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. – snailcar 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? – Kenneth Wyatt 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? – Kenneth Wyatt 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. – snailcar Mar 15 '15 at 14:37

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


protected by Community Mar 18 '15 at 4:07

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.