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まちをぶらぶらあるく。
English translation: Walk aimlessly through town.

I understand that aimlessly walk takes the object town and that’s why we use を, but wouldn’t it make more sense to use に as the town is also the target of the motion verb?

Also can someone please explain these two explanations on the differences since they confused me and is there any resources/worksheets for constructing Japanese sentences?

CHAPTER 3. BASIC GRAMMAR
3.8 PARTICLES USED WITH VERBS


Unlike the direct object we're familiar with in English, places can also be the direct object of motion verbs such as 「歩く」 and 「走る」. Since the motion verb is done to the location, the concept of direct object is the same in Japanese. However, as you can see by the next examples, it often translates to something different in English due to the slight difference of the concept of direct object.

The 「に」 particle can specify a target of a verb. This is different from the 「を」 particle in which the verb does something to the direct object. With the 「に」 particle, the verb does something toward the word associated with the 「に」 particle. For example, the target of any motion verb is specified by the particle 「に」 particle.

  • Could you correct the couple of mistakes in 「まちおぶらぶらおるく」 by yourself? – l'électeur Aug 24 '18 at 7:59
  • Sorry, my bad. I didn't see the error on my phone, it should be fixed now. – D.Suson Aug 24 '18 at 9:09
  • I don't think the analysis you quoted Is very theoretically sound. It's probably better to say を can mark some things that aren't direct objects. – snailboat Aug 24 '18 at 23:16
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I think it is better to think of this を as a location marker meaning "through/across ~" rather than thinking of it as a direct object marker. Simply, を has two distinct functions. Many verbs related to motion take を in Japanese, and they are usually categorized as intransitive verbs in dictionaries.

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If you use に, the sentence is grammatically inaccurate and sounds like (edit) 町に向{む}かって歩く, which means "walk towards the town", in other words, you are not in the town in the moment.

  • Oh, so we use を in scenarios where we are inside the location? Then we use に to indicate a final destination or does it directly act like towards? E.g. Walk towards the town, the destination may be some place before or after it. While を would be walk to town? Describing it as the final destination? I am not sure on how を works in that situation. – D.Suson Aug 24 '18 at 9:15
  • を would mean walking through the town or around the town. You're in it. に is walking towards the town as the destination. – DXV Aug 24 '18 at 11:14
  • Oh ok, thanks. Can someone please help me with the difference between doing something to the object and doing something towards the object, with examples? Since I still don't understand how they define に and を。Would they use に only with walking or running or any type of movement verb? – D.Suson Aug 24 '18 at 11:32
  • As I said, 町に歩く per se is ungrammatical. – user4092 Aug 24 '18 at 14:18

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