Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 1: 8/12

Indicates possession

(A) の (B) = (B) belongs to, or is a quality of (A)

Noun (A) + + Noun (B)
Part of Speech Particle
Word Type Case Marking Particle
Register Standard
品詞 助詞
単語の種類 格助詞
使用域 一般
From the perspective of English, has several different meanings. It can indicate possession, like putting (A)’s on the end of a word. In Japanese, however, the meaning is a bit broader, and shows that (B) is an attribute/possession of (A).
  • これ妹(いもうと)車(くるま)です
    This is my sister's car.
  • 今日(きょう)夜(よる)。
    Today’s night. (Not very natural in English, but ‘tonight’ is an attribute of ‘today’ in Japanese, so it works)
In the first sentence, we can see that is showing ownership, however in the second sentence, it is simply showing a relationship between (A) and (B).
is also often used in the same way as , to highlight the subject of a statement.
  • 私(わたし)好(すき)きなお酒(さけ)ビールです
    My preferred drink is beer. (Alcoholic drink)
  • 私(わたし)好(すき)きなお酒(さけ)ビールです
    My preferred drink is beer. (Alcoholic drink)
is usually used after nouns, but can also be used after other types of words, specifically when it is transforming them into a noun-like phrase. This is called nominalization in English. We will cover this in detail in the の - Nominalization grammar point.
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That over there is my pen.
This is also my pen.
This is my cat.
Genki I
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Genki I 2nd Edition
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みんなの日本語 I
Page 14 [CH 1]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 312
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 70