I was trying to make a Japanese sentence using て form to make a sentence that "Describes the manner in which the second verb is performed". While making my sentence I ran into a snag. Here what I was trying to say

I will study for the test by reading my textbook

and here is what I have written for the sentence so far:

[教科書]{きょうかしょ}を 読{よ}んで、 テスト [勉強]{べんきょう}します

the ? is for the fact that I'm not sure what particle I would put in to show, for lack of a better word, "for". I know for in the Japanese language has many different definitions but I'm just wondering about this specific scenario. I'm pretty sure it's between を, に, or maybe even て form, but I'm unsure which exactly it might be. Any help with this as always is appreciated and if you see anything else wrong with the sentence let me know. (looking at you よんで/よんでいる)


There are specific phrases for this, テスト勉強 and 試験勉強 (preparation for a test/exam). The most common wording in this situation would be:

  • 教科書を読んで試験勉強をします。
  • 教科書を読んでテスト勉強をします。

See this question about the difference between 試験 and テスト. If you don't know whether you need を after 勉強, see this question.

If you want to use some particle between 試験 and 勉強, you can also say:

  • 教科書を読んでテスト勉強をします。
  • 教科書を読んでテストのために勉強をします。

But I think the latter is too wordy and not used commonly.

You may think that テストの勉強 is ambiguous and can mean "the study about the examination itself (ie, the history of examination)". But don't worry, テストの勉強 is almost always understood as preparation for an exam.

  • You said the most common wording was 教科書を読んで試験勉強をします or 教科書を読んでテスト勉強をします。 and then went on to add that you can also use the particles の and のために to say the same thing but it sounded like the particles were optional. In the link you posted about を after 勉強 it said that 試験勉強をします is used with adjectives. So then is テスト in 教科書を読んでテスト勉強をします。 being used as a adjective here with the の being omitted? – Nate Oct 20 '15 at 20:56
  • Perhaps so, but let's simply think of テスト勉強 as an established one word in this case. To you, "summer vacation" is almost like one word and you don't usually have to seriously think what is omitted inside it, right? – naruto Oct 21 '15 at 0:01
  • Ah, I see now, looks like I may have over thought that just a bit. – Nate Oct 21 '15 at 1:15

It's not just a particle that is missing.

ために means for (the purpose of)

きょうかしょを よんで、テストのためにべんきょうします

のために is linked together with the noun that stay in front of it, in your case テスト. Some other examples:

笑顔のために -> For your smile

私のために -> For me

何のために? -> What for/Why?

You could however use a verb too in front of this expression but you have to drop the first の.

生きるために -> In order to live


Somewhat related to this, to convey that an action is done in preparation of something else (unspecified), 「〜ておく」can be used. In particular, though the nuance is different, you might say

  • 明日テストがあるので、今晩は勉強しておくつもりです。

(There is a test tomorrow, so this evening I plan to study [in preparation for it].)

Without the first clause, there is an implied reason that you are studying in preparation of, so if the fact that there is a test is already in the context of the conversation, you don't need to repeat it.

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