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Excerpt from a JLPT practice question:

Background information: the writer was looking for rental apartments.

次に行ったところは小さい会社ですが、そこの人は大変優しい人でした。 それにいいアパートもたくさんありました。 私はその中[Blank]好きな家を借りました。 今、住んでいるアパートより少し高いですが、新しくきれいなアパートです。

The answer is given as から. (but it's not as important why から is correct than why and  is wrong)

(Question 1) Why can't I use to fill the blank?

(Question 2) Why can't I use  to fill the blank either?

My thoughts leading up to choosing

その中(in the 会社) is a place where the verb 借りる occurs.

My thoughts leading up to choosing :

その中 is the place where the writer is. Hence その中に.

My thoughts trying to justify the use of から:

The demonstrative その中 is referring to "the choice of apartments" rather than "the office where the choice is being offered"

Hence その中から would mean "from the choice of apartments" rather than "from the office where the choice is being offered"

(My initial thoughts were その中 referred to "the office where the choice is being offered)

(Clarification Point) What is the demonstrative その中 referring to?

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There is only one answer to these questions, so に and で are wrong because から is right :) – Axioplase Aug 8 '11 at 3:10
up vote 4 down vote accepted


I chose a house I liked from this set.


I chose a house I liked, and rented it from this middle (i.e., the set is the owner, because Aに借りる means you're borrowing from A). It's nonsensical, because 中 is not even something singular you can borrow from.


And when I was inside it, I picked up a house I liked. Because で would be the place of the action.

You seem to do a lot of mistakes/misinterpretations because you overlook the relation between particles and verbs. The verb dictates the particles you will use. What's important is not really what goes after その中, it is what goes with 借りる。

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Thanks for clearing this up for me. I should understand X[particle]Y as a single unit instead of interpreting the components individually. – Flaw Aug 8 '11 at 4:20

その中に would mean "to within that [selection of apartments]". Kind of nonsensical.

その中で would mean "at within that [selection of apartments]". Also kind of nonsensical.

その中から means "from within that [selection of apartments]". Clunky because literal translations are clunky, but the logic is there.

The whole sentence:


"I rented an apartment I liked from [within] that selection."

I don't think we'd usually include "within" when speaking English, but it's grammatical and conforms to the Japanese better.

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but you can say その中でどれが一番いいですか right? – Flaw Aug 7 '11 at 11:47

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