In the definition for 小説 I found (in bold):


lit. Form of literature. Is prose literature and, from (and after) 18th century, modern civilizations xxx

I’m unsure about the bolded part. I know 完成する is almost always intransitive in Japanese (Difference between 完成させる and 完成する (transitive usage only)). But that confuses me more, because there is a を particle there.

How should I, here, interpret xをyに完成する?


1 Answer 1


The XをYに doesn't have much to do with the valency of 完成する. Rather 近代...思想を背景に modifies 完成した as an adverbial phrase, meaning (Novels) was established with 近代..思想 as background.

The following examples should help to see the pattern.

  • 彼は貯金を元手に起業した. He started a company with his savings as the starting capital.
  • 彼は忙しさを盾に家事をさぼっている. He doesn't do chores, using busyness as an excuse (lit. with busyness as a shield).
  • 彼は親の地位を後ろ盾に出世した. He made his career with the support of his parent's status.

I think generally it is a good starting point to think XをYに = with X as Y.

Note the relevant definition of 背景 here:

  • 物事の背後にある事情。また、裏から支える勢力。
  • Thanks, I was actually also very puzzled about if the 背景 here was about the background, as in «scenery in a movie». Now I got the relevant definition!
    – firuvi
    Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 12:53

You must log in to answer this question.

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