I have been getting confused with these two ways of creating nouns and been wondering if there's any differences between them.

For instance, are the following sentences correct or not?

  • 映画を見に行った。
  • 映画を見るのに行った。
  • 映画を見が好きだ。
  • 映画を見るのが好きだ。
  • Can you explain your thought process behind 映画を見が好きだ。?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 10:00
  • 1
    @Earthliŋ I thought that the nouns created by renyoukei are something like infinitive in English, so in the sentense 映画を見が好きだ。, the subject is 映画を見 and it's 好きだ which means "I like to see a movie". I don't know whether my idea is correct or not.
    – Shuenhoy
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 10:06
  • 映画を見が好きだ。 is not correct. I think because the nominalization 見 can't take objects any longer (because it's not a verb). を implies that 映画 is somehow the object of 見, but 見 is a noun. Grammatically correct would be 映画見が好きだ, but then nobody says that =)
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 12:48
  • @Earthliŋ if the nominalization 見 can't take objects, 映画を見に行った should be incorrect too. However, it isn't.Is it not a noun at all but I misunderstood it?
    – Shuenhoy
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 13:56
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    @Shuenhoy A noun can be derived from the 連用形 of a verb but the 連用形 itself is still a verb form.
    – user1478
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


Don't try to freely create nouns from 連用形. There are many nouns that look the same as the 連用形 of the corresponding verbs, but such nouns were lexicalized long ago, and they often have different meanings derived from the original verb. You have to look up a dictionary each time.

  • 話【はなし】 tale, story (rather than 'talking')
  • 叩き this method of preparing foods in Japanese cuisine
  • 生き liveliness, freshness (rather than 'living')
  • 飲み alcohol drinking (party)

見【み】 as a noun is found in certain fixed words such as 花見【はなみ】 (cherry watching) or 月見【つきみ】 (moon watching), but 見 itself is not a noun which means 'watching' in general. (e.g. you can't say 映画見 or 映画を見). 言い, 聞き, 食べ and so on do not work as standalone nouns, either.

Therefore 「映画を見るのが好きだ」 is correct, but 「映画を見が好きだ」 is ungrammatical. 「映画を見るのに行った」 is highly unnatural or probably ungrammatical, too.

  • In addition, some are so different now they're not even pronounced the same- like 怒る{おこる} and 怒り{いかり}
    – Blavius
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 15:52

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