I was studying some particles and I already understood the difference between of が and は. Also the function of the particle を and its usage. I wonder if it is possible to NOT use it in a phrase? Take a look at the example below.

ねこがこいぬいじめていた。- A cat was bullying a puppy

Do we really need that mora を after the puppy object there?

  • Possible duplicate of What are the guidelines of omitting particles?
    – macraf
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 4:34
  • I think both questions explain me the same thing in different ways, this question at least for me, seems to go further into the を particle while the japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/3151/… question has a more general overview over the japanese particles Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 4:52
  • I don't consider this a duplicate question, because it actually goes further into the を particle than the one mentioned above, but if the majority of people think it's duplicated, then so be it :D Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 5:00
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    Please consider waiting a couple days before accepting an answer. You may get a better answer if you do.
    – user1478
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 7:15
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    @snailplane I couldn't agree more. Anyway, thanks for your comments that forced me to re-think my answer. I also realized another case in which you might not use を after the object which I added to the re-worked answer. If you notice other errors or you have comments please let me know.
    – Tommy
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


Ok let me give a proper answer. First of all, I think you have a typo in your example since いじのてた does not mean anything and I believe you probably mean いじめていた from the verb 苛{いじ}める that means "to tease, to torment, to persecute" etc.

EDIT 2: After all the comments, I will re-organize my answer trying to address all the points in hope everyone will be happy with it. In particular there was a stupid mistake I will remove.

I will cut it short and say that the answer to your question is, in my opinion: it depends (hence no, you don't always need を after the object).

Take this simple example: I can speak Japanese, that is:


In this case you need を.

However, if you are casually talking with someone you would say:


This second one, in the right context, is also acceptable. If you were talking in a casual register with your friends but stuffed all the particles at the right place it would probably sound a bit weird. However, do not confuse grammar with formal/informal speech. Grammar would want you to put that particle there. In general in written text you always must put the particles where needed. However, I think that since we live in an era where instant messaging led to an extreme increase of "informal" text, it's also important to mention that even in "written text" depending on the context it is acceptable to omit を (as well as all other particles). Again, bear in mind this is not grammatical.

Now the trick. If you simply ask about placing を after the object, then certainly you do not need always を. Consider the following:



These also make perfect sense! For example, if you want to express that Japanese is the language you can speak, among others that you can't you would use が. If you are saying that you speak Japanese as well as other languages, you would use も. These are two examples of sentences where the object is not followed by を. 

There is another important example that came to mind thinking of this thoroughly (and thanks to all the comments that made me do so). That is:

You can omit を when you change the structure of the sentence making what the particle を is indicating the "topic" of the sentence. What does this mean?

I could use the same example from above but let's make a different one:


I (subject) bought this bento (object) at the convenience store.

Now make the bento the topic of the sentence, that is:


Notice that the bento is still the object here (although omitted you, who are buying, are the subject of the sentence).

This is another example where を after an object is omitted, or better replaced by は. Maybe it just follows in the category above where simply another particle is used but I think could be interesting to point out as well.

Bottom line: not necessarily the object of a sentence is always followed by を. You can indeed use other particles depending on the context and what you actually want to express, or omit it completely if you are having a casual conversation (whether oral or written).

  • Would you mind explaining what is the object in 今日は良い天気ですね?
    – macraf
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 4:35
  • @macraf I never said there was one! That is actually the point. The original question of the OP just ask "is it possible not to use を in a phrase", and my example was just to point out that of course it is, if there is no direct object in the sentence.
    – Tommy
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 4:39
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    @macraf in casual writing situations I can omit it, also while talking with friends, besides, I didn't know that I could use が instead of を in some situations which Tommy explained in his answer. It's not a YES or NO answer, it depends of the context and moment to decide to use the を particle or not. Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 5:04
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    @macraf, then please elaborate your logic in an answer. I'm really not saying "I'm right and you're wrong" here, let's be clear. I'm just saying, this is my answer based of all I know. Is it 100% perfect and without the slightest doubt the best possible answer? Never said so. It's supposed to be a friendly and open-minded community. Just go ahead, post your answer, and I'll be happy to read and even happier if you prove me wrong beyond reasonable doubt as it will mean I actually learned something new. Which I'm always happy to.
    – Tommy
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 5:09
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    Your step 1 answers something the question didn't ask, and your step 2 is wrong. There is no object in 左側の扉が開きます. Your step 3 is also wrong because it claims omitting is always ungrammatical and because it incorrectly conflates formality with correctness and grammaticality.
    – user1478
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 7:14

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