Many times I come across sentences that uses が instead of の to indicate possessiveness.

車 instead of 彼車.

The dictionary says that が can also "indicate possessive (esp. in literary expressions)", but why not to use の?

This confuses me a lot. Is there a nuance using が or の to possessiveness?

  • 2
    Can you give us a complete sentence as an example?
    – user1478
    May 24 '15 at 1:04
  • I can't remember or find a complete sentence right now, the only thing I remember in those sentences was that they were using が as a の, if the whole sentence is read the understood sense of the が in it is possessiveness.
    – Yuuza
    May 24 '15 at 1:28
  • 5
    Then we can't tell from your question which of the following is true: ① You misunderstood. ② You encountered a lexicalized possessive like 我が, and mistakenly generalized it to include examples like 彼が. ③ You encountered an older form of the language. ④ You encountered a dialect like 熊本弁 which still has possessive が outside of fossilized forms.
    – user1478
    May 24 '15 at 1:43
  • ① It's not impossible. ② What would be other examples of "lexicalized possessives"? ③ The text I read was recent. ④ Probably.
    – Yuuza
    May 24 '15 at 2:17
  • It seems most likely that you misunderstood. What is the rest of the sentence?
    – Zhen Lin
    May 24 '15 at 12:51

It is not a question of possession.

I'll show it to you using your example.

Let's say : He has built a car.


If you want to say more about the car e.g.’ The car he built got famous in the whole country.’, it comes to the change your question is about. The sentence will be like this. 彼の造った車が、全国で有名になりました。

  • Well, I think the sentences I saw were similar to your first example, like with the same pattern. Probably those sentences were like this, because if I read it without interpreting that the subject is 彼 instead of 車, it's erroneously interpreted as possession. Thanks! =D
    – Yuuza
    Aug 15 '15 at 20:39

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