For example when I say




Which is more natural?. the first one seems more correct to me but I don't really know why or...maybe I'm wrong.

  • Both are correct, but in normal/daily conversation in real life, we rather use the former (本を1冊持ってます、本が2冊あります、りんごを3つください、うちには子豚が3匹いるよ etc.) over the latter (1冊の本を持ってます、2冊の本があります、3つのりんごをください、うちには3匹の子豚がいるよ etc.)
    – chocolate
    Aug 3, 2016 at 4:11
  • 1
    Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/36890/7810 Aug 3, 2016 at 5:20

1 Answer 1


Both are natural and correct. But there is a subtle difference.


This is a very plain expression, just describing a situation or a fact.


This sounds like a beginning of a story. The emphasis is on 一冊の本 which is a something to be explained later, like


  • a book vs one of the books
    – kurakura88
    Aug 3, 2016 at 3:23
  • @kurakura88 どっちが"a book"でどっちが"one of the books"になるんですか?
    – chocolate
    Aug 3, 2016 at 3:57
  • ごめん、彼は本を一冊持っています→ a book。彼は一冊の本を持っています→ one of the books。説明はよくなくなくないさんが言った通りですけど。ただ、これで考えれば、覚えやすいんじゃないかなと。
    – kurakura88
    Aug 3, 2016 at 3:59
  • What do "the books" indicate? My explanation is not limited to a situation in which 彼 is standing in front of a bookshelf full of books. "a book vs one of the books" has nothing to do with this question. Aug 3, 2016 at 8:33

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