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I am working on Genki, 1st ed., vol. 1, p. 139, F., 3. The question asks me to “Make your own sentences on the topics below using adjectives...”

Here is the “topic” it provides me to construct the sentence:

「私のとなりの人は」

I Googled this phrase for its meaning, but I did not find an exact match. Instead, I found a similar phrase:

Yamada-san wa watashi no tonari no hito desu.

which it also translates into English as,

Mrs. Yamada is the person (who is sitting) next to me.

Anyway, does the topic I provided above thus mean “the person who is next to me”? I expected 私のとなり人は, without the の between となり and 人 (i.e., like 人は私のとなり).

  • This means "a person next door" and "a person sitting next to me" depending on the context. – naruto Dec 6 '17 at 1:44
  • They want you to create sentences like 「私のとなりの人はいつもいそがしいです。」「私のとなりの人は独身です。」「私のとなりの人はお金持ちです。」「私のとなりの人は、ちょっとうるさいです。」... maybe? cos they say using adjectives... – Chocolate Dec 6 '17 at 1:46
  • @Chocolate—Sure, I understand the assignment in general. I had a question about the meaning of that particular “topic” I was given to work with. :) – Der Übermensch Dec 6 '17 at 2:09
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Yes, your interpretation is correct.

If I recall correctly, Genki introduces となり with other relative place markers (右、左、上, etc). As with those, you need a の between them and whatever they're modifying. If you'd like to avoid using a second の, you'll have to reconstruct your sentence to something like

私のとなりには山田さんがいます。

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I'm faaar from knowledgable, but 私のとなりの人 looks fine. の is causing the nouns before 人 to be taken as adjectives. So this is saying "Person/s that are neighbor to me". While 人は私のとなり is saying "Person is my neighbor". Kinda like the difference between "Blue car" and "Car is blue".

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