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I know that within an informal/familiar setting, people often leave out particles. Whether or not this is grammatically correct I'm not positive, but for the sake of this question, I'll say that it's not.

What I'm talking about are modified nouns without particles that seem to be grammatically correct. Furthermore, I've never seen them with particles, and the particle-less form seems to be the only one. Here are a few that seem to be accepted as particle-less ("accepted" meaning I've found these exact forms in at least one dictionary).

父なる: 父なる神様 → Father God / God the Father
聖なる: 聖なる人々 → (a) holy people
単なる: 単なる過失 → a simple/mere mistake

Here are some others that I've seen/heard before, but not sure if these forms are accepted as particle-less, or if they are just informally left out (could not find any of these exact forms in the dictionaries I have).

息ある: 息あるもの → living things ("thing that are breathing")
影響ある: 影響ある政治家 → an influential politician
力ある: 力ある人 → a powerful/strong person

My question is, why are certain expressions like this accepted as not having particles? How did they become this way? Are there many expressions like these in additions to the ones I put? Is there some type of rule that governs when an expression can acceptably leave out the particle?

Or am I wrong about the whole thing?


Update: some other examples I remembered:

内なる: 内なる人 → Our inner-self; the person we are on the inside
大【おお】いなる: 大いなる功績 → a great achievement

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I know of かたちあるもの (as in the title of a song by 柴咲コウ) and 形ないもの (as in the lyrics of "far away" by 浜崎あゆみ) –  cypher Apr 24 '12 at 0:46
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For your first three examples, they are predicates within a relative clause, and they are followed by なる, which may be considered a copula, and which originates from にある, and indeed includes a particle .

Your example 影響ある sounds artificial/awkward. It is just simple omission, and is more natural with が or の (because it is within a relative clause).

息ある and 力ある sounds somewhat idiomatic, departing a little bit from the literal meaning, so you can consider it as a fixed expression.

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Well in Japanese everything that is considered obvious is can be omitted.

In most cases if you don't have a different possible meaning, that is to say changing the particle would result in a sensible sentence with a different meaning, you can simply omit it.

Most of the time it is even considered more correct to omit the particle because having too many particles in the sentence can make it much harder to understand.

For example saying 力ある人 will always mean 力を持つ人. however 力がある人 could mean the same thing or it could mean that 力が is acting another verb later in the sentence. Take 力がある人にない, without context it could mean either ある人には力がない, or 力ある人にない. This is only a very simple example, consider what would happen if you had a much longer sentence, the possible areas of confusion far more numerous.

However for non-native speakers this is something that can be very problematic. The reason being is that non-native speakers tend to often omit particles when they are required.

In general the basic rules are as follows.

に・へ can be dropped when directly before of a verb that displays movement.

を can be dropped when directly before a verb, unless that verb is acting on 2 similar nouns, since this would cause confusion. An example of this would be causative forms.

は・が when directly before a verb.

の when chaining nouns together and the omission of the particle produces the same meaning. For example 日本憲法 and 日本の憲法 are both correct and the same meaning, however 東京大学 and 東京の大学 are clearly different.

While this is far from complete, it would be impossible to clearly define all the rules without writing a book on the subject.

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I can't agree with the statement that "everything that is considered obvious can be omitted," and I think that some of the information in this response is misleading. –  rintaun Apr 24 '12 at 11:51
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