Is な used to connect 好き and だけ. Does it mean that she only likes reading books?

  • Should be a dup of What does the 好きな do in this sentence? And yes, it means "she only likes reading books"
    – sundowner
    Feb 13 at 12:24
  • @sundowner This seems a bit different from the suggested duplicate. While the sentence does make sense to me, I can't quite parse how 好きなだけの is working. Clearly this の is what is connecting the previous phrase with what's following. But where's the noun? So, like the OP, I'm wondering whether だけ is being used as a noun here.
    – A.Ellett
    Feb 13 at 12:33
  • @A.Ellett だけ is a word connecting to 連体形 (it's originally a noun)
    – sundowner
    Feb 13 at 12:49
  • @sundowner Yeah, I understand 好きな, but it's just a little weird to me when it's modifying だけ. Are there any other examples where a な word modifies だけ? Also, how should you parse だけ when it's acting as the noun here?
    – shawntarou
    Feb 13 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


First, just to clarify, 好きなだけ is often used in a different sense:

  • 好きなだけ食べなさい Eat as much as you like

This is #1 of the 大辞泉 definition (literally: eat the amount you like):

1 分量・程度・限度を表す。…ほど。…くらい。…かぎり。「走れる—走ってみよう」「どれ—の人が苦しんでいるか」

2 範囲を限定する意を表す。…ばかり。…のみ。「学校—でなく家庭での指導も大切だ」

On the other hand, your sentence used だけ in the sense of #2 'only, merely, just', which is also common enough.

Though it is categorized as 助詞, it behaves mostly like a noun: Preceding words takes 連体形 and phrases ending in だけ (本を読むのが好きなだけ here) can be followed by の.

If a na-adjective (or copula だ) precedes だけ, it ends in な (=連体形).

  • この本は高価だけで、あまり有用でない This book is just expensive and not so useful.
  • 彼は親切だけだ He is merely (being) kind.
  • 彼女はまだ子供だけだ She is just a child yet. (Here な is 連体形 of だ. Uttered e.g. by someone defending a girl for some foolish act).

As for the structure you can think1 本を読むのが好きなだけの極々虚弱な女の子 has the structure N1のN2, where N1=本を読むのが好きなだけ and N2=極々虚弱な女の子. A much simpler phrase with the same structure would be 黄色の本, and similarly, N1 modifies N2. Thus the sentence translates to I'm a fairly weak girl who just likes reading books.

1 Forgetting だけ is a 副助詞.

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