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べんきょうをします or べんきょう します

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Postby RobGillon » May 4th, 2006 7:13 am

:~p An interesting proverb!

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Postby kinoko » May 4th, 2006 9:25 pm

If you want to say "I have been studying Japanese," I think it would be more proper to use shite imasu instead of shimasu or shimashita.

I think that you can only drop the wo if it's pretty much a word in itself like benkyou shimasu. I'm not completely sure, though...
the early bird may get the worm, but the late-rising worm lives.

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Postby Bueller_007 » May 5th, 2006 5:49 am

勉強をする and 勉強する are both correct. Just as in English, "to do one's studies" and "to study" are both correct.

You shouldn't "double-up" on を particles though, so particle usage differs slightly:
1. 日本語を勉強する (to study Japanese)
2. 日本語の勉強をする (to do one's Japanese studies)

#1 sounds more natural, but, in theory, you can get away with either. There's a slightly different nuance in English, in that #2 sounds like you're doing the schoolwork that was assigned to you. I'm not sure if this carries over to Japanese, but I don't think it does.

The reason for the confusion is that not all nouns can be used directly as suru verb stems; some require を. But 勉強 is both a suru verb stem and a noun, and thus, it can be used both ways.

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Postby JockZon » May 5th, 2006 10:18 am

Thank you for that explenation.

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Postby KeithH » May 5th, 2006 5:14 pm

To me it seems more natural to say :

That way you satisfy the issue of not having two を's and you clearly state what's being studied. Personally I've never heard of putting 'を' between the noun and する in compound verbs as in 勉強をします so I suspect it's more common to ommit it.

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Postby Charles » May 11th, 2006 12:13 am

The を identifies the direct object of the verb. If you have more than one direct object, combine them with 「と」 or 「や」 and then use 「を」.

So, writing 「日本語を 勉強を します」is nonsense in the way that saying "I am doing Japanese and doing studying" is nonsense. Which one are you doing?

This is solved by saying 「日本語を 勉強します」because now the verb has changed to "study," and Japanese becomes the object identified by を that you are studying.

日本語 勉強します。

So, use 勉強します when you want to use it as a transitive verb (when you are studying something in particular). When it's intransitive and you're just studying, either one is fine.

Some other words that work in the same manner are 買い物をします<ー> 買い物します and 食事をします<ー>食事します.

Okay, now some mischief. :) When you say any 「[noun] を します」 phrase, you're saying the noun is the object of doing. My professor would transate it as "doing the [noun] thing." Most nouns here sound ambiguous, roundabout and silly, and that's why they're never ever used. But in some situations, it could be useful when you're having memory loss.

So, let's say you're in Japan and you want a passerby to take a picture of you and your partner next to a monument. Embarrassingly, you forget how to say 「写真を 写す」 but you remember 写真. You might try asking 「写真を してください」 or "please do the picture thing." You'll get a strange look at first and maybe even a laugh, but it might work. Just be sure you go back and learn what you forgot!

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