I'm confused about the use of the first (bold) の in this sentence:


I'm happy with the use of の as a nominaliser, but if I use it like that I get:

Before that, I will buy "giving a gift" somewhere else.

You can't buy "giving a gift". I would be happy if the sentence were

Before that, I will buy a thing to give as a gift somewhere else.

What am I not understanding here?

  • @broccoliforest I checked your second link (way above my current standard). Summary: もの=concrete, の=abstract. の can replace a noun representing a concrete thing once established. With the latter I could translate as "Before that I will buy the one I'm giving as a present elsewhere. Now I realise I haven't given enough context, but she was going to buy a present in her current location too, so this translation doesn't quite work. May 1, 2016 at 8:03
  • Ah, it's not that. She doesn't say "elsewhere". 先に means "first, on ahead". May 1, 2016 at 16:39
  • @broccoliforest Well then, I'm stumped. I know no meaning of よそ other than "elsewhere" and I can't see a substantial difference between "before that" and "first/ahead". Please help. May 2, 2016 at 9:51
  • 1
    @user3856370 Okay, now I know. よそ doesn't only mean "elsewhere" but "other people (that belong other group than you)". For some reason I kept overlooking you didn't translate the word as it should be. In this sentence, よそへ is qualifying 贈る but not 買う, as it's impossible for 買う to take へ. May 2, 2016 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


That の is a pronoun that indicates something aforementioned in the context. (よそ means a family that is not your own or your relatives.)

"I'll buy one to give to other families first".

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