Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I thought the character "を" (wo) was only used for the particle whose only job was to indicate the direct object of a verb.

But today I saw it at the end of an exclamation on a sign I think on a shop:

西部に活力を!!

So what job is を doing here?

share|improve this question
    
Very common: 素晴らしい一年を! –  Nicolas Raoul Jun 16 '11 at 4:03
    
@Nicolas: A set phrase at the end of year is 良いお年を (よいおとしを), which can also be said as 良いお年をお迎えください (よいおとしをおむかえください) (I wish you a happy new year). –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 16 '11 at 12:42
    
Two very common set phrases which end with particles: こんにちは and こんばんは –  Garrett Albright Jun 17 '11 at 8:29
    
を is not an article. In fact, Japanese does not have an article. –  sawa Sep 14 '11 at 4:20
    
@sawa: Oh that's a typo for "particle" and I can't believe it's been there so long without being spotted! Thanks. –  hippietrail Sep 14 '11 at 7:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

It's still the object marker. The sentence is just not finished and the verb is implied.

(there was a question mentioning suspended sentences but I cannot find it for the moment)

Anyway it's often used:

フォースと共(とも)にあらんことを

May the force be with you!

Additionally it gives some kind of propaganda feeling to the sentence.

share|improve this answer
    
Wow is there any part of a Japanese sentence you can't leave out? (-: –  hippietrail Jun 15 '11 at 14:39
    
Generally speaking: No. :) –  Kdansky Jun 15 '11 at 14:44
1  
It's like Japanese color-by-numbers: the outline is there, but you have to pick your own verb to finish the picture. –  Derek Schaab Jun 15 '11 at 14:47
3  
Sentences ending with just を are very often interpreted in the meaning of wishing something to someone else, and I don't think anybody tries to fill in the verb for that, so perhaps you can say this specific を is quite stand-alone. –  Boaz Yaniv Jun 15 '11 at 17:26

It's just an ellipsis of the verb. It happens too with other particles, for example, you have "復興へ!" (towards reconstruction!) here and there in the Tohoku area.

I think that it is mostly used in an incentive context, to express "let's all…"

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.