Question. What is the diff between

A. 国で日本語を2カ月勉強しました。

B. 国で2カ月日本語を勉強しました。

On minna no nihongo B. is used but why not A? Why is the 2カ月 not before verb? What are the rules?


1 Answer 1


According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", page16:
The word order principle for Japanese is the modifier precedes what is modified.
The principle holds whether the modified word is dependent or fully independent.
The function of the modifier is to specify the meaning of the specified word.

So what does 2ヶ月 modify?

2ヶ月勉強する means "to study for 2 months".
But what does 2ヶ月日本語 mean?
In this case 2ヶ月 modifies the verb, not the object, so it is better to put it before the verb, not before the object.

  • 5
    へええ? じゃ、あーた「ゆうべ寿司を食べた」とか「今朝山田さんに会った」って言われたら、"What does ゆうべ寿司 / 今朝山田さん mean? ゆうべ / 今朝 modifies the verb, not the object, so it's better to say 寿司をゆうべ食べた, 山田さんに今朝会った." ってなるわけ?
    – chocolate
    Oct 7, 2018 at 15:10

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