Direct Object? No Object? Objections?

I am still looking for language exchange partners.  I went to a website and sent our eight or ten invitations.  So far I have gotten three responses.  The first one said:  Thank you for your message.

Okay.  Not helpful, but polite, I guess.

The second one was from a guy who was willing to at least exchange some emails.  Good, as far as it goes.  Hopefully we can meet up on Skype for some actual conversation, though.

The third was from a guy who sent me a long and completely accurate message in English.  This is actually disappointing to me.  I would rather talk with someone whose English is somewhat limited.  This gentleman doesn’t sound like he needs the slightest bit of help with English.

(Now, it could be that he writes English well but doesn’t speak it well, I suppose.  Such things have been known to happen.)

Now, in contradiction of what I just wrote, I also sent invitations to two people who are Japanese but are now living in the U.S.  Surely they don’t need a lot of help from some random guy on Skype since they can practice English all the livelong day.  I contacted them, though, just for the convenience of chatting with someone who is in my timezone.

Time will tell how it all works out.

This week it is Chapter 29 of みんなの日本語, which is mostly about transitive and intransitive verb forms and, also, some new uses for ていますand a few other little details.

The transitive vs intransitive things is complicated – a transitive verb requires a direct object (I opened the door) while an intransitive verb does not take a direct object (The door opened).

Wait…those are written exactly the same…

Well, yeah, in English.  Not so much in Japanese, but the changes are small:  開けます vs  開きます.  ke become ki.  Easy to see when written, perhaps less easy to hear, and there are a few other change patterns, depending on the verbs.

It sounds like something that it’s easy to get confused with, don’t you think?


Well, my Cafetalk lesson isn’t until Saturday, so I’ve got time.

If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this post, perhaps you’d be willing to suffer just a bit more and answer a question.  If you are studying Japanese, what’s the most confusing thing about it to you so far>

Just curious.



One thought on “Direct Object? No Object? Objections?

  1. I’m not too far in my quest to master Japanese, but so far I think the hardest part is simply creating sentences in the way that a Japanese person would create them. There are always technically “valid” ways of saying something, but even if they’re valid it doesn’t mean a Japanese person would naturally think to say them that way. I think the only cure for this is immersion.

    As for the actual grammar itself, I’ve always been intimidated by the different kinds of sentence endings / when to use them. E.g. ending a sentence in の or ぞ. I think part of the reason I find it difficult is because a lot of them are tied to slang, dialects, and attitudes, all of which are numerous and nuanced.

    I remember when I first started out I was kind of baffled by what seemed to me like totally inexplicable differences in usage between the は and が particles. To me they seemed to be in most cases interchangeable, and I found out the hard way that that’s definitely not true. I’ve learned to think of が as putting emphasis on the subject of a sentence, whereas は (in addition to technically NEVER marking the subject) emphasises whatever comes after it, usually the predicate. It still gives me trouble sometimes, but I wish someone had explained it to me when I was first starting out.


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