How do I learn which particles go with which transitive verbs since it is not always を。

For example:

ラップをかける ラップを被せる

...is no problem, but...

ラップで包む 役に立てる

JDICT says these are all transitive verbs but the last two examples don't take を so do you just learn them as exceptions or set phrases?

  • When there is no the object is implied. For example, in ラップで包む I have no idea what you are wrapping.
    – Jesse Good
    Apr 9, 2012 at 3:38
  • Thanks Jesse, I understand now. ラップで包む was taken from a vocabulary book and there was no context. Apr 9, 2012 at 7:05

2 Answers 2


You are wrong. They do take .


One tricky thing is that, 知識を役に立てる is derived from 知識が役に立つ, and the reason 知識 takes in the former is not because it is the (underlying) direct object, but because of what is technically called exceptional case marking.

As for how to learn them, that is too vague a question here.

An ironical question

How do I learn which particles go with which phrase? Why is the truck takes on in:

load hay on the truck

but accusative case in:

load the truck with hay

  • Thanks sawa, as transitive verbs do take を my question is answered so I don't need to ask how to learn them any more. A very good explanation thank you. Apr 9, 2012 at 7:15

I've been finding intransitive verbs where reliable sources say they are becoming transitive i.e. the Japanese are often using を to mark a direct object. 触る (さわる, to touch) is my most recent example. It is not always clear from these sources if this is due to a recognized language shift, or just a common mistake.

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