I still notice this when I see [verbal noun]する instead of [verbal noun]だ. While I understand the meaning of both, I'm missing the qualities that often make する or がある seem to be a more natural choice in Japanese.

For example instead of:


I would want to say:


I'd probably ask:

Windows 10はRaspberry Piと対応ですか?

Windows 10はRaspberry Piと互換ですか?

instead of:

windows 10はRaspberry Piに対応していますか?

windows 10はRaspberry Piに互換していますか?

In the Windows 10 example, I see there could be an implication of Microsoft providing something. But at times, as in the first example, it's not clear why there's the emphasis on dynamicity (continous form 〜ている).

Are things as I'd do it in fact less natural?

  • @blutorange Thanks for the cleanup. I read on meta that block quotes were intended for English, and took a guess at underlining rather than bold. Are your changes based on a "JLU style guide" or something? Apr 12, 2015 at 6:12
  • You're welcome. The formating F&Q can be found here on meta, it contains a section on quoting and emphasizing. As for emphasizing, bolding is better because underlining relies on "abusing" the furigana script; and more importantly it doesn't work on the mobile version of this page. I'd been viewing this my mobile phone (where it looks like 漢字 {L L }とかな and it took me a minute to understand it was supposed to be underlining. But of course, feel free to change it if you'd like.
    – blutorange
    Apr 12, 2015 at 6:24
  • @blutorange No, I'll leave it, that's an important point about mobile support. There's a vote for block quotes only used for longer Japanese passages, but I think your edit is a visual improvement too (not just a necessity for bold and italic keywords). Thanks again. Apr 12, 2015 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


No subtleties, just grammar.

First, 相関 stands for "correlation" as noun and "to correlate" as verb. Now,

× 国民の平均身長は栄養状態相関だ。

It's an ungrammatical sentence because Japanese postpositions can't modify noun by its own, contrary to English prepositions (but similarly to that of Latin & Romance languages). Grammatical ones are:

(a) 国民の平均身長は栄養状態相関だ。 (turn into na-adjective)
(b) 国民の平均身長は栄養状態との相関だ。 (postp. + の make it noun modifier)
(c) 国民の平均身長は栄養状態相関がある。 (divert modifiee to a verb)
(d) 国民の平均身長は栄養状態相関している。 (use its own verb form)

But note that the meaning of sentence (b) is "The nations' average stature is a correlation with nutritional status.", therefore doesn't equal what (d) means.

If you talk about subtlety, well, the distinction between na-adjectives (adjective nouns or nominal adjectives, as you like) and nouns is rather subtle but undeniably exists.


  • 対応 is a verb or noun, but not adjective

    × Windows 10はRaspberry Piと対応ですか?
    ○ Windows 10はRaspberry Piに対応していますか?

  • 互換 is an adjective (some people use it as a noun too?), but not verb

    ○ Windows 10はRaspberry Piと互換ですか?
    × Windows 10はRaspberry Piに互換していますか?

  • Many thanks! Still reading this over as I slowly get closer to giving an honest check mark. Do you happen to know of a JLU post about this adjectival aspect of nouns? I see what you mean, and I see my confusion now, but I'm wondering if someone has elaborated on this already (since meaning and dictionary classification can be contradictory, I wonder if it's been brought up). Apr 12, 2015 at 5:56
  • Since I haven't learned Japanese as a foreign language, I'm not totally familiar with how learners approach it, but I wouldn't think that things in my answer above should be called "adjectival aspect of nouns". Dictionaries must treat them differently than true nouns, I suppose. Apr 26, 2015 at 8:19
  • Great to have your answer and comments. I've been incorrect in approaching Japanese adjectives with English thinking. I'll just stop trying to group them into my language's terms. I think that's all I needed to consider to give the check mark. Apr 27, 2015 at 7:04
  • 1
    Interesting read for others thinking about adjectives and nouns: Japanese has no real adjectives at all Apr 27, 2015 at 7:57

You can interpret it as 『国民の栄養状態は平均身長と相関』だ but the 国民の栄養状態は平均身長と相関 part is still imcomplete sentence.

Likewise, 「『Windows 10はRaspberry Piと対応』ですか?」

So, it's different from 相関している or 対応している.

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