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


  • Part of Speech

    Case Marking Particle

  • Register


  • 品詞


  • 単語の種類


  • 使用域


About の

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).

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. Our lesson for will be covered separately.

Both of these examples are slightly advanced and use adjectives, but don't worry, we will be covering them next!


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.




    That over there is my pen.


    This is also my pen.


    This is my cat.


    (It) is the teacher's umbrella.


    Your name is?

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      の – Grammar Discussion

      Most Recent Replies (5 in total)

      • Anthropos888


        Interesting, thanks for the explanations. Good to know that it’s relatively free to use の or not in compounds.

      • Samraku


        I don’t remember where I first saw this (I’m pretty sure I didn’t come up with it myself, as I vaguely remember reading something to the effect a few years ago?), but doesn’t の act pretty much identically in most cases to the bang notation for characters in fandoms (eg. dark!Harry, post-HBP!Snape, Time-Turned!Alt-Universe!Hermione, hpmor!Quirrel, rational!Harry, &c.)?

      • mrnoone


        Hey and sorry for the late answer

        That’s a really good point! It works very like that.

        To be more precise, it lets the preceding noun modify the following noun, expressing some kind of relation between them. In many cases, the first noun works very similarly to an adjective or possesive s.

        So there are cases when it will express possession like in アイコのペン (Aiko’s pen), property of something ナイロンのドレス (nylon dress), kind of something チワワの子犬 (chihuahua puppy). Can also express location, subject of something, etc.

        The bolded ones are the closest to ! function in my opinion.


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