Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

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Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by Svensk » Thu 06.25.2009 3:39 am

Hello!=)

First I want to say that my active knowledge (I think it is called active knowledge, correct me if I am wrong)) of the english language is not very good, though my passive knowledge is quite good, so please excuse me if I am not clear enough!

I have a question about the japanese grammar, that I hope you can answer. When I ask which of two alternatives is more, I say; "X to Y to dochira no hoo ga Z desu ka?" and when I ask about three or more things I say "X to Y to Z to dare/doko/dore ga ichiban A desu ka?", BUT, and this is my question, can I say ..."dare/doko/dore no hoo ga....", or is it simply wrong?

I hope that you all have patience with my understanding of the english language, and I am sorry if I am to confusing.

Thanks!
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Re: Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by keatonatron » Thu 06.25.2009 6:40 am

"Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?"

Simple answer: yes.

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Re: Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Thu 06.25.2009 7:17 am

I always thought hou was only used for two things, that beyond that you just said "dore ga oisii" or "nani ga ii" without the "no hou". I could be wrong, though.
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Re: Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by Svensk » Thu 06.25.2009 3:28 pm

keatonatron wrote:"Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?"

Simple answer: yes.
Ok! Do you know if there is a reason nobody else has written about this in the books I have read? Is it not very ordinary? :/ I do not know why writers don't bother telling their reads stuff like this.

Thanks for the help! :D
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Re: Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by NocturnalOcean » Thu 06.25.2009 4:03 pm

I don't have my Genki books around at the moment, but I am pretty sure I remember there was something about how to construct these sentences, when there was 2 items, and if there was 3 or more.
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Re: Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by Svensk » Tue 06.30.2009 10:27 am

One more question!

In the sentence "Kyoto to Sapporo to Sendai no naka de, doko ga ichiban tabemono ga oishii desu ka" you find the word "Ichiban" before the noun "tabemono", which is kind of confusing, since "Ichiban" means "most, -est". Should'nt it be infront of "oishii"?
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Re: Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by Ryouka » Tue 06.30.2009 11:14 am

With where it is it asks where has the best food that is delicious, rather than the most delicious food. I honestly can't say I've ever heard it said before, but I haven't heard a whole ton of conversational Japanese.

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Re: Can I use "no hou ga" when I compare several things?

Post by Hyperworm » Tue 06.30.2009 12:50 pm

Actually, I think moving ichiban to before oishii might make it unnatural.

"どこが一番*が" : Results 1 - 10 of about 35,500
"どこが*が一番" : 60 results

In doko ga ichiban [tabemono ga oishii] desu ka, tabemono ga oishii can be thought of as itself an adjective, like se ga takai (tall) (kare ga se ga takai is fine), so we just have "doko ga ichiban adj desu ka" which is natural. Think of it as asking for the place that most fits (ichiban) your description of "having delicious food".

Also, in a similar structure, I think there's the following meaning difference (but now I'm not too sure... google searches are failing to back me up...):
Box A has 3 red balls, 2 white balls.
Box B has 4 red balls, 5 white balls.
赤いボールが一番多い箱は? Which is the box that has the following property: akai booru ga ichiban ooi?
Box A, because in box B, the white balls are ichiban ooi, not the red balls.
一番赤いボールが多い箱は? Which is the box that most satisfies: akai booru ga ooi?
Box B, because it has more red balls than box A.
(I think the first sentence can also be answered "B", but the second one can't be answered "A".)

Am I speaking total nonsense with that last bit? >_>
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