Naruto found out that another character had been given a tempting offer and Naruto said:


What is の doing here, grammatically? is it nominalization? I think I've heard stuff before like 今のだれ? and I've been interpreting it as the nominalizing の, where the topic is 今の and it means "that person just now".

Can you insert は into these sentences?



  • @ogicu8abruok Btw do you have a link to the context? (video / manga)
    – Pacerier
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 6:10
  • @Pacerier I think it was in the first or second chapter of volume 19 of the manga. I'll try to find a scan later.
    – Axe
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 12:55
  • @ogicu8abruok I could not find the original Japanese text. I did some googling around and I found that most probably you are referring to Naruto Volume 19 Chapter 162 Page 14.
    – Flaw
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 13:12
  • @Flaw Thanks for the reference =D I've updated the answer.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


I believe that the の here is the same の as the の which is explained in this thread: What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

Basically the の here is a noun which means "thing". It is similar to こと (noun) which also means "thing". The difference between の and こと is that の is used when the "thing" is related to the speaker. This is furthur elaborated in Derek's post: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/1396/264.

そんな is a pre-nominal adjective, also known as an attributive (連体詞). A normal adjective can be used in two ways, either attributively or predicatively. For example, the adjective 暑い can be used in these ways:

  1. Attributively: 暑い日 (hot day)

  2. Predicatively: 日は暑い (day is hot)

A pre-nominal adjective can only be used attributively, so we can say "そんな日" , but not "日はそんな"

So we can roughly dissect the sentence "そんなの答えはNOだってばよ!" into 6 parts:

  1. pre-nominal adjective そんな: such as that, like that

  2. noun の:

  3. noun 答え: answer

  4. topic-marker は (optional due to ellipsis)

  5. quoted "NO"

  6. copula だ

Note that since we can't simply chain nouns together (unless to form compound nouns), there exists a break between "の" and "答え". The sentence is clearer if we put a comma as such: "そんなの、答えはNOだってばよ!"

Putting it all together, a literal translation of the sentence "そんなの答えはNOだってばよ!" goes like this: "As for thing(s) such as that, the answer is/will be "NO". ってばよ!"

Putting it into the context of the story (chapter 162 or episode 92 @16:12), it means "As for a trade such as that (such as healing arms for resurrecting Tsunade's kin), the answer will be "NO". ってばよ!".

Using another example, the sentence "そんなのいらない!" can also be dissected into different parts:

  1. pre-nominal adjective そんな: such as that, like that

  2. noun の: thing

  3. topic-marker は (optional due to ellipsis)

  4. inflected verb いらない: do not need

And when the parts are merged, a literal translation of the sentence "そんなのいらない!" goes like this: "As for thing(s) such as that, (I) don't need!"

の as the no-particle

As for the の in the sentence "今のはだれ?", it is a totally different の compared to the の in "そんなの". The の in "今のはだれ?" is the genitive no-particle. Basically the function of the no-particle is to convert a noun into an adjective so that it can describe (modify) a noun. This is elaborated in this article: Genitive Case.

The sentence "今のはだれ?" is dissected into:

  1. noun 今: just now

  2. genitive particle の (converts the noun 今 into an adjective to describe 人)

  3. noun 人: person (optional due to ellipsis)

  4. topic-marker は (optional due to ellipsis)

  5. (pro)noun だれ: who

And the literal translation of the sentence "今のはだれ?" is roughly: "As for just now that (person), is who?".

  • Uh I think you meant to ask "Perhaps the の in 今のは誰 refers to a person in a way similar to そんなの?". ,if so, the の in "今のは誰?" cannot refer to a person because 今 is a noun and we cannot have a noun modifying another noun unless to form a compound noun.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 1:29
  • @Flaw Ellipsis is different from anaphora (in case we are talking about different things, I'm referring to the one @ goo.gl/nWWQO), for example, in the sentence "Susan dropped the plate. It shattered loudly.", "it" refers to the phrase "the plate", a case of anaphora. However now instead of "It shattered loudly.", we apply ellipsis on "it" giving us "[It] Shattered loudly.", "shattered" is still a verb, "loudly" is still an adverb, and "it" still refers to the plate. The grammatical functions of all the words in the sentence remains unchanged regardless of ellipsis.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 3:30
  • Similarly, in "今の(人)は誰?", the "の" isn't referring to the person. The "の" is referring to the no-particle, the person is referred to by the "人". Regardless of whether the "人" is omitted or not due to ellipsis, the grammatical functions of the words in the sentence remains unchanged. "の" still refers to the no-particle and the "人" still refers to the person. The "の" doesn't suddenly refer to a person since it is still the no-particle and not a noun. Particles cannot be used anaphorically, words that can be used anaphorically are the pronouns e.g. これ, ここ こう, この, こいつ, 彼女, 彼 etc.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 3:30
  • let us continue this discussion in chat
    – Flaw
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 3:37

From what I've gathered and figured out. This is what is happening:

  • Orochimaru asks Tsunade to heal his arms although she had no intentions of helping him.

  • Tsunade is reconsidering the matter after he offers to resurrect her dead brother and lover.

  • He is asking for her response to that matter.

  • Naruto is replying on behalf of Tsunade saying "そんなの答えはNOだってばよ"

I believe that そんなの here is used as a noun representing Orochimaru's (absurd) demand.

Probably because Naruto believes that Orochimaru's demands are never reasonable so he uses "such as"(そんな) to to generalise all of Orochimaru's demands forming "demands such as that(referring to Orochimaru's )" hence "そんなの".

  • I don't think the last paragraph is right, most likely the "such as" is referring to demands such as that demand, regardless of who made the demand. Just my 2 cents..
    – Pacerier
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 1:25
  • @Pacerier and "such as that" would be referring to the kinds made by Orochimaru.
    – Flaw
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 2:48

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