In the previous post, not only did I to get away with being too lazy to finish what I was writing but I managed to make it an excuse for more comments. I’m a genius! The only downside is the increased pressure to actually come back and finish what I started. (As you can see, I easily managed to withstand the pressure for almost a full week.)
Rule? What Rule?
Getting down to business, I noticed that a couple people commented that they did not know there was a rule saying that you can’t use 「を」 with the 「たい」 form. You’re right, there is no rule! Forget I said anything! (Waves hand) These are not the rules you’re looking for… this is not a real post.
Gah! They’re all the bloody same!
There were some people that said they couldn’t tell the difference between 「を」, 「が」, and 「は」, so let’s take a look each example sentence from the last post.
The way I see it, ２） and ３） are nothing special. They just go back to the original question of what the difference is between 「は」 and 「が」. In my very first post, I mentioned that the 「が」 particle is used to identify something unknown to the speaker or listener. So ２） is simply identifying what somebody wants to read. It’s like saying, “Oh you want to know what it is that I want to read? Well, it’s 「続き」”. A more literal translation would be, “「続き」 is what I want to read.” When people say that 「が」 places emphasis on 「続き」, that’s just another way of saying the same thing. The problem with the word “emphasis” is that you can emphasize anything by saying it with a heavy accent. With 「が」, it may seem like emphasis is being added to the thing you’re identifying but that is just a side-effect of the true meaning of 「が」.
As for ３）, the 「は」 particle indicates that we are talking about 「続き」 as a topic. 「は」 works well for situations where you want to discuss, describe, or talk about a specific topic. For example, 「続きは読みたいけど、まだ読めない」 talks about 「続き」 as a topic; saying that you want to read it and that you can’t yet (because I’m writing it right now).
Finally, we get to real question, “When or why would we want to use 「を」?” The answer is so simple, you’ll want to ask for your money back. (I’ll do that as soon as I get some money to begin with.)
Use 「を」 when you don’t want to use 「が」 or 「は」.
「を」 is very neutral and simply says, “this is the object” without all the extra nuances of 「が」 or 「は」. If I say, 「りんごを食べたい」, all I’m saying is “I want to eat an apple.” There’s nothing else to infer. The apple is the object of my desire and that’s it. With 「は」, you are inferring, “Well, on the topic of apples, yeah, I want to eat it. Maybe not other stuff but apples, sure. As long as we’re talking about apples, I feel like it’s something I want to eat.” With 「が」, you are inferring, “You know what it is that I want to eat? Apples. Yeah. I thought about all the other stuff but no, an apple is what I want to eat.”
Thinking about these distinctions can make you feel confused and make Japanese seem complicated. Often times, one or more particles will make sense but can’t be used in other situations. Context will sometimes clear up which particles you should really be using. However, when the context is vague enough to allow multiple choices, it’s really important to get a sense of what each particle is really saying in order to decide how you want to come across to other people.
As for ４）, c’mon, let’s be nice. You wouldn’t be reading this if you really thought that, right?
In reading the comments, it was obvious that some of you knew what each particle meant. Some of the answers are not exactly how I phrased things but describing these particles perfectly in English is impossible because the words don’t exist. So as long as you have a feel for how each particles work, that’s all that matters in the end.
And finally, yes Laura, I do have a girlfriend. What a strange question. Why do you ask?