What is the difference between 今 and 今の? For instance:

今の僕にその言葉はないだろう - This word does not exist to me now.

今、僕にその言葉はないだろう - This word does not exist to me now.

I hear 今の a lot in musics and tv shows, but I could not get when I should use it over 今, what are the different nuances it brings to the sentence and so on.

Also I'm not quite sure if it is possible to say:

今の僕は朝ごはんを食べる - I will eat breakfast now.

今、僕は朝ごはんを食べる - I will eat breakfast now.


1 Answer 1


Let's just follow the basic grammar. 今 is an adverbial expression and thus modifies a verb or adjective that follows (in this case, it's 言う omitted after 言葉(を)). 今の is an adjectival expression and modifies a noun that follows (僕 in this sentence). 今の僕 means "current me/self", "what I am today", "me in this state" etc. In this case, 今の僕 implies he is currently in some special situation. Maybe he is in trouble.

ない here is "unacceptable", "no good", "impossible", etc. It's the same as なし in the second sense here.

(lit.) Saying those words to me now is unacceptable.
How dare you say such a thing to me in this situation?

The difference between the two sentences is not large in thise case.

今の僕は朝ごはんを食べる is grammatical, but 今の僕 implies 僕 is in some special situation and has some special reason to eat breakfast at this specific time. In ordinary and simple contexts, use the adverbial 今.

  • I see, so basically 今の僕 will create a strong emphasis to 僕, there fore this "special reason" right? Jun 27, 2017 at 14:47
  • 1
    @FelipeOliveira Yes, exactly.
    – naruto
    Jun 27, 2017 at 14:48
  • also, the classic sentence 「そのことはない」 often translated as "that's not true" has something ommited to that too? Jun 27, 2017 at 14:49
  • @FelipeOliveira Perhaps you mean そんなことはない meaning "that's impossible"? I think there is nothing omitted. ない by itself means "impossible."
    – naruto
    Jun 27, 2017 at 14:50
  • 3
    @FelipeOliveira 僕 is a plain noun in Japanese, thus accepts qualification. You can say 今の僕 "my current self" just like 今の世界 "the current world". Jun 27, 2017 at 14:55

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