を particle twice in one sentence?助けて下さい

question down below if u wanna skip my life story

Hola everyone, I need help with a bit of grammar if you would be so kind to help an outsider🥺.

I thought I could be a lone ranger in my Japanese language journey and get everything I need from google but I’ve now realised that was a fool’s errand.

I’ve been a lurker up until now watching how wholesome this community is from the outside, always reading the level 60 posts that get emailed to me. I’m gonna try to be more active now because this seems like a great place and I’m getting jealous of all the interaction you guys have🥺

QUESTION~~~~~~~~~~

Is the sentence:

一年半前に日本語を勉強する事を始めた。

correct?

From what I understand を is used when an object is being acted upon like 水を飲む。So in my sentence above I figured that japanese is being studied so I use an を particle there, but I’m also talking about how my studying of japanese is being started, so I also used an を particle there.

Is that the correct particle? Or am I using する事 completely wrong and just confusing myself needlessly?:smiling_face_with_tear: or should the second を be が?… i really need to study more

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!

6 Likes

There’s nothing inherently ungrammatical about two を’s in a sentence, since you have one of the を’s inside a structure that basically functions as a noun all together.

At the same time, often you would express this particular thought with something like 日本語の勉強をし始めた, where [ます stem]+始める is a grammar point for saying “to start [something]”.

But you can say it the way you said it. There might be a reason you want to use the 事 version.

13 Likes

Right, the “no double を” rule only applies to the main sentence. Any relative clauses within it are like their own little sentence and the rule applies to them separately.

3 Likes

Welcome to the community :slightly_smiling_face:

What is the “no double を” rule? There are more cases where there can be multiple をs in one sentence, for example when linking actions using the て-form: ご飯食べて会話して家に帰りました。
I would say that everything here is the main sentence.

3 Likes

That’s two sentences linked together with て. I guess put a bit more precisely you could say that any given verb only takes one を-marked object, which handles both sentences linked with conjunctions and relative clauses.

(There is a corner case with verbs of motion where you can say 車を道路を走る. But as far as I know that’s the only exception.)

11 Likes

If I’m not mistaken, this would translate to “I will run (drive) car through road.”

I’m curious as to how this structure works. Is 走る sort of taking on two meanings at once that allows it to have more than one を marked object within the same clause?

  1. You run (drive) the car, so 車 takes を
  2. You run through the road (that’s apparently a possible usage of 走る), so 道路 also takes を

Am I on the right track, at least?

Edit: And how might this compare to similar sentences like 車道路を走る (I run through the road in a car) or 車を道路走る(I drive the car on the road)…assuming I wrote those out correctly.

I’m pretty sure I’d go with 車で道路を走る, and even then I’m not sure if that’s right/natural because I’m not sure 走る can be applied to a human agent when physical running isn’t happening. (I need to check.)

Are you perhaps thinking of something like 車を道路を走らせる? (I’m still not sure if that works, but at least the logic is clearer for me in that case.) If not, count me in as well:

I made up that sentence based on a half remembered thing, so it’s likely a bit unnatural itself, but here’s a similar example in the wild: this blog post from the Tokyo Tire website starts out with 自動車を道路を走るには欠かせない部品であるタイヤ。 and I don’t think the two を-marked clauses can attach to anything except 走る.

2 Likes

I agree, but what would 走る mean relative to 自動車 here? I have no idea how to parse it.

I guess it must mean “to run a car along a road”; I couldn’t really find many examples, though, so it wouldn’t surprise me if a native speaker were to say it was sloppy/wrong/a mistake.

I wish I had the original example I ran into, which was from a novel, but the conversation I had about it at the time was on the old kanji koohii forums, which are long gone now.

2 Likes

I just ran this by the jpdb.io Discord server, and someone replied that it appears to be a typo and the first を maybe should be a で instead. So possibly the double を particle actually is ungrammatical in this case. :woman_shrugging: Even if so, the sentence is still understandable enough.

I feel like when you split it up, it becomes clearer.

The breakdown here would be:

{(自動車を[道路を走るには]欠かせない)部品である}タイヤ。

{([When running on the road] can’t fail your car) it is a part} our tires.

Or:

Our tires are a part that won’t fail your car when you’re ‘running’ on the road.

3 Likes

I feel like if I saw that while reading, I wouldn’t really think twice about it. It makes enough sense while going fast to not feel off, but I’m not sure if that’s actually right. I’m pretty sure it should be either

自動車で道路を走る

Or

自動車を道路で走らせる

And the first one sounds better to me. 自動車を道路を走る doesn’t make sense to me.

3 Likes

Oh, I remembered the fancy linguistics literature term for this: “double-o constraint”.

Ah thank you very much! New grammar point learned​:bulb::bulb:

Thank you for the welcome!:grin:

1 Like