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This question already has an answer here:

For example when I say

彼は本を一冊持っています

vs

彼は一冊の本を持っています

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

marked as duplicate by naruto, Blavius, macraf, broccoli forest, user3856370 Aug 4 '16 at 16:56

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  • 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 '16 at 4:11
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Both are natural and correct. But there is a subtle difference.

彼は本を一冊持っています。

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

彼は一冊の本を持っています。

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

彼は一冊の本を持っています。彼のおばあさんからもらった本です。

  • a book vs one of the books – kurakura88 Aug 3 '16 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 '16 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 '16 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. – Yokunakunakunakunakunakunai Aug 3 '16 at 8:33

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