I was reading Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese on the explanatory 「の」 particle and was following it very well. I was able to understand the usage of the particle in the end of sentences to add an explanatory tone. Then, Tae Kim explained that it's possible to conjugate the particle itself, creating the following:

  • んだ (plain)
  • んじゃない (negative)
  • んだった (past)
  • んじゃなかった (past-negative)

Although confused in the beginning, I believe I was able to understand that as well. Except for one example:


                  (Taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obOAAmHHHVI @ 08:12)

Let's look closely to sentence A. (I have no problem with sentence B, I left it there for completeness.)

Why Tae Kim needed two の particles (separately highlighted in red)? Shouldn't one suffice? Worse, isn't using two wrong?

This seems like a double explanatory tone. In my point of view, the sentence A should be 日本 と 同じ なんじゃない instead of 日本 と 同じ なんじゃないの.

  • If you think 「日本 と 同じ( なん)じゃない?」and「日本のおすしは、もっとよかったよ!」would suffice, I quite agree. The use of の and なの here is what French call "tournure." (See the fourth bullet of this article -> larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/tournure/78756.)
    – eltonjohn
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 1:48
  • I have no problem with the なの in phrase B nor with なんじゃない in phrase A, I like them to give the explanatory tone, but I still don't understand why Tae Kim felt like adding another の in sentence A, creating which seems to me a "double explanatory tone". I will edit my question to clarify. Also, sadly for me I don't speak french (yet!?).
    – Pedro A
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 1:58
  • I, too, have the impression that it creates a "double explanatory tone". All I can say is that can be her manner of speech. Maybe she thinks it makes her look more "feminine" to do so. (I dunno.)
    – eltonjohn
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 2:12
  • Oh, I forgot. Never mind about Larousse. The article says "tournure" is a (sometimes idiosyncratic - caveat: this is my impression, not that of Larousse) way of usage of words and phrases in a statement.
    – eltonjohn
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 2:17
  • @eltonjohn: thanks. It's good to know that someone else thinks the same. Hopefully there will be an explanation.
    – Pedro A
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 20:26

2 Answers 2


じゃない as "isn't it?" is rather special because it can be appended to practically anything and still be grammatically correct. Also, the two locations of の are serving different purposes. 同じなの is giving the explanation of being the same (Tae Kim would probably translate it as "the thing is, it's the same"), and じゃないの is making じゃない less rhetorical and more inquisitive.

Repetition of concepts doesn't necessarily make things grammatically incorrect either. Consider the English phrase, "It is, isn't it?" which brings up another point - casual spoken language is much less strict with grammar than essays/formal writing, and Tae Kim is demonstrating casual spoken language with that example. In that case, the best measure of correctness would be a native speaker's approval.


の and its shortened version ん work in Japanese usually at the end of sentences, as a subjective modifier. Example:


It is the same as in Japan.


I don't know if it is the same in Japan, but at least from my point of view, I see it as being the same in Japan.

  • 3
    Are you aware that 「日本と同じのです。」 means 「日本と同じものです。」? The の in 同じの is の❺準体助-#2 Edit: Oh, did you mean to type 日本と同じなのです?
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 8:51
  • You are right I though it was the same with sentence "B'. "A" sentence is a nominalization and "B" sentence is subjective modifier. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 9:05
  • Hmm... are you aware that 日本と同じです。(casual) ≒ 日本と同じ[物]{もの}です。(formal) means "It's the same ONE as in Japan", "It is the same THING/ITEM as (the one) in Japan"? These are different from 日本と同じです or 日本と同じなんです/なのです.
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 17:02
  • Yes I do understand, I gave a failed paradigm where I modified given sentence A in a wrong way (the way I thought I read it). I would only add that 日本と同じ物です does not exactly mean "It's the same ONE as in Japan", as far as I know it is still a subjective clause ( "To my understanding, it is the same one as in Japan, but that might not be the case"). The same way that もの is more subjective than こと and が is harsher than は. Please elaborate if I'm understanding something wrong. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 17:32
  • Are you saying in your answer that the sentence 「日本と同じです」 would mean "I don't know if it is the same in Japan, but at least from my point of view, I see it as being the same in Japan.", rather than "It's the same ONE/THING as in Japan"?
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 18:08

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