I want to say

In Japan, I want to ride a bullet train.

I have

にほん で ぼく は しんかんせん を のります。

Is 「にほん で」 correct? Should it be 「にほん に」? Or perhaps something else?

  • 2
    I would suggest that you edit the English part a bit to say either 'I want to go to Japan to to ride a bullet train' or 'When I go to Japan I want to ride a bullet train', or 'I want to ride a Japanese bullet train', etc.
    – BJCUAI
    Sep 8 '19 at 1:45

「にほん で ぼく は しんかんせん を のります。」

is a nice attempt.

I would, however, like to address two items here.

「のります」 simply means "will ride". If you want to say "want to ride", you might want to say 「のりたいです」.

「Verb in Continuative Form + たい」 means "to want to [verb]".

「のり」 is the continuative form of 「のる」.

The next thing I need to point out is the particle choice. We say 「しんかんせんのる」 and not 「しんかんせんのる」. That is because 「のる」 is an intransitive verb and thus, it cannot take 「を」.

is にほん で correct? should it be `にほん に"? Or perhaps something else.

It is correct. You cannot use 「に」 unless the verb is "stative". 「のる / のりたい」 is not stative.

Stative verbs are 「すむ」(to live), 「いる」(to be),「たいざいする」(to stay), etc. Those should take 「に」.

Therefore, the correct (by any standard) sentence will be:

「にほん ぼく しんかんせん のりたいです。」

  • 1
    "That is because 「のる」 is an intransitive verb and thus, it cannot take 「を」." I'd argue it's the other way around:「のる」happens to not be able to take「を」and therefore it falls into the category we call "intransitive". But maybe that's just me. Also, it's more of a philosophical point.
    – Arthur
    Sep 8 '19 at 21:55

l'électeur’s answer is substantially correct, but since “In Japan” is setting the context for the rest of the sentence, I'd say

にほん で は、 ぼく

And in fact you could probably leave out ぼく が, and just say

にほん で は、 しんかんせん に のりたい です。

since the listener will infer that the subject of のりたい is ぼく.

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