に Particle (Indirect object) Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Particle
Essential Meaning: Indirect object marker
Construction: Indirect object + に
- に (Indirect object) marks the indirect object in a sentence (i.e. the person or thing to or for whom an action is performed). This version of the に particle generally corresponds to the English prepositions “To” or “For“, as in “I gave a book to my father“, “I listen to my teacher”, and “I bought a cake for my girlfriend“.
- Sentences with indirect objects typically involves a transfer of some direct object from one party to another, whether it’s a transfer of a physical object (e.g. “A gives a ball to B“) or a transfer of a non-physical thing such as knowledge (e.g. “A teaches something to B” or “A tells something to B“).
- Sentences with に (Indirect object) always include transitive verbs such as あげる [To give], くれる [To give], 見せる [To show], 投げる [To throw], or 教える [To teach]. They also typically include a direct object, because indirect objects are almost always paired with direct objects. However, certain verbs of communication (e.g. 話す [To speak], 電話する [To call], or 会う [To meet]) may appear without direct objects.
- E.g. ボブに電話する。[I will call Bob.]
- E.g. ももに話す。[I will speak with Momo.]
- に (Indirect object) can be paired with any transitive verb that includes the auxiliary verbs てあげる or てくれる, as long as the indirect object is not also the direct object.
- E.g. 小さい時お母さんは私によく本を読んでくれた。 [When I was young, my mother often read books to me.] This example is OK because the direct object (本) is distinct from the indirect object (お母さん).
- E.g. *先生は私に褒めてくださいました。[The teacher gave me praise.] In this example, the speaker is both the indirect object and the direct object. In such cases, the object must take the direct object marker を rather than the indirect object marker に.
- Intransitive verbs can never be paired with に (Indirect object), even when modified by てくれる or てあげる.
私は母に手紙をよく書く。[I often write letters to my mom.]
ちちは僕に時計をくれた。[My father gave me a watch.]
私は妹にお金をすこしやりました。[I gave a little bit of money to my little sister.]
クリスに電話しましたがいませんでした。[I called Chris, but she wasn’t there.]
大川先生は学生に色々な辞書を見せた。[Okawa-sensei showed various dictionaries to the students.]
***YouTube videos may be region-locked depending on your country of origin. If you experience issues, please try using a VPN set to a United States IP address.***