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I was reading a children's book in Japanese and found this sentence:

明日になったら、町へ行って、木の実の干したのと、便せんを交換できないか聞いてみよう。

I understand most of it, except the part that says "木の実の干したのと". I know 木の実 are nuts, and 干す apparently means to dry. But the のと confuses me, and also the order (why is it "木の実の干した" and not "干した木の実"?). I really don't understand what this means, nor how it's related to the rest of the sentence, since I think the rest would be something like this "When tomorrow comes, he will go to town, ◯◯, and he'll try asking if he could exchange letters."

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    It's ordinary nominalizing の followed by ordinary conjunctive と. There are all kinds of existing questions showing these. (Also, 便せん is the paper for writing letters on, not the letter itself.) Aug 13, 2023 at 6:34
  • I did read it meant stationary or writing paper rather than letter, but I thought it was strange to exchange them, it seemed to me he wouldn't offer something in return. But after reading both answers, I'm wondering if it's possible that he wanted to exchange the dried nuts for the writing paper, and maybe that's why と is used here. Aug 13, 2023 at 23:44

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This の is short for もの (物). 木の実の干したの is the same as 木の実の干したもの, which is the same as 木の実を干したもの. This type of もの (の) is tricky to translate using English relative clauses, but this is a common use case of Japanese relative clauses. For the meaning and examples, see: What does もの stand for here?

There is little difference between 木の実干したもの and 木の実干したもの, but the latter is more common.

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  • Thank you so much, I wouldn't have guessed that! As I said on the other comment, do you think it's possible that the character's intention is to exchange the dried nuts for the stationary? I found this sentence on Yomiwa: 彼は古い車と新しい車を交換した。He exchanged his old car for a new one. Aug 13, 2023 at 23:50
  • @221victoria From this sentence alone, it's unclear whether he is trying to obtain stationery by offering nuts, or trying to obtain nuts by offering stationery. (In your car example, no one would replace a new car with an old one, so it's virtually unambiguous.)
    – naruto
    Aug 14, 2023 at 1:08
  • From the beginning of the story, the character wanted to write letters to his family. He also lives in a tree in the forest, so I think he could find nuts there. Aug 14, 2023 at 1:59
  • @221victoria Then he is trying to obtain a letter pad by offering dried nuts. I said "From this sentence alone, it's unclear".
    – naruto
    Aug 14, 2023 at 2:03
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    Of course! I just gave context so it can be clear. I'm new to this page, sorry if I said something unnecessary. Anyway, thanks for your help! Aug 14, 2023 at 2:18

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