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Do na-adjectives need a な before a は?

もっと きれいなは どうですか。

もっと きれいは どうですか。

Which is correct?

Personally I think な is needed as the sentence is a shorter form of もっと きれいな ハンドバッグは どうですか。(replace ハンドバッグ with any noun). References say to use な in front of modified nouns, but nothing about は particles. I have tried Googling for もっと (na-adj)なは but I am still not sure.

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    You need to nominalize the na-adjective きれい by appending の: もっときれいなはどうですか。. See also: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/4795, japanese.stackexchange.com/q/19514.
    – senshin
    Dec 6, 2015 at 5:23
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    I think some linguists would suggest distinguishing pronomial の from nominalizing の. See A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (Makino & Tsutsui) p.315.
    – user1478
    Dec 6, 2015 at 5:40
  • @senshin I see. So the bottom one would be preferable, then?
    – rhyaeris
    Dec 6, 2015 at 11:28
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    @rhyaeris Neither of your two proposed sentences is grammatical, and I don't think either one sounds "less ungrammatical" than the other.
    – senshin
    Dec 6, 2015 at 23:39

1 Answer 1

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(The question was answered in the comment section; therefore, I will community-wiki this.)

もっと きれいなは どうですか。

もっと きれいは どうですか。

Which is correct?

Neither is, unfortunately.

The correct sentence that is shortest and most natural would be:

「もっときれいなはどうですか。」 ("How about a prettier one?")

This is because you cannot attach a 「は」 to an adjective without nominalizing the adjective first.

Also correct but somewhat colloquial/slangy would be:

「もっときれいなやつはどうですか。」

Not that I recommend that you use 「やつ」 actively, but you will see/hear it quite often.

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