I already tried to google this but can't find an answer, first I thought it was a question clause (not sure if correct term) but then I realized there's no question word in that clause.

The sentence is from anime "kami nomi":

掃除ってレベルなのか これ 新品みたいにピカピカだぞ

I suppose the な before the なの follows the rule about distinguishing between the possession particle の because レベル is a noun. Thank you beforehand.

2 Answers 2


Both の and か are question markers. の is also known as explanatory-no. If you combine both, のか forms a "literary style" question suitable for monologues, news headlines, book titles, blunt comments, etc. Please see this article. By "question word", do you mean interrogatives like どこ/だれ? An open question (or WH-question in English) requires an interrogative, but a close question (or yes/no question) does not require one.

(Headline) ロボットは人間の仕事を奪うのか?
Will Robots Take Your Job?

So a super-literal translation would be something like "Is it that this is the level called cleaning?", but it means "Is this (really) something called cleaning?"

  • Thank you very much. so then is just the explanatory の+か? By "question word" yes I meant interrogatives. And about the sentence, the context is that the girl cleaned the room very good, and the guy is saying "You did more than cleaning, the house looks like new" (extracted from the subtitles).
    – Koutta
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 14:35
  • @Koutta Yes, "this is more than something called cleaning" is the gist of what he wants to say.
    – naruto
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 15:38

な → 連体形 (:"attributive form") of the verbal auxiliary だ

の → particle of nominalization

か → particle of "uncertainty" (question)

You cannot nominalize a word that is already a noun (レベル) so you have to add a 用言 (verb or adjective), or the 連体形 of だ which is な between the nominalizer and the phrase.

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