を Particle (Origin of Movement) Japanese Grammar Lesson
Grammar Type: Particle
Essential Meaning: From / Out of
- Spatial Noun + を
- E.g. バスを [Out of the bus]
- E.g. うちを [From the house]
- を (Origin of movement) is very similar to から (Starting Point). Both particles mark the initial starting location of some movement. The distinction between the two is that を (Origin of movement) simply marks the location from which a movement begins, whereas から (Starting Point) marks the initial location of a movement into another location. In other words, から (Starting Point) imparts relevance to the destination of movement as well as the origin, while を (Origin of Movement) focuses solely on the origin with no mind paid to the destination.
- In many cases, を (Origin of Movement) and から (Starting Point) can be used interchangeably with very little change in connotation. However, if the sentence explicitly states both the origin and destination of a movement, から (Starting Point) is the appropriate particle to use. Conversely, if the destination of movement is totally irrelevant to the meaning of the sentence, を (Origin of Movement) is the appropriate particle.
- E.g. 汽車がトンネルを出た。[The train exited the tunnel.] In this case, the sentence does not place any significance on where the train is headed. It places significance solely on the fact that the train exited the tunnel.
- E.g. 汽車がトンネルからでた。[The train exited the tunnel (and entered some new place).] In this case, から (Starting Point) indicates that where the train is headed is relevant.
- E.g. 昨日はうちから外に出なかった。[Yesterday, I didn’t exit my house (into the outdoors).] This sentence explicitly states both the origin of movement (うち) and the destination of movement (外), so から (Starting Point) is the appropriate particle.
- E.g. 私は今朝8時ごろ家を出た。[This morning around 8 AM I left my house.] In this example, the place that the speaker goes after exiting the house is irrelevant; the acting of leaving is the relevant fact. Thus, を (Origin of movement) is the appropriate particle.
私は朝七時半にうちを出る。[I leave my house at 7:30 AM.]
バスを降りた時友達に会った。[When I exited the bus, I bumped into my friend.]
汽車がトンネルを出た。[The train exited the tunnel.]
日本を離れて外国で暮らしている。[I left Japan and am living abroad.]
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