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newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

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newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby Hektor6766 » Mon 10.05.2009 1:32 am

If I wanted to say "My father's car is Japanese.", would I say

父 の 日本 の 車 の です。
?
I feel like I'm confusing possessives and adjectives; I'm worried I'm saying my father's car is Japan's vehicle.
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby Sairana » Mon 10.05.2009 2:27 am

What you have is "It's that [or, more loosely, because of~] my father's Japanese car ---"

for your specific sentence, you need:
My father's car = 父の車
is [of] Japanese [design] = 日本車 (にほんしゃ)
Add in grammar and you have
父の車は日本車です。

For multiple possessives outside of that specific example, they just get strung along.
My friend's girlfriend~ = 私の友達の彼女は~
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby furrykef » Mon 10.05.2009 4:05 am

You could also say 父の車は日本のです (rather than 日本車), which is what I suspect Hektor was trying to say. The difference is that 日本車 means "Japanese car" and 日本の just means "Japanese", so it's the same difference between saying "My father's car is a Japanese car" and just "My father's car is Japanese".

Sairana wrote:What you have is "It's that [or, more loosely, because of~] my father's Japanese car ---"


I suspect Hektor won't be able to make heads or tails of this if he isn't already familiar with that sense of the のです construction, and I don't think bringing it into the picture is necessary. Better to just point out where he's probably going wrong:

日本の車 = a Japanese car.
日本の車です = It is a Japanese car.
日本の車のです = It is a Japanese car's (= It belongs to a Japanese car). Probably doesn't make sense, and certainly isn't what we want, so we should abandon this line of reasoning at this point.

Instead we should build up the sentence like this:
日本のです = It is Japanese (literally, "It is of Japan").
車は日本のです = The car is Japanese.
父の車は日本のです = My father's car is Japanese. There we go :)

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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 10.05.2009 1:06 pm

Sairana wrote:What you have is "It's that [or, more loosely, because of~] my father's Japanese car ---"


Actually that would have to be 車なのです. As furrykef indicates, 車のです has to be "The car's [previously specified object]". This is certainly possible in the right context, i.e. A: これは家の鍵ですか? B:いいえ、車のです。
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby kurisuto » Mon 10.05.2009 6:14 pm

Would it be natural to say 父の車は日本製です ?
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 10.05.2009 6:18 pm

I don't see anything wrong with that myself...
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby kurisuto » Mon 10.05.2009 6:38 pm

Then it has to be right :) I had a silly doubt ; I was not sure whether it was used in other contexts than "made in Japan" (as in what's written on products).
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby Hektor6766 » Tue 10.06.2009 2:13 pm

Thank you all for your prompt and obliging responses to such a pedestrian question. Your illustrations are a great help. As I wrote the sentence, I suspected I was dropping the direct object particle. Circular possession makes no sense.

I think my problem with word order comes from thinking of adjectives in the western sense. Would I be right in saying that Japanese has no true adjectives, only adjectival nouns and descriptive verbs? That adjectival nouns precede the direct object, and that auxiliary descriptive verbs follow the object and precede the main verb, unless the な construction is used?

Let me give an (admittedly unaesthetic) example:

私の友達のおとうさんの新しい赤いな車は日本の小さいです。

(I've read the です may be dropped in informal speech, but that's off-topic)

Am I any closer to the mark?

Again, thanks for your help.
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby astaroth » Tue 10.06.2009 3:17 pm

Hektor6766 wrote:私の友達のおとうさんの新しい赤いな車は日本の小さいです。

adjectives can't be concatenate, they have to be put in てform first, so 新しくて赤い車 also 赤い is an いadjective so it doesn't need な.
I think one can't add a noun to an adjective like 日本の小さい ... so my guess 日本の小さいの?日本の小さい物?
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby NocturnalOcean » Tue 10.06.2009 3:19 pm

Actually you don't need て to link two adjectives.
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby astaroth » Tue 10.06.2009 3:23 pm

I'm kind of confused ... I thought it was 新しくて赤い ... is it therefore correct to write 新しい赤い?is it like using the masu-stem form instead of the te-form to link two sentences together?
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby Minarai » Tue 10.06.2009 3:40 pm

What? There is no need to link two adjectives with the てform? :shock:

But... it is written everywhere! Websites, textbooks...

Well...maybe Nihongo is slowly changing. Think that on onother forum I've found out that there is also no need to respect in a sentence the structure/form > Subject - Complements - Object - Verb!

The phrase "watashi ga sensei ni tegami wo kakimasu" could be also written as "watashi ga tegami wo sensei ni kakimasu"!
Last edited by Minarai on Tue 10.06.2009 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby astaroth » Tue 10.06.2009 4:09 pm

Minarai wrote:The phrase "watashi ga sensei ni hon wo kakimasu" could be also written as "watashi ga hon wo sensei ni kakimasu"!

I think that's a matter of stress rather than grammar. By the way what do you mean with 先生に本を書く?
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby Minarai » Tue 10.06.2009 4:28 pm

astaroth wrote:
Minarai wrote:The phrase "watashi ga sensei ni hon wo kakimasu" could be also written as "watashi ga hon wo sensei ni kakimasu"!

I think that's a matter of stress rather than grammar. By the way what do you mean with 先生に本を書く?



Eeh...I meant 手紙 not 本 :roll:
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Re: newbie question: multiple possessives & adjectives

Postby NocturnalOcean » Tue 10.06.2009 5:16 pm

I think it is when the adjectives are predicatives they should be linked with て.

この店は静かでかわいいです。

But if the adjectives are used in another way, you don't need て。

この町には静かなかわいい店がほとんどありません。

I am not 100% sure on this, so wait for someone else to confirm it.
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