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I have been trying to grasp the concepts of transitive vs intransitive as I learn Japanese and had some questions on the following

窓を開けている... OK 窓を開けてある..... OK 窓が開いている.... OK now I have an issue with the following sentence

窓が開けてある.... X?

does 窓が開けてある, make sense? I thought it would be wrong since we cannot use が with 自動詞. In my book under the transitive verb portion is says that

object set by the particle を

Thus should the grammatical sentence be 窓を開けてある?

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2 Answers 2

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You are correct that at the basic level only transitive verbs (and some intransitive exceptions) should be used with the particle を to mark their objects. However, this changes the moment things verbs are conjugated into other forms. てある is a stative verb. Once ~てある is added to the end of a verb, it loses transitivity.

So although you would use を in this sentence:

誰が窓を開けた。
Someone opened the window.

You would not use を in the following sentences:

誰かに窓が開けてある。 The window was opened by someone (for a certain purpose).

窓が誰かに開けられた。 The window was opened by someone。

So, in cases like ~てある and the passive form (開けられる), transitive verbs no longer use the particle を. Once verbs are conjugated into other forms, the way they are used often changes. As a result, 「窓を開けてある」would not be correct in most contexts.

There are exceptions where ~てある is used with the particle を to emphasize the volition of the agent, but it is not regarded as grammatically correct by most. Oftentimes, を is also replaced by は in those circumstances.

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  • Not to mention there are still some Intransitive verbs that use を right out the box, such as 出る. As in, 場所を出る
    – Lucas
    Dec 8, 2020 at 5:25
  • Hi @Shurim, do you mean then using を is incorrect here? When I asked my Japanese friend he said 窓を開けてある makes sense to him although he feels it sounds a bit weird.
    – bob
    Dec 8, 2020 at 14:06
  • @Lucas, yes my book listed when you are leaving or entering a location as an exception
    – bob
    Dec 8, 2020 at 14:06
  • @bob As Yuuichi says in his answer, を sounds a bit awkward with ~てある. It does exist, but is rather rare.
    – Shurim
    Dec 8, 2020 at 16:37
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が ~ + a transitive verb + てある and が ~ an intransitive + ている mean "the state of the result". So 窓が開けてある and 窓が開いている are natural.

窓を開けている is the progressive form of 窓を開ける or someone keeps the window open intentionally.

I think 窓を開けてある is a bit unnatural and isn't often used.

Source:https://www.tomojuku.com/blog/teoku/tearu1/ http://www.coelang.tufs.ac.jp/mt/ja/gmod/contents/explanation/046.html        

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