In the story I'm reading, a girl is given a gift from her boyfriend, after which she says,


I'm at a complete loss as to how to parse this.「私だけなの」is happy? "Only I am happy"? Somehow I find that interpretation unlikely, as the boyfriend isn't popular and the girl isn't the jealous type.

Could someone shed some light on this?



(literally) Happiness is that it was only me who received it.
What is happy is that I am the only person who received it (from the boy).

The second の before が is a nominalizer. The part in the brackets is a cleft-sentence, but は (or が) is replaced by an ellipsis (presumably because she is a taciturn character).

  • Would it be possible to omit なの completely from the original line and say 「それをもらったの…私だけが、幸せなのです…」? – lightweaver Jan 23 '18 at 10:23
  • @lightweaver No, that would change the meaning of the sentence. This sentence says "The happy thing is the fact that only I received it", rather than "Only I am happy (and everybody else is unhappy)". – naruto Jan 23 '18 at 10:59
  • Hmm I see. So なの can nominalize entire clauses as ということ can? – lightweaver Jan 23 '18 at 11:03
  • Yes, for example 彼が有名人なのを知らなかった and 明日が休みなのは嬉しい. This な is the attributive form of the copula だ. – naruto Jan 23 '18 at 11:05

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