Two characters are walking a corridor in a school, and the following appears in two thought bubbles around one of them.



How can 特別棟 be a statement about 向かっているの? As far as I know, the の particle after a verb can mean requiring or giving explanation, or it can make a noun out of a verb. Can it make 向かっているの mean "the place toward which we're going"?


This pattern is so common that it has a special name, a cleft sentence.

So it's Special Building that we're heading to.

verb + のは + whatever + だ/です is a basic pattern of cleft sentences, and it's similar to it's + whatever + that/who + verb pattern in English. の here is something like a dummy pronoun, and 特別棟 is the word that is focused.

Here か is a kind of "surprise" marker (see the 6th definition under 終助 here), which is used in place of だ because it's a new piece of information the speaker got just now. (eg. 君か。 "Oh, it's you!")

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