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The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb. and Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle? are noted as possible duplicates; however, I haven't seen an analogous structure. The examples I have seen use a verb on the right-hand side, rather than an adjectivial noun.

Please compare two sentences:




Both are correct, right? Is このかばん emphasized in the sooner sentence and すき emphasized in the latter sentences? Or are these sentences completely the same? Or is there something else going on?

Please, feel free to just explain the difference. Thank you.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

In this case, 好き is a na-adjective, and the situation is different from potential verbs, which optionally allow accusative case marker . In order to have a noun phrase marked as accusative case, there has to be a transitive verb. In the expression このかはんを好きです, there is no transitive verb that can assign accusative case, and so it is ungrammatical.

× このかばんを好きです

However, if the relavant part is embedded as a subordinate clause of a transive verb, then you can use . In the example below, 思う has the ability to assign accusative case, and since it does not have its own direct object, and hence has not used up this ability, it can assign accusative case to the object このかばん of the subordinate clause.


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Sawa, I can see that を indicates an accusative case, but が seems to do the same thing. Can you tell me what case the same sentence using が would indicate? – Wolfpack'08 Oct 15 '11 at 5:51
@Wolfpack'08 is usually considered the nominative case (although there are also claims that it is sometimes a focus particle). Japanese is known to be able to have multiple nominative phrases in one clause, so having is not a problem. – user458 Oct 15 '11 at 5:58
So を is 'I think I like this bag,' and が is 'This bag is what I like, I think.' – Wolfpack'08 Oct 15 '11 at 6:05
Anyway, even if the translation is junk, great answer. – Wolfpack'08 Oct 15 '11 at 6:06
@Wolfpack'08 You may take it that way. (But 'he likes this bag') – user458 Oct 15 '11 at 6:07


を is used here to avoid repetition of が.

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