Grammar notes: the を particle

Grammar notes: the を particle .

The を is one of the most important particles in Japanese. It’s written using the hiragana を (which it’s not used to write any other word). This particle has many different applications. Let’s see them, shall we?

  1. Indicates direct object : an object or subject is the target of an action. For example:

てんぷら ()べる

Tenpura o taberu

I eat tempura

日本語(にほんご) 勉強(べんきょう)する

Nihongo o benky ō suru

I study Japanese

アニメ ()

Anime o miru

I watch anime.

  1. Indicates an area traversed : a place is traversed by the subject. This goes with verbs that demonstrate some kind of motion, like ()tobu (to fly), (はし)hashiru (to run), (およ)oyogu (to swim), ()iku (to go), among others.

公園(こうえん) 散歩(さんぽ)する

K ōen o samposuru

I take a walk around the park.

廊下(ろうか) (はし)

R ōka o hashiru

I run through the hallway.

(とり)(そら) ()んでいる

Tori wa sora o tonde iru

The birds are flying through the sky.

  1. Indicates point of departure or separation of action: the subject walks away from a place, object or another subject.

(くるま) ()りる

Kuruma o oriru

To get off a car

コーヒーショップ ()

K ōhii shoppu o deta

I left the coffee shop.

  1. Indicates subject of causative expression: this is used to indicate the subject of a coercion or a permission.

(はは)(わたし) スーパーに()かせた

Haha wa watashi o s ūpā ni ikaseta

My mother made me go to the supermarket.

課長(かちょう)社員(しゃいん) (はや)(かえ)らせた

Kachō wa shain o hayaku kaeraseta

The boss let the employees return their homes earlier.

  1. Indicates period of time in which action takes place :

() ()ぎると、私達(わたしたち)(ばん)(はん)()(はじ)めた

7 ji o sugiru to, watashi-tachi wa bangohan o tabehajimeta.

After 7:00, we started to have dinner.

As you can see in the last sentence, there are two を: the first one indicates the period of time and the second one the direct object.

I hope you find these examples and explanations useful for your study along Lingopie. See you next time!

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