I posted a question a long time ago about why we need の in this sentence:


Eating the same thing everyday is not interesting.

To which I was told that adding の here nominalises the verb and turns it into the gerund which I understood completely. However, I was just curious as to what the nuance is if you didn't have の?


I think the nuance here could be interpreted as

"To eat the same thing everyday is not interesting"

But I'm really unsure.

I read in another post that you cannot put が here because が takes a noun. But I read nowhere else about having は here without the の to nominalise the verb.

Before you post about "you can nominalise the verb with の then add が ~", this is not really what I'm asking.

I just want to know what is the nuance if I just have は after the verb and no の. Is that grammatically correct? I have not seen it anywhere and I'm curious as to where and when this would be used (if it makes sense).


1 Answer 1


In "regular" Modern grammar, it would not be considered correct to say:


You need to place the nominalizer 「の」 between 「食べる」 and 「は」.

In Classical Japanese, however, it was perfectly grammatical to place a subject marker 「は」 or 「が」 directly after a verb in its dictionary form.

Even today, you will occasionally encounter the remnant of that old usage in certain fixed expressions such as:

「逃{に}げる勝{か}ち。」= "He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day." A literal TL is: "To run away is to win."

「見{み}る信{しん}ずるなり。」= "Seeing is believing."

If you actually used this old form (sans nominalizer) outside of these fixed expressions in an everyday kind of conversation today, you would sound incredibly funny.

  • 2
    <In Classical Japanese, however, it was more than correct to place a subject marker 「は」 or 「が」 directly after a verb in its dictionary form.>No, that is incorrect. As in "復讐するは我にあり", the verb preceding "は" is in "連体形".
    – eltonjohn
    Jul 20, 2015 at 2:14
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    日本の学校文法では「連体形」を教えても、外国語としての日本語教育では「連体形」を教えないと思うんですけど・・・。活用形は 「辞書形」「ます形」「連用形」「ない形」「た形」「て形」・・・ 東京外大言語モジュール  ・日本語教育能力検定試験対策 ・ 他ページ「日本語の動詞のフォーム」
    – chocolate
    Jul 20, 2015 at 9:59
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    @eltonjohn "nothing remotely resembling to that was found." >> 本当ですか?「見るは信ずる(なり・にあらず、等)」(quote付きで)若干ヒットしますが・・・? -> これ "If it is coined by the appender" >> そういうことではないようですよ?
    – chocolate
    Jul 20, 2015 at 10:15
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    「"見るは信ずる"」っていうふうに、「" "」のダブルクオテーションマーク付けてググらはりましたか? 私がググると、こう見えますよ。>> イメージ
    – chocolate
    Jul 20, 2015 at 10:58
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    Modern 終止形 is descended from classical 連体形 while the real classical 終止形 was perished long ago. The alleged 連体形 in 学校文法 is but a mnemonic expedient to learn or keep it to classical grammar, I think. Jul 20, 2015 at 13:44

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