Nominalizers の & こと

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Nominalizers の & こと

Post by loganbell » Thu 04.16.2009 11:00 am

Hi, i'm looking for some help regarding nominalizers. I don't really understand what they are and what they do, i know you can use no and koto to say you like doing something: 〇をすることが好きです, and to say you can do something, i.e: 本を読むことができます。 and i've seen them used in other ways, like with adjectives, and im just wondering, how do i use them, what are they?! Can you use them with different verbs, besides suki (i like reading books, i like playing football etc.)? Sorry if my questions are difficult to understand, i'm having trouble wording them. Thanks, links to explanations would be REALLY helpful too.

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Re: Nominalizers の & こと

Post by Mür » Thu 04.16.2009 2:25 pm

No and koto are used for example to nominalize a sentence. for example, if the topic of a sentence is an other sentence you can use them, and as well with other verbs, yes.
For example:
読むことが好きです。(i like reading)
日本へ行くのはすごいです。(going to japan is wonderful)
荷物を運ぶのを手伝ってください。(help me transporting/moving this package)

Koto is also used expressing the potencial (you can do a thing).
読むことができます。(I can read)

There are some rules about when to use koto or no. We just did it in class a pair of weeks ago. I'll copy the theory that the teacher sent to us by mail.

With: 話す、伝える、決める、考える、思う、約束する、祈る etc...

With: だ、です、である。

With perception verbs: 見える、見る、聞こえる、聞く、感じる、におう etc...

With verbs that intervene near the subject of the nominalized sentence: 手伝う、待つ、邪魔をする etc...

With とめる、やめる etc...

With enfatic sentences:

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Re: Nominalizers の & こと

Post by furrykef » Thu 04.16.2009 5:39 pm

Mür wrote:No and koto are used for example to nominalize a sentence.
More accurately, they nominalize a clause. But I think loganbell's whole problem is that terminology like "nominalize" is too complicated. ^^;

Here's a simple way of explaining it. No/koto turns the preceding verb into a noun. For example, "Seeing is believing": 見ることは信じることです。 (This does not appear to be a proverb in Japanese, but it will still be understood.) Note that the verbs that take koto are in plain form, since only the final verb has to be conjugated for politeness.

So you can think of no/koto as a way of saying "[verb]ing", but only when "[verb]ing" is being used as a noun (we call that a "gerund" in English).

It also can usually be translated with the infinitive form in English, like this:

泳ぐのが好きです。 = I like to swim. (Or of course also "I like swimming.")

Now, no/koto can take more than just a verb. You can use it on an entire phrase.

食べるのが好きです。 = I like to eat. / I like eating.
すしを食べるのが好きです。 = I like to eat sushi. / I like eating sushi.

走るのが好きです。 = I like to run.
公園で走るのが好きです。 = I like to run at the park.

See? It's not so bad now, is it? :)

- Kef
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)

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Re: Nominalizers の & こと

Post by sampaguita » Fri 04.17.2009 12:58 am

の and こと are usually interchangeable, but not always.

See this site for details.

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