I'm learning Japanese and one point that confuses me is the use of particles. For this example, if I want to express 'I like you', which one should I use?

Grammatically, 'あなたをすき' seems to be the right one, but some people say they will consider 'あなたはすき' more idiomatic in speech. I understand the latter one could stand for 'for you, I like', but it could also be interpreted as 'you, like (it)' (think of 'あなたはねこをすき'). These two ways of interpreting 'は' seem to have completely different meanings.

Is my understanding of the uses of those particles correct? I'd like to hear more discussion on that.

  • 1
    Please see: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/3473/… – virmaior May 5 '15 at 9:45
  • @virmaior I see. So the fundamental point is that 好き is not a verb but an adjective right? – Shou Ya May 5 '15 at 9:50
  • 1
    I wrote something related, though it doesn't really answer this question: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/21575/… By the way, although people do use を with すき these days, the traditionally accepted form is with が, not を. – snailplane May 5 '15 at 10:32
  • 1
    IMO を好き is fine in a modifying clause, ok with modal predicates (i.e. not indicative), unnatural with past indicative, very unnatural with present indicative. – user4092 May 5 '15 at 11:23
  • 1
    IMO, ◯◯を好きなこと is fine, ◯◯を好きだろう。 is ok, ◯◯を好きだった。is a little unnatural, ◯◯を好きだ。is very unnatural. Impression-wise, が = the one who controls, を = the one who is controled. – user4092 May 6 '15 at 1:18