When you want to associate a noun を します action (what English-speakers would call "verbing a noun") with a specific noun, what particles are used and where?

For example, if I was saying "I study", you could say 勉強{べんきょう}をします. But if you were wanting to say what you're studying, would you move the particle を, so that it'd be 日本語を[勉強]{べんきょう}します, or would you keep the particle を, and add a の between the additional noun and the verbed noun, so that it'd be 日本語の[勉強]{べんきょう}をします?

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    See japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/1532/…. Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 13:45
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    勉強をします = I study, 勉強をしています = I am studying
    – user458
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 17:03
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    @sawa. alternate translations I would like to suggest for the betterment of my own understanding = 勉強をします = I will study, 勉強をしています= I study
    – yadokari
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 17:45
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    @yadokari Your example will be translated using "studying" as "I am studying Japanese twice a week for an hour whenver I have time." You can't put the "when"-clause in the same order as in Japanese because of the differences of scope possibilities in Japanese and English. And if you wanted a Japanese sentence to mean as your English translation, it would rather be "時間がある時は、週に2回1時間ずつ日本語の勉強をします"
    – user458
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 20:39
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    i understand what you mean, but i think "I am studying Japanese twice a week for an hour whenever I have time." is ungrammatical english. the only reason i brought up the possibilities of other translations was because of what i have learned on this site. I would have supplied your original translations without hesitation half a year ago. (now I am just not sure)
    – yadokari
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 21:05

3 Answers 3


As common as nounする is, する verbs all decided. In the case of nounする it can be considered as a single word, not as 2 words.

That is to say that you can't just take any noun and add する to make it a verb, only some nouns work like this.

To be clear 勉強する is a verb on it's own.

However pretty much any word with an action/verbal component can be made into a verb by using をする. Since 日本語の勉強 is a noun, but not a noun on the list of する verbs, you must use をする.


勉強 is a noun and する is a verb. And 勉強する is a verb because we sometimes make verbs like 勉強する by setting する behind a noun.

日本語を勉強する=日本語+を(postpositional particle for object)+勉強する(verb)

日本語の勉強をする=日本語+の(postpositional particle which means "of")+勉強(noun)+ を(postpositional particle for object)+する(verb)

The above two sentence is natural. However 日本語を勉強をする is unnatural. How about 日本語の勉強する? I think this sentence is grammarwise incorrect but it is sometimes used colloquially. It is the one which is clipped "を". 


Some nouns can be transformed into verbs by adding をする.
The resulting verbs can be transitive (e.g. 勉強をする, to study) or intransitive (e.g. 旅行をする, to travel). If you specify a direct object for the resulting verb, you have to have identify it with を, so you have to remove the other を before する (because only one direct object per verb is possible).

Wrong: スペイン語を勉強しています

If you don't use direct object for the resulting verb, you can keep or drop を before する at will.

Right: 毎日勉強しています = 毎日勉強をしています
Right: 旅行したい = 旅行をしたい

Constructions like 英語の勉強をする = 英語の勉強する are grammatically correct, but rarely used.

  • 1. If a noun takes をする, then is it not (transformed into) a verb; it is a phrase. 2. If you mean by "transitive", that the suru-noun takes an object, then 旅行する is no different from 勉強する. I.e., エジプトを旅行する. So your differentiation between them is wrong. 3. 英語の勉強をする is not rare.
    – user458
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 23:53
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    @sawa 1.Name remains name but whole construction acts as verb. 2.Transitive means that verb can take a direct object. In your example エジプト is not direct object. Particle を has several uses, not only to mark direct object. It is also used to indicate area traversed (e.g. 公園を散歩する) or leaving place (e.g 車を降りる). Construction "旅行する" (to travel) can not take direct object. 3.After googling, I admit 英語の勉強をする is quite used.
    – Carlos
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 21:35
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    Carlos: I see. So you are a genius.
    – user458
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 22:26

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