I will give an example; 出る is a verb where its unclear what you use as the particle depending on circumstance. if you are to say something like "Bill appeared on stage." you would use the particle に to however if you say are going to say "after that i left the theater" you would use the particle を to mark the place you are departing from.

I realize alot of verbs its not all that complicated to determine as you can simply determine the appropriate particle for the direct object and then muddle your way through from their. However, in the example above normally you would use a に or で particle to mark a location yet this verb uses を and に and if anything the appear being に makes less sense of the two. For example someone on stage behind the curtain standing still and then opening the curtain, you would still use the particle に even though the person did not actually move.

Their are quite a few exceptions to the norm like my example above probably around 50 of them in total; but i don't have a good resource to look them up. I mostly use jisho.org which does on occasion give example sentences so you can try and glean what to do but i would love a resource i can type 出る into an it would say に (appear) を (exit) etc for the majority of verbs.


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I don't know any resource like that, but I can give you some basic rules. を has three functions: direct object, place you go out from (like in your example) and place you pass by (with verbs like 散歩する). If it's not any of those we're talking about, you can forget を.

へ can only be used for direction, and if へ can be used, に is also valid. The only difference is that に focuses more on the destination, rather than the direction.

If an action takes place somewhere, that's marked with で. に only marks the place of state verbs like いる, ある or 住む, but not of action verbs like pretty much any other verb in the Japanese language.

In any other case, if your complement is a place you can usually use に. For example, with 置く, to put, the place where you put something is marked with に. It doesn't have anything to do with the difference between action and state verb, because it's not the place where you are that we're talking about. It's the place where you leave something. So the action doesn't happen there, it's more like the destination of the action.

Rules are pretty regular, and if you learn them you can always know what particle to use in each case.

Edit: ok sorry honestly I was just thinking about place markers. Other verbs are more complex. Some grammatical structures like the causative or the potential have some explanations you have to read on a grammar book or website because they have specific nuances. For common individual verbs when it's not clear what particle is right, I usually just go to jisho.org or any other dictionary and search example sentences. If I don't find anything, I ask in HiNative, which usually gives you less detailed answers than this site but much quicker and from natives, which is great if you just need to see a sentence and understand what particle to use. Hope it helps.

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    If only it were that simple. See this recent question as an example of where such a resource would be helpful: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/82395/… Nov 9, 2020 at 20:14
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    Well, I may be extending the question beyond what the OP was thinking about. I'd like to know if there is such a resource, but I fear the question may get closed because questions asking for resources are off-topic on this site. Nov 9, 2020 at 20:18
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    @Fernando Yeah i got a reasonable handle on basic particles, i am kind of at this weird point; i l have learned all 2218 of the common kanji and i am now trying to expand my vocab to cover all of those kanji. I am significantly better at route memorization than anything else so if i had an easy resource for verbs i could finish it off in a day or two. In the two Genki books they would add the particles beside the verbs as they introduced them and state what they were for if they were non standard but i no longer have such a nice resource as i learned all of the vocab in those two books.
    – Faust
    Nov 10, 2020 at 18:19
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    @Faust wow that's impressive haha but I really don't know any resource like that. I think most times you can deduce it, though. If you do a bit of research and deeply understand the most complex/obscure usages of each particle you may be able to deduce it in almost 100% of the cases.
    – Fernando
    Nov 10, 2020 at 18:53
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    @Fernando hmm alright i was trying to avoid having to understand the usage and just memorize the logical configuration for the 600 or so non obvious verbs but seems thats not going to happen. Any idea about something good to learn particle usage i have completed 3 double credit classes in Japanese at university and still feel i have no idea how to use particles in ~20% of cases.
    – Faust
    Nov 10, 2020 at 22:10

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