"no" (the particle)

Feel free to practice writing in Japanese or romaji. Help each other out with corrections or replying back in Japanese
Post Reply
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon 09.18.2006 8:43 pm

"no" (the particle)

Post by tamii » Mon 10.09.2006 6:12 pm

Hey everyone!

I am very excited, because I have been studying Japanese for about 2-3 months now, and I find myself picking out words from Jap. songs that I listen to and "knowing what they mean". I still find it a little hard with the particles, and having the verb at the end of the sentence, but I am getting better. *btw* great job on the articles, whoever posted any up there

Anyways, to the point of this thread:
This could come off as either a really dumb, or really good question --
What's up with the particle "no"? I know that "no" used like this, "watashi no neko"
makes it "My cat", but what is with the other purpose of this particle? I've read alot of descriptions, but my brain is overloading because it's set it'self to think "no" has only one purpose. Can someone help me to clarify, without big words that will confuse the definition, what the purposes of "no" are.

Thanks alot!
p.s. can you either write in hiragana or romaji (I don't know kanji yet) :(

Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed 04.12.2006 5:06 am
Native language: English
Location: Germany

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by hungryhotei » Mon 10.09.2006 6:19 pm


Posts: 114
Joined: Sun 03.05.2006 7:00 pm

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by mamba » Mon 10.09.2006 9:47 pm

Next time dont abbreviate to Jap. Its offensive. Use JPN.

User avatar
Posts: 1334
Joined: Sun 04.30.2006 9:57 pm

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by Oyaji » Mon 10.09.2006 10:07 pm

There are very few words, particles and phrases in Japanese that have "only one purpose", so don't let your brain get set like that. When you come across a usage that doesn't make sense based on what you know, use resources, such as the link hungryhotei provided.

Learning Japanese is like a Jig-saw puzzle, and every time you think the pieces are starting to fit, you will keep finding new pieces.

User avatar
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon 02.13.2006 6:37 pm

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by punkgrl326 » Tue 10.31.2006 9:49 pm

Another purpose of "no" is as a marker for explaining:

Ima, jyugyou ga aru no.
The thing is I have class now.

Ima wa isogashii no.
The thing is I'm busy now.

The no at the end by itself sounds somewhat girly so males add "da" at the end
to make it sound more declarative (no da), which then can be shortened to "nda", but that's a whole different topic ;)
Last edited by punkgrl326 on Tue 10.31.2006 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily."

-Thomas Szasz

Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 10.30.2006 11:43 am

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by Kivinsan » Mon 11.06.2006 11:07 pm

I was originally taught to view の exclusively as a possession marker, more or less equal to 's... So obviously I found I had some learning to do when I dipped a bit deeper.
My fantastic text reads "The fundamental rule here is that the first noun modifies the second" (An introduction to modern japanese, the press syndicate of university of cambridge, bowring and lawrie, copyright 1992-2004)
私の本  My book
日本の車 A Japanese car
おがねの男 The man with glasses

those stand out as decent examples of a typical の usage.

User avatar
Posts: 3577
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male
Location: Australia (SA)

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by chikara » Mon 11.06.2006 11:25 pm

Kivinsan wrote:
おがねの男 The man with glasses

めがね = glasses
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there

User avatar
Mike Cash
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by Mike Cash » Tue 11.07.2006 7:54 am

chikara wrote:
Kivinsan wrote:
おがねの男 The man with glasses

めがね = glasses
More commonly seen as メガネ or 眼鏡.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Native language: English
Gender: Male
Location: Indiana

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by AJBryant » Tue 11.07.2006 11:43 am

Man, I'm having flashbacks of an animated Momotaru marching by in his glasses...


User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: "no" (the particle)

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.15.2006 10:23 am

I think the best way to explain XのY is that Y is explained or defined in some way by X. It can be that X possesses Y, it can be that Y is defined by X, or that X is a quality of Y, or that X is a specific type of Y, and a lot of others.

Then there are phrases that are hard to translate into English like 昨日の私 (literally "the me of yesterday" but hard to represent in a way that makes it "feel" like the original Japanese).

の can also be used as a generic noun -- i.e. 赤いの = "the red one". 白いのを三本ください ("please give me three of those white ones").

の is also used in the のだ construction that someone mentioned earlier, and to nominalize entire phrases. But I wouldn't attack these until later, personally.
-Chris Kern

Post Reply