I stumbled upon this question on the r/LearnJapanese subreddit and I’m really curious on how this works. It hasn’t really been answered there, so I’m posting it here to see if anyone has any idea on this topic:
In English, for the sake of brevity, we can extract properties shared between items in lists and state them afterward like so…
“French class, English class and Computer class.”
“French, English and Computer classes .”
Note how we have to make the property plural when doing so. Besides that, does the same format apply to Japanese?
“フランス語 と 英語 と コンピューター の クラス" ----- (A と B と C) の X ----- と particle precedence
and in that case… what stops the particles from being read with a first particle precedence? ----- ((A と B) と C) の X
I am aware of pluralizing suffixes like "ら“ and “たち”, but I get the impression they mean more along the lines of “and more / among others” which doesn’t seem to be grammatically correct if used with a と list because they’re supposed to be complete, not partial. Do we have to swap out と for や / とか?
Firstly, I would want to clarify what the person meant by “class,” because it’s a common misunderstanding among English speakers that クラス means “course of study.” In Japanese it means “a group of students.” Of course that meaning exists in English as well, but it’s different from the “I took a class” meaning of class.
So in the first one, you have 3 different groups of students, one studying French, one studying English, and one studying computers.
In the second one, you have one group of students, and they study French, English, and computers.
That’s how it reads to me (and I checked with a native as well.)
Perhaps the meaning of クラス throws a wrench in it. I don’t know what they were aiming for.
Hmm, I see. Just to throw in another example, if I were to say “赤と青と緑のビー玉” would that also mean a single marble that’s red, blue and green? or would it mean 3 marbles, one of each colour?
Is there a way to convey the latter without repeating the word “ビー玉” 3 times? Maybe with comas? “赤、青、緑のビー玉”?
So, to clarify the クラス thing, I think both interpretations (1 class or 3 classes for the second sentence) might be possible with enough context. But in isolation they read that way (as one class) to me.
With the colors and marbles, 赤と青と緑のビー玉 could also possibly be both, but I think it’s more likely to be thought of as 3 marbles. Because of how adjectives usually work.