よく? Unsure of meaning :(

Hello! This is my first ever post!

I’m having some trouble translating one word from this wanikani sentence: よく!

The context sentence is: 二人の姉妹はとてもよくにています.

Now, I know wanikani just gives you the translation, but I like breaking down the sentence so I can learn new grammar and other vocab words. I’ve looked on Jisho and eventually friend google translate, and I just don’t know what this word means! Please help!


よく has lots of meanings, one of them being “a lot”

So よく + ている —> “look a lot alike” :slightly_smiling_face:

If you’re interested in learning more about よく and its various uses, here’s a good explanation by Maggie Sensei (the “a lot” meaning is explained in point 3)


Thanks! Now I have a follow up question: doesn’t totemo mean very?

It does mean very :slight_smile:
(They) look a (very) lot alike.

Obviously, direct translation isn’t working so well, but it does add extra emphasis on how much alike they look.


Alright folks I’m back with another one lol:


This one just stumps me. I get confused about the のは、and I’m guessing the で is used to mean “within?”
But, what completely confuses me is “めですか”

Thanks in advance!

You need to put a noun beforeは. In this context, の is the nominalisation particle - it changes the leading sentence into a noun.
~回目 means the ~ th time. The 目is the same as -th in English. Ex 3回目 the third time.

Edit: Just a suggestion: maybe you could ask additional questions in the short question thread, that would increase your chances of getting an answer :slight_smile:


Thank you! Didn’t know that thread existed and will definitely be using it!

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Forgive me if I go too in depth on matters you are already familiar with, but just in case you aren’t or if anyone else reads: Currently, I see よく used 2 ways most often. Yeah, there are a lot of different ways it can be used, but this is what I’ve noticed in my low-level ability so far. It usually means either “often” or “well”.

いい = good, right?
よい is the older version of いい, which we have to use if we want to conjugate it to any other forms.
In order to turn an い adjective into an adverb, we change the い to く
よい → よく

so いい/よい = good
よく = well / often

However, directly translating a lot of Japanese stuff is going to get you in trouble, so you have to try to take the feeling of よく and apply it to whatever it’s modifying. Basically just saying whatever it’s modifying is being done well or often.

える can see
よく見える can see well
運転うんてんする to drive
よく運転する drive well / drive often
てる to look like/to look alike
よく似てる to look alike (more than usual / a lot / well)

As Naphthalene said, の in this case is a nominalizer.

Take this English exchange for example:

A: Whose umbrella is this?
B: It’s my umbrella.

B probably wouldn’t say umbrella again, right? They would just say, “It’s mine.”

In Japanese, it would go more or less the same way.

A: だれかさですか?
B: わたしのです

Note that B doesn’t say 私の傘. We already know what’s being talked about, so we don’t have to say the noun again. I think knowing this step is important to knowing how the の in the sentence you asked about works. Usually, こと would be at the end of the phrase you asked about:


This is super duper common in Japanese, so as a shortcut, we nominalize the こと to の since everyone knows how the grammar works, so it becomes 日本へ来るのは

Also, you can add 目 onto a counter word to talk about a specific one in the list.

3匹の犬 3 dogs
3匹目の犬 third dog



This not the same の you are talking about. I don’t think you can compare the possesive の to the nominalizer.

Also using の instead of こと usually have a reason other than 'understanding the grammar’. (What do you mean by that exactly?) こと can refer to an action in the more general sense, like:

It is important that kids read lots of books.

And using の can imply a more personal opinion:

I like to read books.


Really? That’s the first I’ve heard of that. Every source I’ve learned from simply said it’s just a small shorthand.
I’ll have to look through my みんなの日本語 books later and have a check through. Thanks for pointing this out.

[edit] Yep! I knew if I had it wrong someone would correct me. Thanks for the correction! :smiley: The more you know!

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I’m not sure what you’re aiming at here either. To dovetail on Saida’s comment, I’ve included more detail.

For the most part の and こと can be used interchangeably. However there are distinct times when の can only be used and times when only こと can be used. The following sites talk about these situations Wasabi and Stack Exchange.

@Saida before you mentioned it, I’ve never really thought about the use of の to express a personal opinion (i.e., subjective perspective). In fact I couldn’t come across any resources that express that distinction. I did however come across in the Shin Kanzen Master N3 Grammar book that ~のに(は) (where ~ is verb clause) expresses a value judgement (the English translation says person opinion) about the verb clause before のに(は). The examples that are used in the text don’t pertain to 好き (likability), but more used general concepts 必要 or 便利.

Cars are an absolute necessity for living in that village.*

Fast food is indeed convenient when one has a short amount time to eat.*

*Both translations are rough equivalents.

Anyway, I wonder if のに(は) was one of the sources you’d use to support the position that の expresses more of a personal opinion. If you have any additional ones, would you share them? Any information that can help me make fewer mistakes in that respect because the current body of explanations (including the ones I’ve share) essentially label them as equivalent with the exception to the listed cases. I know one poster mentioned when an action happens affects whether の or こと is preferrable (stack exchange link), but it seemed to be their conclusion based on the patterns of one resource they posted.


の in not just a short form of こと. and you cant “nominalize” something that is already a noun…

Yes. As I said previously, I realize I was wrong.

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