I was reading the lyrics of a song and found the following line:


From the original English song, I can tell that the meaning is that "that person no longer needs me", but why does it use を when 要る is an intransitive verb? Is there a nuance difference?

  • Maybe it's one of the other verbs read as いる(or a pun based on that) Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 16:31
  • 3
    Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/26005/5010 Darius Jahandarie's answer says 要る sometimes accepts a "nominative object".
    – naruto
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 7:58

2 Answers 2


Words like 好き, 嫌い, 欲しい, ~たい and 要る occasionally take を, especially in complicated sentences, but it's hard to give a clear rule, and the level of acceptance may vary from person to person. One theory is "nominative object". Please see Darius Jahandarie's answer and snailboat's comment here: Usage of ~を好き outside of embedded clauses

That said, 要る is very rarely used with を. This あたしをいらない is comprehensible, but sounds unnatural to me. In general, ~を要る should always be avoided in a simple sentence like this.

~を要る tends to be tolerated in a ~を~と + verb construction (e.g., このパソコンを要ると思う人は連絡してください). BCCWJ also has one (and only one) example of ~を + 要る + と + verb.

enter image description here

I can also find other examples like お金を要るようになった and 心配を要らずに on the net, but I would say ~が要るようになった is almost always safer.

  • Didn't 好き develop from the verb 好く? I've seen people saying like "あなたを好いている". Although the usage of 好く is probably ancient, 〇〇を好き could still be interpreted as the 連用型 of 好く, if there's a clause after it.
    – dvx2718
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 12:26

I am not a Japanese native, but a Korean. Korean is similar to Japanese, but in Korean, only a form equivalent to "が/は要らない" is used. In Korean, a form like "を要らない" is considered incorrect, because 要る is an intransitive verb, and the subject of the verb is the thing being required.

If you see the Japanese dictionary, all the examples are using が or は.

「資本が―・る」「暇が―・る」「お世辞は―・らない」 「燃焼させるには酸素が-・る」 「そんなに時間は-・らない」 「金が-・る」 「もっと人手が-・る」

As a Korean, the "を" form bothers me (even with other verbs and adjectives), but I have seem that form being used in Japanese animations quite a lot, so I do not think it is being considered wrong in Japan. But I would avoid that "を" form if possible.


I would have said "あの人には私が要らない" or "あの人は私を必要としない".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .