I had always been told this never happened. I was a little skeptical, but since I never saw a sentence with two of the particle, I gradually came to accept that it was probably true.

Well ironically, in the DoBJG, where I'm pretty sure I've also read the above factoid, I've encountered this sentence:


So I'm wondering if this is a mistake, or a weird exception, or if this "rule" I've heard is simply misleading or outright fallacious, and if so, when is it okay to use multiple wo particles in a sentence.


  • Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/a/16289 – senshin Mar 15 '15 at 4:34
  • It is SO common that I wonder why anyone would teach you otherwise. – l'électeur Mar 15 '15 at 6:08
  • DoBJG actually says more than once in a clause. (p.348) There are very few exceptions, though Martin discusses some examples on pages 255-256 of his 1975 Reference Grammar of Japanese. – snailplane Mar 15 '15 at 14:35

This is a simple case of subclauses - you've still got one を per clause:


靴 is the object of 履かず, 道 is the object* of 歩けます.

*Depending on your interpretation of を with what you would think are intransitive verbs. You can read more about these sorts of cases here: It seems that 渡る is categorized as 自動詞 (intransitive verb), yet it is frequently used with を. Why?

  • But I thought that subclauses don't change this. Or is that only nominalised sentences that don't change it? – NinKenDo Mar 15 '15 at 3:14
  • You mean, you understand the rule to be one を per sentence, regardless of subclauses? That's definitely not the case. It's kind of the case with は - you're not suppose to have any in subclauses, though you're allowed multiple は's as long as they're in the main clause. – Sjiveru Mar 15 '15 at 3:17
  • Yes, that's how I understood it. So wait, does that mean you can have an wo in a nominalised sentence, or is that still off limits for some reason? – NinKenDo Mar 15 '15 at 3:20
  • Nope, that's fine - 映画を見るのが好き is perfectly valid. You can't use it with just a straight 連用形 (eg 走り, 見), but those are much closer to derived nouns than nominalised verbs anyway. – Sjiveru Mar 15 '15 at 3:26
  • 1
    Contrastive は is possible in subordinate clauses. – snailplane Mar 15 '15 at 14:37

I think the reason here is that those two を apply to two different verbs.


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