I've been trying to figure this text out in NHK news easy: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10010447431000/k10010447431000.html

There is a part when it says: トラックなど12台の車がぶつかる事故がありました。 I couldn't understand this トラックなど12台の車 exactly, the order of the words are confusing me I think. I'm reading "truck 12 cars", and I don't know what this など is doing. I think the overall meaning is "one truck and twelve cars", but I want to know exactly which role each word is playing. Could someone explain this part to me?

1 Answer 1


「など」means like "etc." or "and so on". Here, 車 isn't necessarily "cars", but "vehicles". So overall, it means "There was an accident involving 12 vehicles (trucks included)." Or you could more easily say "A 12-car pileup"; in this case—even in English—you would know that "12-car" is not just limited to actual "cars", but vehicles.

  • Thanks. It makes more sense now. I still don't understand what の is doing there though. Also, is 12台 related to トラックな or 車? Mar 22, 2016 at 12:24
  • 台 is the counter used for vehicles and other "machines". So 12台の車 is simply "12 vehicles".
    – istrasci
    Mar 22, 2016 at 15:38
  • But wouldn't just 12台車 be correct? What is this の doing? Also, I was trying to understand what is related to what, what's the hierarchy, like is it: " ( トラックなど12台 ) の 車 " ? that is, 車 is specifying トラックなど12台, or: " トラックなど (12台の車 ) " ? that is, トラックなど is specifying 12台の車 ? Mar 22, 2016 at 16:20
  • No, just 12台車 would be incorrect. It needs の. ( トラックなど12台 ) の 車 is correct way to analyze it. Think of it like, vehicles - including trucks, 12 of them in total - were involved in the accident.
    – Jun Sato
    May 13, 2021 at 17:21

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