I've heard that を is sometimes used instead of が nowadays. Although it is strictly incorrect it is becoming more common. Is this true ?

For example:




This article by 東山篤規 is exactly about this topic: 助詞「が」と「を」の置換性について ─文例と世代の比較─ The following table illustrates を is preferred by younger generations in some contexts. The dagger (†/‡) in the rightmost column indicates a statistically significant difference between the two generations.

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Roughly speaking, younger people tend to prefer を with できる, 欲しい, ~たい, ~(ら)れる and so on, especially in relatively complex sentences. I personally feel 私は車を欲しいです is a little unnatural (私は車が欲しいです sounds much better), but 車を欲しい人を探す and 車を欲しくなる映画 somehow sounds fine.

Although not included in this table, I think the same tendency is found also with 好き, 嫌い, etc. Still, a simple sentence like お茶を好きです is considered wrong regardless of the generation.


  • That's an excellent article, very interesting. Can you recommend a resource or site for finding such free articles on Japanese linguistics?
    – kandyman
    Jun 10 '20 at 9:35
  • @kandyman Unfortunately I know nothing better than simple google search. Snailplane introduced this article to me :)
    – naruto
    Jun 10 '20 at 9:42

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