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When you want to associate a noun を します action (what English-speakers would call "verbing a noun") with a specific noun, what particles are used and where?

For example, if I was saying "I study", you could say 勉強{べんきょう}をします. But if you were wanting to say what you're studying, would you move the particle を, so that it'd be 日本語を[勉強]{べんきょう}します, or would you keep the particle を, and add a の between the additional noun and the verbed noun, so that it'd be 日本語の[勉強]{べんきょう}をします?

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勉強をします = I study, 勉強をしています = I am studying – user458 Dec 26 '11 at 17:03
@sawa. alternate translations I would like to suggest for the betterment of my own understanding = 勉強をします = I will study, 勉強をしています= I study – yadokari Dec 26 '11 at 17:45
@yadokari Non-past tense does not always mean future as you expressed using will (although that is possible). It also has habitual interpretation: いつも勉強します 'I study everyday.' And your 勉強をしています= I study is wrong. – user458 Dec 26 '11 at 19:09
i understand what you mean, but i think "I am studying Japanese twice a week for an hour whenever I have time." is ungrammatical english. the only reason i brought up the possibilities of other translations was because of what i have learned on this site. I would have supplied your original translations without hesitation half a year ago. (now I am just not sure) – yadokari Dec 26 '11 at 21:05

2 Answers 2

As common as nounする is, する verbs all decided. In the case of nounする it can be considered as a single word, not as 2 words.

That is to say that you can't just take any noun and add する to make it a verb, only some nouns work like this.

To be clear 勉強する is a verb on it's own.

However pretty much any word with an action/verbal component can be made into a verb by using をする. Since 日本語の勉強 is a noun, but not a noun on the list of する verbs, you must use をする.

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Some nouns can be transformed into verbs by adding をする.
The resulting verbs can be transitive (e.g. 勉強をする, to study) or intransitive (e.g. 旅行をする, to travel). If you specify a direct object for the resulting verb, you have to have identify it with を, so you have to remove the other を before する (because only one direct object per verb is possible).

Wrong: スペイン語を勉強しています

If you don't use direct object for the resulting verb, you can keep or drop を before する at will.

Right: 毎日勉強しています = 毎日勉強をしています
Right: 旅行したい = 旅行をしたい

Constructions like 英語の勉強をする = 英語の勉強する are grammatically correct, but rarely used.

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1. If a noun takes をする, then is it not (transformed into) a verb; it is a phrase. 2. If you mean by "transitive", that the suru-noun takes an object, then 旅行する is no different from 勉強する. I.e., エジプトを旅行する. So your differentiation between them is wrong. 3. 英語の勉強をする is not rare. – user458 Jan 30 '12 at 23:53
@sawa 1.Name remains name but whole construction acts as verb. 2.Transitive means that verb can take a direct object. In your example エジプト is not direct object. Particle を has several uses, not only to mark direct object. It is also used to indicate area traversed (e.g. 公園を散歩する) or leaving place (e.g 車を降りる). Construction "旅行する" (to travel) can not take direct object. 3.After googling, I admit 英語の勉強をする is quite used. – Carlos Jan 31 '12 at 21:35
Carlos: I see. So you are a genius. – user458 Jan 31 '12 at 22:26

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