I am teaching first year Japanese this summer, Ugh. I have to remember to explain to my class: Why do most direct objects take the case particle (wo) but some take (ga)?
This is really an easy question, but most people don稚 know the answer, including many Japanese teachers and most native Japanese speakers・until you explain it to them.
is the case particle for non-stative verbs– verbs that do not indicate a state of being, such as to eat, see, to wait.
私はさしみを食べる。(I eat sashimi)
is the case particle for stative verbs要erbs that indicate a state of being, such as to understand, to have.
私は日本語がわかります。(I understand Japanese)
This goes a long way in explaining why some particles change when different suffixes are attached.
1. さしみを食べる。 (I eat sashimi)
2. さしみが食べたい。 (I want to eat sashimi)
3. さしみが食べられる。 (I can eat sashimi)
is used in 2 and 3 because they indicate the current state of the speaker: I am no eating sashimi, I want to eat it, or I am able to eat it. This also explains why you use it with certain adjectives.
4. さしみが好きだ。 ( I like sashimi)
One痴 likes or dislikes indicate stativity.
We should remember that not all verbs that seem to be stative are stative. Case in point: 知る
This verb is commonly used with the verb いる to indicate 徒nowing・
5. 私はあのことを知っている。 (I know about that)
This is because the verb by itself doesn稚 mean 鍍o know・but 鍍o get to know・or 鍍o learn・as in the following sentence.
6. あのことを昨日知った。 (I found out yesterday)
This verb is used to suggest the acquisition of knowledge, not its existence, so it is understood as an action verb rather than a stative verb, and hence requires いる. 5 might actually be rendered 的 learned about that and exist with that knowledge.・Of course that is rather cumbersome, but the concept is along those lines.
I realize that there are exceptions. Many people will use 殆o- with the desiderative or the potential, particularly young people, and the grammar will likely change ultimately. Indeed Japanese grammar changes constantly– it痴 a living thing. But if my students keep this simple rule straight, chances are they will make few mistakes regarding and .