Genki (second edition) gives the following example sentences using たくさん, but doesn't explain any distinction regarding word order:

私は京都で {写真をたくさん / たくさん写真を} 撮りました。 I took many pictures in Kyoto.


{野菜をたくさん / たくさん野菜を} たべました。I ate a lot of vegetables.

How does the word order affect the meaning of the sentences? Here is my best guess at understanding the distinction. For the first sentence, 写真を撮る naturally imply each other, so there is probably less distinction, but たくさん写真を撮る implies a large number of pictures, whereas たくさん撮る implies a lot of time or effort put into the act of photography.

However, たくさん食べました implies that you ate a lot, whereas たくさん野菜を食べました means that you ate a significant quantity of vegetables.

Thus, I take it たくさん can emphasize a lot of an action, or a large amount of a subject. But I take it that since it is an adverb, is not really modifying the subject, but the predicate clause.

Possibly related question:

How do adverbs denoting amounts such as たくさん and ちょっと work?


The word order is not important in your examples. たくさん works as an adverb, which means it modifies the following verb (撮りました/食べました) anyway, even though there is another in-between object (noun). Both word orders are common and natural, and both sentences literally say "took/ate a lot" rather than "many pictures / a lot of vegetable."

You can say たくさん写真を撮りました, too. This たくさん is an adjectival phrase, and it must be placed before 写真. See: たくさんの本を読んで versus 本をたくさん読んで


たくさん functions most commonly as an adverb and as a の-adjective. Meaning you'll see it either directly in front of a verb:

冷蔵庫に野菜がたくさんあります。(There are lots of veggies in the fridge)

Or, in front of a noun, but with the particle の attached:

冷蔵庫にはたくさんの野菜があります。(Same meaning as above)

However, you will never see たくさん next to a noun minus the の particle. You may hear spoken Japanese where the particle is omitted, but as with a lot of spoken language, it would not be grammatically correct. As far as I can tell, the meanings in most cases will essentially be interchangeable, it just depends on whether you want たくさん to function as an adjective or an adverb.


In the sentence "写真をたくさん撮りました," "たくさん" is an adverb modifying the verb of "撮りました"

In the sentence "たくさん(の)写真を撮りました," "たくさん(の)" is an adjective modifying the noun of "写真"

These Japanese expressions are different, but the descrived situaion is the same. I don't feel even the nuance difference between the two.

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