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I've come across the title of this book:

文句の付けようがないラブコメ

And while i do understand the meaning, I don't quite get the usage of の there. Or, in other words why it is used over を. Any help would be much appreciated.

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文句の付けようがないラブコメ and 文句を付けようがないラブコメ are both fine and mean the same thing.

The former is fine simply because verb-stem + よう works like a noun, just as many other words after a verb forms a noun phrase (e.g. 寿司の食べ方を学ぶ, お金の使い過ぎを反省する). Of course you can use の to connect two nouns.

I'm rather having trouble understanding why the latter is fine at the same time...usually we cannot modify a noun with を. Anyway, this verb-stem + よう also takes を and other adverbial modifiers, too.

  • 手の出しようがない。 = 手を出しようがない。
    There's nothing we can do.
  • お礼の言いようがありません。 = お礼を言いようがありません。
    I can't thank you enough.
  • 東京へ(は)行きようがない。
    There's no way I can go to Tokyo (due to an accident, etc).
  • 健康に(は)暮らしようがない。
    There's no way I can live healthily.

It seems to me like verb-stem + よう sometimes works like a noun and sometimes like a verb, but I don't know if this is the correct way to explain this. I hope someone will post an authoritative reference.

  • Ah I see. So in that case is it safe to assume that the よう there refers to 様? Because that would make perfect sense to me, as it is the part that threw me off initially. Regardless, this did help clarify some of the doubts i had. Thank you. – Nate Apr 20 '18 at 20:36
  • Yes this よう is 様. See the last definition here. – naruto Apr 21 '18 at 7:16

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