Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a sentence in a book that goes like 甘い匂いのするまっきいろな花です。It is a kids book, so everything is in kana. I'm having trouble figuring out the bolded part. It talks about a dandelion in the context, so I assume that きいろ is 黄色(yellow), what is this (まっ) then?

Google suggests that it might be following 甘い匂いのする真っ黄色な花です。and translates this (真っ) part as "straight". Can someone explain how this truncation happens?

Also, where to look up the grammar for "のする"?

share|improve this question
The 甘い匂いのする could also be written as 甘い匂いがする. Check this topic for info on when can be replaced with . – istrasci Jan 30 '13 at 15:20
up vote 6 down vote accepted

まっ◯◯ is indeed 真っ, but it does not exactly mean straight. It can mean straight when you use it as 真っ直ぐ, but that's because of the meaning of すぐ. 真っ emphasizes the word that it's connected to. If you look at the meaning of 真 by itself, like "true," then it's a little clearer. So 真っすぐ means that it's "really" straight. まっきいろ would be "really" yellow, or like a pure yellow. It connects to some other words similarly, like 真っ赤{まっか}, 真っ裸{まっぱだか}, 真っ白{まっしろ}い, etc.

The issue of の is a separate issue, but you should be able to find it in most grammar references, as well as in some questions on this site, like here and in the other questions linked in it.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for the detailed answer. – Vasili Sviridov Jan 30 '13 at 12:32
So, the translation would be "It is a really yellow flower that smells sweet"? – Vasili Sviridov Jan 30 '13 at 12:38
yes, something like that – ssb Jan 30 '13 at 12:44
@ssb: Does 'ssb' stand for "Super Smash Bros."? Cause that's all I can think about when I reading your name. – istrasci Jan 30 '13 at 15:40
And 真っ青 is まっさお (sic.), which is really not intuitive... – Earthliŋ Jan 30 '13 at 22:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.