If possible could someone explain this to me? I have the Genki I book that explains it pretty well but I guess I'm still having difficulty grasping it. I'll leave a example sentence in case my question is unclear.


あそこ で ほん を よんでいる がくせい は みちこさん です

I get that あそこ で ほん を よんでいる is qualifying がくせい but what is that part of the sentence and when would I use it?

I think what may be confusing me is the different sentence structure then what I've been use to seeing thus far in what I've studied although I know Japanese sentence structure does tend to be a little more "loose" than English.

Apologies for the unclear question yet again. It seems I'm terrible at asking questions

closed as unclear what you're asking by Flaw, broccoli forest, Earthliŋ, Ringil, Blavius Sep 7 '15 at 21:37

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    あそこで本を読んでいる学生はみちこさんです The student reading the book over there is Michiko. I still don't understand exactly what you are asking... – 3x14 Apr 30 '15 at 2:10
  • 4
    Not quite sure what you're asking. Can you tell us the parts you do understand or which part specifically you don't understand? – istrasci Apr 30 '15 at 2:14

That's a relative clause. We have them in English, too:

〔あそこで ほんを よんでいる〕がくせいは みちこさんです。

The student [who is reading the book over there] is Michiko.

In Japanese, you don't have words like who in relative clauses, but apart from that, it's pretty similar. In both languages, the relative clause corresponds to a main clause:

がくせいは あそこで ほんを よんでいる。

The student is reading the book over there.

In each case, the subject is pulled out ("relativized") and moved outside the clause.

I wrote a longer explanation comparing relative clauses in English and Japanese in another answer. It's not perfect, but if you'd like to read more, you can see what I wrote there.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.