Short Grammar Questions


It’s not part of the relative clause if it’s genitive. It’s using its genitive effect on the whole relative clause that follows. But you can make sentences that work either way.

At the end of the day, this is a “looking under the hood” type discussion. As long as you know when you can use が and の you don’t need to know how linguists break the sentences up.


There is an example for this in DoJG (for が => の):
You cannot replace が with の if the subject of the sentence is followed by a noun because the meaning changes.

トムがフットボールの切符をあげた女の子 (the girl to whom Tom gave a football ticket)
トムのフットボールの切符をあげた女の子 (the girl to some (someone) gave Tom’s football ticket)


Thank you ! Now It’s time to study Tobira >_< !


Okey short question:
There are the i-adjective 小さい and 大きい. Then there are the “pre noun adjectival” (WTF?) 小さな and 大きな. So the い gets somehow replaced by the な?! Is there a rule? I read Tae Kims Guid up to the end of essential grammar, but there was nothig like that (I think).

Could someone please give me an expample, that makes the difference between these wordpairs clear? Because in the sentances I found, they were interchangable.

~T :lion:


Imabi has an article on it.

There’s a pretty limited number of these, it’s not generalized to where you can make every one into the other.


Thank you very much :slight_smile:
Now I understand why Tae Kim left this chapter out. It is pretty complicated for a non-native speaker to understand the difference and it is not a concept that works for all vocab.
So i think, i will just learn these few words as seperate vocabs and I’m fine :wink:

(by the way: I have also been wondering in my subconsciousness about the use of 新た(な) and 暖かな. I just realized that now… lol, the subconsiousness is such a fun thing…)

~T :lion:


I just talked it over with my teacher. I think I have it all straightened out now.

Just as you guys were saying, the genitiveの⇒が switch only happens in archaic phrases.

In all other cases it can only happen が⇔の when the particle acts as the subject marker of the subordinate clause.

Thanks guys, I learned a lot today! (Or actually only one thing, but I learned it well!:grin:)


Have a question about a translation:

the scene: a dentists office. one of the secretaries is trying to hand some papers to another secretary who is not paying attention. After having her name called a couple of times the other secretary finally “comes to” and says “はい” and takes the documents.

then the woman who was trying to get the other’s attention says (i think):

なに ほう と して。。。

maybe ほうとう

and the translation is “you were really spaced out…”

any guesses on how you get from that text to that translation?


I’m not doubting your ears, but isn’t ボーっとする pretty common in that kind of situation?


That seems correct. Thanks


Hello which of the following (if either…) are grammatically correct?


Does one sound better than the other (and if you can explain why please do!)

Thanks in advance


I think in your first sentence there is a stray で in the sentence, not sure what the idea is there. You don’t need anything there, but you could also put another と there.

The second sentence looks ok.

I think the second one is better because the first one is ambiguous. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Tanaka-san and the others went together. The other sentence indicates that they went together. It also has a concrete subject and not a group of people that you don’t really know much about.

[No guarantees here though :slight_smile:]


Thanks for you reply - I’m just starting out with grammar so my sentence structure is still abysmal.


The sentences already seem very good :slight_smile: Why did you put the で there?

The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar lists the first と as “a particle which lists things exhaustively” and the other is “a particle marking the noun phrase which maintains a reciprocal relationship with the subject of the clause”, and your sentences capture the difference quite nicely.


To be honest, I have no idea why I put the で there aside from the fact that when I was trying to produce this sentence it ‘sounded right’ in my head.

The second sentence was based off the structure of another sentence in a book so I had something to reference with that one.The first sentence was me trying to blindly create it without really knowing how to.


I also think the second sentence sounds better.

With regard to the first sentence, although it’s possible, I can’t think of the point of including an unnamed individual in the topic when the other individual was explicitly identified.


Okay good to know. Thanks for the tip.


Maybe you were thinking of “電車で” (with a train/by train) because you felt that the と in AとB is not enough to show that both go together (which in fact is an issue here).

It’s often more valuable to look at your mistakes than just to accept the right answer :+1:


Thanks buddy - that’s some good advice. Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me too. Happy Friday!


My method is editing the mistake out of my reply and then lashing out at those who helped me by pretending I never made a mistake in the first place. To each their own.