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I've learned that when you want to express "to come out of something without obvious boundary" , it's better to replace を with から.

For examples:

  • あちらから出てきた人は誰ですか。 (を should not be used here, because you can't describe what's the exact boundary of "あちら", it's just an invisible, abstract concept)
  • 太陽は東から昇る。 (を should not be used here, because you can't describe what's the exact boundary of "東", it's just an invisible, abstract concept)

Is this theory correct? When yes, would you please kindly explain why? Thanks a lot!

1 Answer 1

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Let me think, I'm not 100% certain where you are coming from, but...

Typically, the word corresponding to English "From" is, by default, から。

I assume the usage of を you reference is something like,

彼は九州大学を出た。 (literal) He exited from Kyushu University (which is..) He is a graduate of Kyusyu University.

...is that right? In that case から is wrong, because it's not about direction, it's not about point-of-origin.

Let me list cases where から is appopriate,

3から5までの整数 (Integers from 3 to 5) 太陽は東から昇る。(The Sun rises from the East) 先生から叱られる。(Scolded by the teacher) 子供のころから甘いのが好き。(Got sweet teeth since childhood)

You see the pattern, から is like "From" in that it specifies point-of-origin, where something started, a start of a range, the direction it came from.

Not sure where you thought "を" can be used in these places, but for example,

太陽は東を昇る。

...sounds wrong to me. Sorry it's subjective, but as a native speaker it just plain sounds wrong to me. People are of course entitled to their opinion on this. That said, it could be a shortened form of:

太陽は東の空を昇る。

The sun rises in(via) the skies of the East.

in the same usage as

このバスは東名高速道路を通る。

This bus service is via TouMei Expressway.

To summarize my answer to you: から is primarily "From" specifying point of origin, whereas を, among several usages, can be "via" specifying the route.

Does this help??? Sorry I'm not a linguist, just a passer by native speaker trying to help.

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