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?

1 Answer 1



(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…」? Jan 23, 2018 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, 2018 at 10:59
  • Hmm I see. So なの can nominalize entire clauses as ということ can? Jan 23, 2018 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, 2018 at 11:05

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