So I have this sentence すべての会社は、才能ある人材を育成すべきだ. I'm focusing on 才能ある人材. I'm guessing that 才能ある is short for 才能がある. But then aru is followed by 人材 which is another noun. The translation is "people with talent". Does ある in this case act as an adjective to 人材 which means personnel to make the phrase "talented (or has talent) (才能がある) personnel (人材)" or "people with talent"?

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    I will mention that besides that word ある (Attributive/[連体形]{れんようけい} form of verb ある, sometimes written with kanji as 有る・在る), there is also adjective ある (sometimes written with kanji as 或る or 或) which means "certain, one, some" and originally developed from verb ある. This adjective belongs to very small group of adjectives called [連体詞]{れんたいし} (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_adjectives#Attributives). This group is separate from i-adjectives and na-adjectives. Adjectives from this group can be used only attributively, not as predicates.
    – Arfrever
    Aug 22, 2023 at 11:56
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    This group of adjectives does not have good English name yet. Names "attributives" or "adnominals" for this group of adjectives would be confusing, because terms "attributive" and "adnominal" also happen to be used by linguists as translation of Japanese term [連体形]{れんたいけい}, one of basic forms of verbs and adjectives.
    – Arfrever
    Aug 22, 2023 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


Here ある is modifying 人材 as a relative clause. A very literal translation of 才能(が)ある人材 is "human resource where talent exists".

ある is not the only verb that "works like an adjective". Actually, if you look at the grammar of Japanese relative clauses, you may notice that all Japanese verbs can act like an adjective! I don't want to confuse you, but this is why some linguists argue that Japanese actually has no distinction between verbs and i-adjectives. In fact, verbs and i-adjectives conjugate a bit differently, but functionally speaking, they are surprisingly similar.

  • I had a laugh when I first started learning Japanese when I asked the teacher whether the past tense of 高い (高かった) meant that now I could afford my rent.
    – Robusto
    Aug 23, 2023 at 1:03

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