I'm going through this tae kim's guide lesson about some uses of いう: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/define

And there is something that I don't understand. In the following sentences:

  • 主人公が犯人だったというのが一番面白かった。
  • 日本人はお酒に弱いというのは本当?
  • 独身だというのは、嘘だったの?
  • リブートというのは、パソコンを再起動するということです。

They always use というの. But if I used just の, would it be incorrect? If not, what is the difference? are という and というの interchangeable? Also, they don't say anything about ということ in this lesson, so would the same rules apply?

1 Answer 1


Adjectival clauses are clauses that modify a noun just as adjectives do. Adjectival clauses in Japanese precede the modified nouns. There are 2 kinds of adjectival clauses:

  • Relative clauses

  • Noun complement clauses

Relative clauses

The characteristic of relative clauses is the existence of gaps which are the modified nouns.

The girl [whom I met ______ yesterday] is Jane.


Noun complement clauses

Unlike relative clauses, noun complement clauses have no gaps.

I got a notification [that my teacher will not come tomorrow] from my friend.


Clauses obtained by nominalizing the predicate (in the plain form) with こと and の can also be regarded as noun complement clauses.

I know that the teacher will not come.


Here, という can be added optionally.


Note: If you think my answer is either wrong or unclear, feel free to edit it as many as you want. I have set it to community wiki.

  • 1
    so that means using just の, using just という, and using というの are all acceptable? Jul 22, 2016 at 0:42
  • Could someone please clarify that this distinction between relative clauses and noun complement clauses is part of Japanese grammar? I'm asking because in English grammar (I'm pretty sure at least) the first example is called a "Non-restrictive relative clause", the second a "Restrictive relative clause", and the third a "Noun clause".
    – G-Cam
    Jul 22, 2016 at 12:37
  • Could という (and the quotes which I assume can only be present with という) be omitted from the second example without changing the meaning (giving 私は、友達から先生が明日来ない知らせを受けた。)
    – G-Cam
    Jul 22, 2016 at 12:39
  • @G-Cam It depends. 「不吉な」という知らせ means information noted as "ominous" but 不吉な知らせ means ominous information.
    – user4092
    Jul 22, 2016 at 16:15

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