Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 6: 11/13

~た + (Noun)
Verb Modified Noun, relative clause

Verb[た](*) + Noun
Verb[ている](*) + Noun

(*) Only verbs in short (plain) form can modify nouns. Do not use polite-ます.
Part of Speech Expression
Word Type Noun
Register Standard
品詞 表現
単語の種類 名詞
使用域 一般
In Japanese, if you want to describe something or someone that is performing an action, one of the ways you can do this is through a relative clause. A relative clause is when two phrases are joined into one sentence, rather than two individual sentences. The た (plain-past), or ている (continuous) form of verbs are usually used.
  • たかしさん東京(とうきょう)住(す)ん男(おとこ)。
    Takashi-san is a man that lived in Tokyo.
  • 貴方(あなた)食(た)べハンバーガ。
    The hamburger that you ate.
  • 田中(たなか)さん飲(の)んでいるコーヒー。
    The coffee that Tanaka-san is drinking.
  • 道(みち)寝(ね)ている犬(いぬ)。
    A dog that is sleeping on the road.
る-Verbs and う-Verbs follow their regular conjugation rules when making a relative clause. In the first example, we can see that ‘Takashi-san is a man that lives in Tokyo’, is one sentence, rather than ‘Takashi-san is a man. He lives in Tokyo’. In English, words like ‘that’, and ‘which’ are used to create a relative clause. However, seeing as though these words do not exist in Japanese, the first phrase is simply attached to the noun.
The ます (polite) forms of verbs may not be used when making a relative clause.
  • たかしさんは東京(とうきょう)住(す)んでいました男(おとこ)。
    Takashi-san is a man who lived in tokyo. (Unnatural Japanese)
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A student who studied a lot.
A foreigner living in Japan.
A pen borrowed from a friend.
Genki I 2nd Edition
Page 213
Genki II 1st Edition
Page 56
Genki II 2nd Edition
Page 80
Page 70
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 9 & 376
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 63