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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?

3
  • Very common: 素晴らしい一年を! Jun 16, 2011 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). Jun 16, 2011 at 12:42
  • Two very common set phrases which end with particles: こんにちは and こんばんは Jun 17, 2011 at 8:29

2 Answers 2

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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.

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  • Wow is there any part of a Japanese sentence you can't leave out? (-: Jun 15, 2011 at 14:39
  • Generally speaking: No. :)
    – Kdansky
    Jun 15, 2011 at 14:44
  • 4
    It's like Japanese color-by-numbers: the outline is there, but you have to pick your own verb to finish the picture. Jun 15, 2011 at 14:47
  • 9
    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, 2011 at 17:26
  • 1
    Wow, cool, but could please explain, from which verb the あらんこと part comes from, or what would be full form? (I can't find a translation of that part anywhere). Thanks!
    – Quit007
    Aug 13, 2018 at 16:52
8

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…"

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  • Would that apply in a case like this since を is between two nouns? 今も憶えているのあなた旅立つ日に見た夢涙つたうあなたの頬 手を伸ばすと 闇の中消えた. Source: link
    – A.T.A.
    Jan 22, 2023 at 2:52
  • It's not the end of the sentence, but a swap of propositions. "The dream you saw, do you remember it?"
    – Axioplase
    Feb 3, 2023 at 16:04

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