From what my test book says in the vocab section the verb かきます usually takes the particles を for things and に for people. I'm pretty sure that you would use を like this.

ともだちに てがみを かきました - I wrote a letter to a friend/friends

So then I guess my question would be then for に would I just make the sentence like this?

ともだちに かきました - I wrote to a friend/friends(?)

  • 1
    That is correct.
    – tomi
    Sep 9, 2015 at 4:00
  • 5
    If I heard you just say "友達に書きました", I would want to ask "何を?" You would say 友達に書きました when responding to a question like 誰に手紙を書いたんですか?
    – chocolate
    Sep 9, 2015 at 5:41

1 Answer 1


Just a precision, I don't think the distinction is really between things and people and it's not related to the verb 書く either, it's just about the meaning of を and に.

The particle を marks the direct object in this case. Therefore it follows what you write.

The particle に marks the point of arrival/goal of an action/recipient of something in this case. Therefore it follows the recipient of the letter.

政府に手紙を書いた。 I wrote a letter to the governement.

For the rest, see the comments below your question.

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