Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 1: 21/23

It is...that..., It is...who..., the one that..., the one who...

Phrase + + Noun +
Noun + + + Noun +
Phrase + + Noun + です
Noun + + + Noun + です
Register Standard
使用域 一般
のは~の方(ほう)だ is an expression used to show that (A) (usually despite expectations) is (B). It can be translated as ‘the one that (A), is (B)’. This phrase is made up of the following parts:
のは - Used for nominalization (creating a noun phrase). は highlights contrast between two (or more) elements.
の方(ほう) - A combination of の, the 格助詞(かくじょし) (case marking particle), and 方(ほう), a noun meaning ‘side’, or ‘direction’.
(or です) - The 助動詞(じょどうし) (auxiliary verb) used for ‘determining’ something.
The literal meaning of this grammar point is something similar to ‘that which is (A), is on the side of (B)’. By saying that something is on the ‘side’ of (B), it comes across more gently than expressly stating that it ‘is (B)’.
To use this construction, attach のは to the end of a phrase, and then follow it with a noun + の方(ほう)だ. Note that のは will become なのは if the final word before のは is a noun.
  • 言(い)い出(だ)したのは俺(おれ)の方(ほう)だから、俺(おれ)なんとかしておくよ。
    I am the one that said it, so I will do something about it.
  • そのコップ壊(こわ)したのはタケルの方(ほう)だ!俺(おれ)は関係(かんけい)ないよ!
    The one that broke the cup is Takeru! I have nothing to do with it!
Fun Fact
This phrase is often used apologetically, to express that someone feels that they are the individual who is (more) responsible (for causing a certain outcome).
  • 謝(あやま)らなければいけないのは私(わたし)の方(ほう)ですよ。あなたは何(なに)も悪(わる)くないです
    The one that needs to apologize is me. You are not in the wrong at all.
Slow Male
Hide All
Hide Japanese
Hide English
"It is my fault! I am so sorry!"
"You are not at fault. I am the one who should apologize."
It is often the case that the speaker is understood to be on one side, and the listener is on the other.
It was I who told on you, not her, so leave her alone.
I think that Ki-chan was the one who left the doors open (not me).
It can be used to imply that the speaker is not to blame. Great way to shift the responsibility onto someone else.
Page 118