I'm curious with the title of this anime, 神様のいない日曜日。Why is it title such, and not 神様いないの日曜日?

As I understand it this follows the X の Y rule where X owns Y, right? If it is written as such wouldn't that make it God's non-existant Sunday instead of Godless Sunday (the Anime is known as Sunday without God in English).

So, once again, why is it 神様のいない日曜日 and not 神様いないの日曜日?

1 Answer 1


神様のいない日曜日 is one of my favorite animes!

Well, 神様のいない日曜日 is the same in meaning as 神様いない日曜日.

In relative clauses, we can use の instead of が as a subject marker. (If you want to know why, this question may be of help: Why can の and が both mark subjects in relative clauses?)

Here, 神様のいない is a relative clause that modifies 日曜日.

So this の is not of possession, and does not have the nuance of "X owns Y."

Since the meaning of 神様がいない is "God does not exist", the meaning of 神様のいない日曜日 (== 神様がいない日曜日) is "Sunday on which God does not exist".

By the way, your attempt "神様いないの日曜日" makes no sense.

First, 神様いない is not grammatical. As 神様 is a subject here, it should be 神様がいない.

When you want to add information of the form of a complete sentence (like 神様がいない) to a noun, you can't use の. To do that, make it a relative clause. By doing so you get the phrase 神様がいない日曜日.

  • Another explanation here that uses this anime title as a specific example, and talks about some of the ambiguities that can arise: japanesewithanime.com/2019/05/no-subject-marker.html May 16 at 21:12
  • There is also this page that notes this additional rule: "の can also be used as a subject marker in relative clauses as long as the word that immediately follows the particle is not a noun." (the reason is because before a noun it would create a possessive/attributive relationship between the nouns) wildnihongo.com/grammar/relative-clause May 16 at 21:17

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