So I've changed my question in regarding these so called nominalisation and the usage of の, こと, 物。My confusion stems from what I learned or lacked from this specific website that explains about の particle.

From that source I concluded the following:

  • Adj + 物 = the thing that is (adj).
    • 白い物 = the thing that is white.
    • 白い物は大嫌い(I dislike/hate white things).
  • Verb + こと = the event of gerund(verb + ing).
    • 成ること = becoming.
    • 貴女が医者になることを忘れてね = just forget becoming a doctor okay?

Both 物 and こと can be replaced by の.

However, I'm extremely confused when I learned about adj + こと and verb + 物. 見た本(the book I saw) so 見た物 means the thing I saw. It seems like a relative clause. Which means 選ぶこと can mean (the event of choosing) or (the thing(abstract) that someone choose). Besides that how can I know if 選ぶの indicates ことor 物 and if it is "the thing I choose/the event of choosing"?

And the adj + こと is what really kills me.

  • 私が大きい物は嫌いだ = I hate to be physically big.
  • 私が楽しいことは好きだ = I like to be mentally fun.

It is as if the adjective is being the same with the subject(verb to be). I'm so confused with these, doesn't the の after verb and adj turns them into nouns?

All of the examples and information in here are just my assumptions which may or may not be wrong. Even if they are right I'm not exactly sure how it happens the way it is. So please correct me for any misinformation and misunderstanding, also fill me in the gap that I lacked upon. Truly thank you and any help will be appreciated.


2 Answers 2


の after a verb can be もの or こと depending on the context:

  • 母親が選んだのを着た。 = 母親が選んだものを着た。
    I wore things my mother chose.
  • 時計を選んだのを覚えている。 = 時計を選んだことを覚えている。
    I remember choosing a watch.

の after an adjective is mainly もの, but it can be こと in some contexts:

  • 大きいのを着た。 = 大きいものを着た。
    I wore the big (bigger) one.
  • 大きいのはいいことだ。 = 大きいことはいいことだ。
    Being big is good.

Check how to say "I like X" correctly. It's 私X好きだ, not 私X好きだ.

  • 私は大きいものが嫌いだ = I hate large things (objects, animals, etc.).
  • 私は大きいことが嫌いだ = I hate someone/something being big. / I hate large events.
  • 私は大きいのが嫌いだ = (depends on the context)
  • 私は楽しいものが好きだ = I like amusing things (objects, like a game console).
  • 私は楽しいことが好きだ = I like amusing things (events, like holding a party).
  • 私は楽しいのが好きだ = I like amusing things (whatever).

Note that こと/もの is not always interchangeable with の (as you have already seen in the ~ことがある example). If you say 大きいのはいいのだ, the second の will be taken as an explanatory-no. And there are times you must always use の, too. In particular, you must always use の to form a cleft sentence.

  • When you say "there are times you must always use の...in particular, you must always use の to form a cleft sentence". Do you mean that e.g. 「生まれたのは京都だ。」 cannot be equivalently stated with an explicit こと, as in 「生まれたことは京都だ。」?
    – George
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 19:49
  • 1
    @George Correct, it must be 生まれたのは. 生まれたことは京都だ is something strange like "Having been born is Kyoto".
    – naruto
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 0:37

Apart from the fact that 貴女が医者になること は 忘れてね? ("Forget the fact that you will become a doctor, okay?") is different form "just forget becoming a doctor okay?" and 私が大きい物は嫌いだ should be 私は自分が大きいことは嫌いだ, You misunderstand nothing.

私が楽しいこと can mean "that I am fun" beside "things with which I can be fun". So 私が楽しいことは好き can mean "I like that I am fun", that is, I like to be fun.

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