I am trying to make the following sentence:

"I need to eat something" , but I don't know which particle I should use, I've come up with these 2 sentences, which one is right?

1 何かを食べるのが必要

2 何かを食べるを必要

Should I use が or を?

Also I don't get if 必要 is a verb or not so I'm not sure if I should use です at the end of both.

Edit: in the second sentence I have two を particles, is it allowed or the sentence should be:


  • 何か食べなアカン。 What meaning are you trying to convey? Like, "I need to eat something (because my body is telling me I'm something)", or more like, "I must eat something (or my parents won't let me have any dessert)"?
    – istrasci
    Aug 16, 2016 at 20:43
  • More like my body is making me hungry Aug 16, 2016 at 21:09
  • 2
    「何かを食べることが必要」?「何か食べないといけない」? Aug 17, 2016 at 3:01

3 Answers 3


Which sentence is right?

  1. 何かを食べるのが必要

This is right(but somewhat unnatural).

  1. 何かを食べるを必要

This is wrong(Even so most native speakers would understand what you mean).

This is because 必要 is not a verb.

The sentence @user3856370 wrote:


is better.

It seems like you are assuming that the pattern OBJECT を VERB will translate to SUBJECT VERB OBJECT in English and similarly that SUBJECT が VERB equates to SUBJECT is(are,be) ADJECTIVE or SUBJECT is(are,be) NOUN, right?

I am not really understanding what you mean by "verb" in your question.

Should You use です?

です is optional in terms of grammar, but I feel that adding です is better.

です impresses listeners politeness or objectivity.

Moreover, in this sentence, you might be trying to ask for a favor or persuade someone to do something. Especially in these cases, adding です is better since it is more polite.

Thus, I would suggest:


IS having two を-particles allowed?

For example, the sentence

何か を 食べること を やめた

is grammatical.



There are two candidates for parsing this:

  1. ((何か を 食べる) を 必要)
  2. (何か を (食べる を 必要))

candidate 2

食べる を 必要 is VERB を ADJECTIVE.
This way of parsing it is not grammatical, thus candidate 2 is invalid.

candidate 1

何か を 食べる is SUBJECT を VERB.
This is grammatical and a complete sentence.

((何か を 食べる) を 必要) is SENTENCE を ADJECTIVE.
This is not grammatical, thus candidate 1 is invalid.

And thus,

何かに食べるを必要 is wrong.

  • and the verb thing comes to me because of "to need" in my native language (potuguese) it translates to "precisar" which is just like any other verb and express the action of needing something. Aug 17, 2016 at 0:39
  • @ryoさん、ちょっと英語の方を直しました。「valid」という言葉をよく使いましたが、日本語としてどの言葉を考えているのでしょうか。僕ならば、「grammatical」か「non-grammatical」の方がもっとよりと思います。
    – virmaior
    Aug 17, 2016 at 1:41
  • 1
    @virmaior さんありがとうございます。深く考えないで使っていましたが valid は、「合っている」ぐらいの感覚です。僕があまり単語を知らないし、英語を勉強する為に書いてみた感じなので、多分提示されている (non-)grammatica‌​l の方がいいと思います。とても勉強になりました。
    – ryo
    Aug 17, 2016 at 2:35
  • 「合ってる」と一番似ている英語は「fitting」か「matching」かですが、この場面でgrammaticalとnon-grammaticalは一番自然と思います. Btw, I think this is a great way to work on language skills! I keep recommending it to my students but they don't seem to want to do it.
    – virmaior
    Aug 17, 2016 at 2:48
  • Sorry, this is complete off-topic. I'd like to reply to only @virmaior. But I don't have the contact. Don't vote this. mammo.tv/interview/archives/no210.html 「まず興味を教わることはできないから自分で「発電」しなくてはいけない。「発電」という動機付けはけっして教えられない。」だそうです。なにか出来るとすれば、興味を持つ様な環境を作る事なんでしょうけど難しそうですね。
    – ryo
    Aug 17, 2016 at 4:41

If you want to use 必要 then:


I'm not a native speaker but I think this has more of a meaning that 'eating something is a requirement'. Perhaps


would be better.

必要 is not a verb. It is a na-adjective. When it modifies a noun you add な to the end of it. When it is used as a predicate it takes だ or です.

I replaced の with もの because it is a 'tangible thing' that you are needing.

  • I guess i thought it could be an verb because in my native language (portuguese) need is almost always treated like a verb. Knowing that it is a na adjective makes it easier for me. One question, why the を particle is in between parenthesis, does it mean that having it or not in the sentence won't change its meaning? Aug 16, 2016 at 23:14
  • And could i replace もの for こと? Aug 16, 2016 at 23:16
  • @FelipeOliveira 何か食べるものが必要だ means "I/you/someone need something to eat." 何か食べるもの means "something to eat", not "eating something". So, we don't say 何か食べるものが必要だ。Also, we don't say 何か食べるものがほしい but 何か食べるものが欲しい(I want something to eat).
    – chocolate
    Aug 17, 2016 at 14:38
  • I removed the を. Sorry for the confusion. Aug 17, 2016 at 21:43
  • Why we shouldn't use the を particle? I often see this particle indicating what's being eaten in the case of 食べる, like in お弁当を食べたのてすか Aug 18, 2016 at 1:19

"I need to eat something."

To say this, I think you'd normally use なければならない, なければいけない, なくてはならない etc. as in:

(I/You/Someone) need to / have to / must eat something.

You can use the word 必要 like this:

Verb + 必要がある。/ 必要があります。

Here, 必要 is a noun, and the preceding verb modifies it as a relative clause. が is the subject marker, and ある/あります means "exists" or "there is..."
So your sentence can translate to:

何か食べる必要がある / あります
Lit. There is a need to eat something.

To use the na-adjective 必要(な), you use the particle が, as in:

Noun + 必要だ。/ 必要です。

So you could say like this, using a nominalizer こと:

何かを食べることが必要だ / です。*
Lit. Eating something is necessary.

You could also use the verb phrase 必要とする like this:

Noun + 必要としている。/ 必要としています。

Now you use the を particle. Using this form, you can say like this: 

何かを食べることを必要としている / としています。*
Lit. (I/You/Someone) is in need of eating something.

*These sentences sound less colloquial than ~なければならない, ~なくてはいけない etc.

  • Thank you, pretty good answer, it clears the rest of my doubts. Thanks a lot! Aug 17, 2016 at 13:17
  • What is the difference between using 食べる and 食べ? Aug 17, 2016 at 13:23
  • 1
    The nominalizer こと, as well as normal nouns such as 必要, is attached to the dictionary form (or, 連体形/attributive form) of a verb, like 食べる, 飲む, 言う, 読む, while なければならない, なくてはいけない etc. are attached to the 未然形/imperfective form of a verb, like 食べ, 飲ま, 言わ, 読ま (which you might have learned as ない-form), since the なけれ and なく are conjugated forms of the negative auxiliary ない.
    – chocolate
    Aug 17, 2016 at 15:07
  • 1
    @FelipeOliveira While chocolate gave you a response from the perspective of grammar taught in Japanese schools, the Western learner perspective is that there's no 食べ anywhere (sort of), but that 食べる conjugates to 食べない (the negative form) which further conjugates to 食べなければ and 食べなくて etc. So basically you were asking about the negative form.
    – oals
    Aug 17, 2016 at 17:59
  • @oals thanks for the answer. That's a bit my fault, I guess I am questioning something I didn't learn already. I don't know the 食べなければ conjugation. But damn, it feels really weird for me that conjugating the verb eat on a negative form I can get the meaning of have to eat (食べなければならない), in both languages I know conjugating a verb like eat could give you sometjing like different states in the action but never the sense of having to do the action. Or is the ならない giving the sense of need/have? Hope I was clear enough! Aug 17, 2016 at 20:47

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