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Assuming "学校で読んでいる本は簡単なの?" translates as "Are you finding reading books at school easy?", is there a general nominalising rule here?

From another question about こと and の, it's clear that the generalised act of reading would be 読んでいるの. Since 読む can take a direct object with を, it would follow that adding a noun that can be read like 本 or 新聞 allows you to be more specific.

How far can this be taken? For example, if I like reading books and newspapers, could I say "読んでいる本と新聞はすき"?

Is this correct and how is the rule actually formulated?

  • "it's clear that the generalised act of reading would be 読んでいるの" > I think it would be more common to use 読むの. – Blavius Sep 19 '15 at 17:57
  • "Are you finding reading books at school easy?" translates to 学校で本を読むのは簡単だと思っていますか?". 学校で読んでいる本は簡単なの? is "Are the books you are reading at school simple?" – user4092 Sep 20 '15 at 7:51
  • If you'd like, you can think of "nominalizing" with の and こと as a special case of a relative clause, in which the grammaticalized nouns (or "nominalizing particles") の and こと are the head noun and the relative clause is gapless. But in your 本 example, you have a plain ol' gapped relative, 〔学校で読んでいる〕本 "books [that Ø is reading at school]", where the gap is in direct object position. – snailcar Sep 20 '15 at 8:12
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I find a close translation of that to be, "As for the books that you read at school, do you find them easy/simple?"

That is, the base sentence is 本は簡単なの "Are the books easy?", and 学校で読んでいる is an adjectival clause describing the books—they're "reading at school" books.

But I'm still pretty new to Japanese, so there might be more nuance than that.

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Well, I'm afraid it's not quite right. And as far as I know there are the two ways which can help you nominalize a verb!

  1. Vる+こと
    。。。本と新聞を読むことがすき。I love reading books and newspapers.
  2. Vる+の
    。。。本と新聞を読むのがすき。 I love the act of reading books and newspapers.

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