Abbreviations of そ/こ/あれ + の

I’m having trouble understanding the meaning/usage of the abbreviated forms of そ/こ/あれ+ の - その, この and あの.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone refer to those as “abbreviations using の”. To me, it would imply that このペン and これのペン are interchangeable, and they’re not.

They are just the こそあど words for saying “this [noun]” or “that [noun]” as opposed to just “this” or “that” (which is what これ, etc do).

So if you are attaching it to a noun, then you need these. If you aren’t going to say the noun, you use これ, etc.


I believe Tae Kim’s guide refers to them as abbreviations.

(「その」 is an abbreviation of 「それ+の」 so it directly modifies the noun because the 「の」 particle is intrinsically attached. Other words include 「この」 from 「これの」 and 「あの」 from 「あれの」.)

I learned them as their own words though, and have always thought of them as such.

Should have guessed.

I feel like there’s a difference between an “abbreviation” and “the etymological basis of” something.

Maybe they also explicitly say that they’re not interchangeable, but it still seems misleading to me.


Right, thanks Leebo. Just curious as to what the difference is between このペン and これのペン?

このペン would be “this pen.” これのペン would be “this thing’s pen” (since これ stands in as a pronoun for some other unnamed object)

For them to be interchangeable, it would need to be a different kind of の, and while this might be literally possible in some sense to create such a construction, there’s a reason we learn この, etc, because that’s what people are going to be expecting.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.