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Dare ga omae wo suki da to itta

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by graz71, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. graz71 Senior Member

    Paris ~ France
    ~ Le bon Françoy de France ~

    I have a hard time translating that title for myself so can somebody explain the grammar used while translating? Maybe it will help to make things clearer in my head:

    I guess I should split it that way to make the understanding easier:

    Though it should be a basic grammar revision I still can't handle basic sentences.


    : wa/ga
  2. lrosa Senior Member

    English - Ireland

    だれが - Who
    おまえをすきだ - likes you
    といった - said (that)?

    Who said that they like you?

    Is there any specific grammar point that you don't understand? For my own part, I have always found を in おまえをすきだ strange, because I feel it should be おまえがすきだ, but this usage seems common.
  3. xochu New Member

    Japanese 日本語
    Vous pouvez décomposer cette phrase comme ça:
    だれ が  《おまえ を すき だ》   と いった?
    Qui  Toi (J')aime (Je t'aime) avoir dit

    Oui comme Irosa a dit normalement c'est: XXXは XXXが 好き
    Mais exceptionnellement quand on veut renforcer le sens que 'personne d'autre que toi!' , を sera remplacé par が.
    Franchement c'est pas un usage très fréquent...
  4. graz71 Senior Member

    Paris ~ France
    ~ Le bon Françoy de France ~
    Merci pour vos interventions. Je ne comprends pas qu'une phrase si simple me semble si difficile à chaque fois. Mon cerveau a encore du mal à s'habituer à la mécanique des phrases japonais. En tout cas, merci encore.
  5. Tonky Senior Member

    Je ne comprends pas très bien le français, graz71. J'espère que vous comprenez l'anglais.

    Who said he(she) liked you? or Who said "I like you"?
    Implying "Nobody did./at least I didn't."

    を here is an object marker to clarify "who" likes "whom".
    In general, you would use が for [好き/嫌い/欲しい/~たい], but there are exceptions to let を take its job.
    Also, interrogative/question words such as だれ・どこ・どれ・・・etc do NOT take は, but takes が.

    The two sentences above are normal and well-accepted, because 私は here is showing the topic, as in "As for me, 彼が好き".
    The above sentence is hard to tell who likes whom. cf1 is also confusing, but people would most likely take it as "Whom does he like?" On the other hand, cf2 is not confusing at all and you can see it means "Who likes him?"
    (なの)は cuts in as a topic marker, so literally it means cf1 "Who is it that he likes?" and cf2 "Who is it that likes him?"

    Now, with these sentences, there is a hidden(or unstated) topic, indicated by ん (んです = showing the reply to the topic), possibly "as for 'what you mean', is it that ~?"
    I hope the English translation makes it understandable, but if not, please let me know.

    In summary,
    Rule 1. は influences the whole sentence as a topic, while が influences the nearby phrase or clause only as a grammatical marker.
    Rule 2. が does not often appear more than once in the same phrase, or its multiple usage is usually avoided.
    Rule 3. が can emphasize the word as new information to the listener. (e.g. 私が山田です。 cf. 私は山田です。)
    (Not a rule, but often there are grammatical errors Japanese native speakers make as well. が/を mix up is one thing, but it has a reason why it is happening and it may change the future Japanese grammar.)
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  6. anthemist New Member


    This is from what I understand from what I have learnt. Isn't the particle を is supposed for action after an object? so the sentence だれがおまえをすきだといった seems like a bit unsure. so the words すきだ is not a verb so the particle を cannot be put, instead the particle が should be used for feelings. といった mean 'said' past tense for といる

    おまえが- you
    すきだといった-said that he/she likes you

    who said that he/she likes you? :D

    I hope there is no mistake in my explanation. Please anyone correct me if I was wrong.
  7. isisizumi New Member

    すきだ is a kind of complete sentence in Japanese and it could be easier to understand gramatically if you use parentheses.


    In this case, "のことを" is hidden at the right before of を.

    i.e. だれがおまえのことをすきだといった

    Of course, the original sentence has nothing wrong, but it is a little bit formal and I think this comes from a patter of novel or movie. When you understand it grammatically perhaps you'll get confused.

    Nesting and repeating が sounds quite strange in writing but yes we, Japanese, sometimes take this mistake

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  8. lrosa Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    If I understand correctly, the main reasons for using おまえ instead of おまえ are (1) to avoid repetition of が and (2) to prevent any ambiguity around the object of the verb "like" (although I think that in the case of だれがおまえすきだといった, it would still be quite clear that おまえis the object).

    Tonky has also given the example of 彼を嫌い [...], which makes sense as it is simply the opposite of 彼を好き. However, the formula:

    ____ を ___ だ

    still strikes me as quite an unusual grammatical exception since I cannot think of any words that can be used between を and だ other than 好き and 嫌い. Are there any? Excuse the grammatical terminology, but it seems illogical for a direct object marker (を) to be combined with the copula (だ).

    Tonky, if 彼が好きなのは誰ですか can be confusing, what is a less ambiguous way of saying "Whom does he like?" Perhaps 彼が好きがっているのは誰ですか?
  9. Tonky Senior Member

    I do understand why it makes you feel unsure, but here are facts.

    1. That is a perfectly correct Japanese sentence as I explained above, although I would avoid teaching it to beginners. You will find the same structure pretty often.
    2. すきだ is na-adjective (or some may say adjectival nouns) in most JSL world, but basically all Japanese learn it as 形容動詞/adjectival verb, at school, unless one skips (or sleeps in) Japanese classes. What it should be called or classified into, adjective or noun or verb, is still being discussed over.
    3. Particle mix-up or replacement have been occurring since Classic Japanese days. We can only teach how it is used currently, but we cannot change how the language works or evolves according to the rules we randomly pick. (But yes, what you said about が being used for feelings is the general rule.)
    4. There are no rules without exceptions ;)
  10. Tonky Senior Member

    Aye, 「~たい」 and 「欲しい」. Let me show you some examples listed in 『日本語教育辞典』.
    However, you brought up a good point with the copula だ here. (As a matter of fact, you do not say ~欲しいだ/~たいだ.
    The change may have something to do with actual verbs 「好む」「嫌う」 mix up with 「好き」「嫌い」 along with the influence from English "like" and "hate/dislike". Give me time to think about that.

    You cannot say 好き+がる, and 彼が好きなのは誰ですか is probably the most decent way of saying "Whom does he like" here.
    彼は誰を好きなんですか? can be another candidate if you want to be precise, and 彼は誰を好きだって? can be heard, but both rare.
  11. YangMuye Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    I think it's quite common.

    In some special structure or with some suffixes

    I also found a lot of results searching “~を心配だ” on Google.

    ~たい、~ほしい、~易い、~にくい、~難い、~辛い、可能動詞、受身動詞 ... sometimes must be used with が, but sometimes can/must be used with を too, depending the usage.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  12. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Ye~s I agree with you.

    See 私が/sbが is omitted: だれが私がおまえがすきだといった。I see too many arrows → → → in it. Select either one as an object you 'take'. But だれがおまえがすきだといった is OK. Yes.
    As far as I know, すき is 形容動詞?Therefore it can take both を and が?But I'm not sure. Non-native Japanese users know better.
  13. lrosa Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    Thanks for the clarification about 好き+がる. I think you could be right about 好き and 嫌い being influenced by the corresponding verb forms.

    Yes, I had forgotten about the honorific verb form お ____ です. I would not be surprised to hear sentences such as 英語お勉強ですか?or 何お探しですか as this is a fixed honorific form, but I think a sentence such as 英語お勉強 would be very unlikely as it mixes the honorific form with the plain だ, unless perhaps in reported speech such as 英語をお勉強だそうです?

    But I have also found many Google results for “~を勉強だ”, e.g. じゃあ英語を勉強だ. Somehow this strikes me as an abbreviation (of じゃあ英語を勉強するのだ?) but I may be wrong? In contrast, I don't think 英語を好きだ could be an abbreviation of anything.

    Another interesting example - thanks!

    On a side note, I just came across this old thread http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=987089 which is packed with information relevant to this discussion, and even includes a mention of the sentence "誰がおまえを好きだと言った". I found Steve Hamilton's post (post #22 on page 2 of the thread) particularly insightful, and the thread as a whole seems to confirm that 好き/嫌い are somewhat exceptional.
  14. graz71 Senior Member

    Paris ~ France
    ~ Le bon Françoy de France ~
    Thank you so much to everybody for all these explanations!!! I didn't understand everything but it's really great to be enlightened by a dedicated community.
  15. YangMuye Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    だ sometimes means “Let's do ..”“It's time to do.. ”“You should do…”or simply “Do ...”
    I can find a lot of examples like 笑顔だ!、~に突撃だ!、~の禁止だ、~を禁止だ.
  16. YangMuye Senior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    We can generalize this question: can a noun or a noun-like verb take a case-particle other than の without being used in special structures?
    I can think of a few examples
  17. Tonky Senior Member

    Hey, that was a nice thread :) I especially liked how Steve Hamilton put 好き as "likeable/preferred instead of "like/love". I really wish I could organize my posts so neatly like his.
    I guess I should dig up the old threads more to see what has been already discussed, maybe when I have more free time.

    Ah, good find! But it usually takes 「と言う」「と思う」 to make it sound rather natural.

    It seems it is lexical rather than grammatical here.
    What I remember from my student days is that my professor often said that Japanese is a "述語/predicate"-centered language, or it is built up around 述語, compared to other languages in Indo-European families. What particles should be used is always up to its predicate especially by its lexical measurement.

    ※ In English, I hear that you divide a sentence into two, subject and predicate. In Japanese, we divide a sentence by three components in general, subject(主語), predicate(述語), and complement(補足語). Maybe "predicate" is not a good translation.
    <e.g.> English: He bought a book. 彼は 本を買った。 subject + predicate
    Japanese: He bought a book. 彼は 本を 買った。 subject + complement + predicate(述語)

    好きだ/嫌いだ/欲しい/心配だ... and all are, no matter what they are called in grammatical terms, predicates that needs an "object" in its meaning to complete a sentence (or clause/phrase), unless purposely omitted or hidden. This is probably one of the most important reason that most native Japanese see them as "verbs" even if they do not work like verbs in non-native's eyes.

    Thus, grammatically, while those adjectives (or nouns) should be taking が, many find it natural enough lexically for such predicates, which need "objects" in its meaning, to take を. Grammatical rules usually beat the lexical rules, but on some occasions, the latter can beat the former. Possibly, when the grammatical rules make the sentence ambiguous, people tend to apply lexical rules instead, to emphasize whatever the speaker wants to say. (Or too much "misuse" by the majority can take it under control too, to simplify the grammar, which quite commonly happens in every language.)

    Adding 「と言う」「と思う」 can be a way to neutralize the broken grammatical rule in the system?

    Just one example I found after pondering this long...
    ダ ウンロード中(downloading) is a noun in Japanese, but its meaning has the verbal action in progress, as it means originally in English. 心配だ is probably working the same, as in 心配=心配する, and the same goes with all the others. Can this be a potential answer to you, lrosa?

    One more random idea dropping here, it is said that each particle has a certain "influence" range. は is the longest, it rules a whole sentence in general, が is smaller and can only influence a clause or phrase, but を is said to be even smaller. So, perhaps を is sometimes favored to influence only partly? (Don't quote me on this yet, I need to check it up :p)


    I'm glad to see you are pleased with all these, and please pardon me for confusion it may cause.
    If you are still a beginner, please take this as just an "exception" and move on with your study, and then come back later to understand it fully to enjoy "a-ha effect" :)
  18. Pot-Bouille Senior Member

    Sur la question des particules, et en particulier la différenciation entre は et が, je vous conseille la lecture d'un des livres ou articles de Reiko Shimamori, professeur de linguistique japonaise à l'université de Lyon 3. Comme ce ne sont pas des ouvrages destinés à l'apprentissage de la langue par le grand public ils sont d'un abord assez froid, mais tout y est décortiqué et présenté de manière très "mathématique". Pour ma part, cela m'a beaucoup aidée.

    Bon courage pour la suite de votre apprentissage !
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  19. graz71 Senior Member

    Paris ~ France
    ~ Le bon Françoy de France ~

    Yes indeed! See what happens for asking for a basic translation... and to know it will help a whole community, I'm glad I asked that question eventhough I felt like a dummy in the first place and that I didn't get everything. But it sure enlights me on many aspects and I'll be able to go back to that thread when I feel the need later.

    Merci beaucoup pour les références, je saute dessus !! J'apprends le japonais depuis de nombreuses années de façon très irrégulière (j'ai honte de dire depuis 1997...) ce qui perturbe ma compréhension globale et finale. L'exemple en est ce genre de phrase simple que je devrais maîtriser parfaitement alors qu'elle me pose encore des soucis. Voilà entre autres pourquoi j'apprécie votre intervention et vos encouragements.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013

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