べる？- Eat where?
アリス： イタリアレストランではどう？ - How about Italian restaurant?
Bob asks, "Where shall we eat?" and Alice suggests an Italian restaurant. A sentence like, "How about..." usually brings up a new topic because
the person is suggesting something new. In this case, the location (restaurant) is being suggested so it becomes the topic.
When direct object is the topic
The direct object particle is different from particles related to location in that you cannot use any other particles at the same time. For example,
going by the previous section, you might have guessed that you can say 「をは」 to express a direct object that is also the topic but this is not the
case. A topic can be a direct object without using the 「を」 particle. In fact, putting the 「を」 particle in will make it wrong.
（１） 日本語を習う。 - Learn Japanese.
（２） 日本語は、習う。 - About Japanese, (will) learn it.
Please take care to not make this mistake.
（誤） 日本語をは、習う。- This is incorrect.
Add Entry to Your Study List Choose the priority of studying you want to assign to this item from the drop-down select list
and then hit the save button. This will be used for sorting your personal study list.
If you wish to delete an entry that's already in your list, just set the difficulty to '0'