in the quote "you, help me" why do i have to use を and not が

IE: あなたは、私を助けて!instead of あなたは、私がたすけて!

Why 私 is a direct object? I thought that only objects and nouns could be a direct object, so I assume I was wrong?

Could someone, please, bring some light on this?

Edit: I have some knowledge in the transitive and intransitive verbs, but I have never used examples where 私 is the direct object, is this matter related to the transitive/intransitive verb or not?

Thanks in advance :)

  • 私 is a noun. When you say "He helped me", "me" is the object of the verb. The one being helped is 私, so in both English and Japanese it's the object. Hence 私を. (Just be glad this isn't In German because then it's rather different and.... well.... this isn't a German site...
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 1:42
  • I am brazilian so yeah for me it's a bit different too haha Just one more thing, why would it be wrong to use が instead of を? Are we using を because there's an active agent in the sentence, therefore an transitive verb while が should be used on the intransitive? Am I tripping out? Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 1:46

1 Answer 1


が marks the subject of the sentence. That means the one doing something.

を marks the object of the sentence. That means the one being acted upon.

When you want to say something like "He helped me". "He" is the one doing something. So, "he" is the subject. "me" is the one being helped (the recipient of the action), and so is the object.

If you write


you're saying "He helped me."

If you write


you're saying "I helped him".

Or, perhaps consider the following:


which means "I saw the dog". Whereas


means "The dog saw me".

So, it's not so wrong to say 私が, but if you're the recipient of the action then 私が is not likely to be correct unless the verb is passive:


"I was helped"

I hope this *helps. (Excuse the pun.)

  • That was indeed helpful, i understood it all :) The thing is, where i'm learning they don't bother explaning, for instance, what the direct object is. I guess they assume you know it from your native language, which is not always the case. Thanks again. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 2:28

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