The を particle

Mark direct objects and locations to pass/leave

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Outline

KanjiVocabularyThe を particle

Kanji

Fire

Street, Moral, Journey

Fish

Walk

Run

Vocabulary

サッカー

Soccer, Football

花火

Fireworks

Road, Path

出る

To leave, To exit

Fish

歩く

To walk

走る

To run

The を particle

The (pronounced as ) particle has two main uses: to indicate the direct object of a sentence, and to mark a location to pass or leave.

Direct objects

In linguistic terms, an object is a noun or phrase that is affected by or involved in the action/event of a verb. In the sentence "I will eat fish", fish is a noun which is affected by the verb (eat) and is therefore an object. A direct object answers the question of "what" or "who" in a sentence. In the sentence above, fish is also the direct object of the sentence.

In English, a direct object comes after a verb. In the sentence "I will eat fish", the direct object (fish) comes after the verb (eat). In Japanese, a direct object comes instantly before the particle and is followed by the verb. In the sentence "さかなべます", the direct object (さかな) comes before the verb (べます). Let's take a look at some more examples below:

  • わたし花火はなびます。
  • I will watch the fireworks.
  • さかなべます。
  • I will eat fish.
  • サッカーをします。
  • I will play soccer.

Locations to pass/leave

Another way to use the particle is to mark a location to pass/leave.

Location to pass

  • おおきいみちあるきます。
  • I will walk on a big road.
  • あめなかはしります。
  • I will run in the rain.

The particle can be used to identify the physical location to pass such as in the first example sentence. can also be used to express a continuing period of time such as in the second example.

Location to leave

  • いえます。
  • I will leave home.
  • 学校がっこうやすみます。
  • I will take a day off school.

The particle is used to show a physical location to leave, such as a house. It can also be used to mark organisations to leave permanently or temporarily.

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