I will give a sentence as an example:


The first question: Could things like book or door or etc... become subject of a transitive verb ?

The second question: Could a transitive verb work without an object ?

  • Transitive verbs can certainly work without an object. "When did you last eat? I ate yesterday". Can inanimate objects be the subject of transitive verbs is a trickier question. Inanimate things don't tend to do things. Japanese tends to favour animate subjects. Phrases like "the door hit my head" are not very Japanese. I think they would just say "I hit my head on the door" Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 14:32
  • Inanimate subjects do do things. Like this very example (lots of teachers have given me): ドアが開かれている (by wind or maybe it has a motor). It is perfectly right with intransitive verb but I have no idea whether is also right with transitive verb ?
    – Narutokage
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 14:40
  • @user3856370 Please consider posting answers in the answer section rather than the comment section.
    – user1478
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 0:52
  • I am sorry, from the very start I do not understand the "example". What on the earth does that mean??? I don't think that would be appropriate Japanese. If it is 本の内容が深く(て)、教えていなかった, then I would understand.
    – user7644
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 1:48
  • @snailplane. Sorry. I didn't think I done a good enough job for an answer. Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 6:51

3 Answers 3


本が深く教えてなかった sounds unnatural and hardly makes sense to me. In casual conversations, we usually say, for example, 本を読んでもよく分からなかった instead, with "I" as the implicit subject.

Your first question is covered in this question: In Japanese, can we say an object asks a question?

As for your second question, yes it's sometimes possible to omit an object. For example, you don't have to repeat the same object again in a conversation like this:

A: その本を読みましたか。 Did you read the book?
B: いいえ、まだです。 No, not yet.
A: では、読んでください。 Then please read it.

However many transitive verbs would make little sense if they completely lack the object. You don't usually say "I say" without specifying what you say. It's better to use an intransitive verb which have a similar meaning (e.g., there is a word "to chat" which does not require an object)

  1. Transitive verbs can be used with such objects, after all they have a close relationship with their direct objects and are connected with them with the particle .

T.Verb + を + Direct Obj.


I opened the door.

  1. They can also be used without a direct object as this may be implied by context.

These questions are not about Japanese language. They are more about grammar in general.

-Could things like book or door or etc... become subject of a transitive verb ?
Yes. You can say for example:
台風は街を破壊した。The typhoon destroyed the city.

-Could a transitive verb work without an object ?
No. By definition a transitive verb requires an object. But you can omit the object from a sentence if it can be inferred from the context.

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