They both mean to like the subject/topic, right?

I'm trying to figure out what のが actually means/adds to the sentence and when it is appropriate to put it in a sentence or leave it out. I have been told it is similar to stating 'I like things like ~' whereas just が is stating I like this one particular thing.'

Please explain to me and also please use hiragana as I am still a beginner.


  • 7
    Do you have some example at hands? In general, のが is used after verbs, and nominalize the preceding sentence, while is used after nouns; so 私{わたし}は泳{およ}ぐのが好{す}きです (I like to swim) vs 私{わたし}はケーキが好{す}きです (I like cakes), not sure if this is what you are referring to. Short verb + のが好{す}きです means "I like doing [verb]".
    – Mauro
    Oct 10, 2019 at 10:06
  • Mauro thank you. This makes a lot of sense! This will help me in my studies so thank you for answering. :) Oct 20, 2019 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


If you want to say you like some plain noun (e.g., pizza, soccer, video game), の is never used. の before が好きです is necessary when you want to say something using a verb or an adjective.

  • After a verb, as a nominalizer ("-ing"). See: Question with this sentence わたしはえをみるのがすきです

    I like running.

    はしるがすきです (≒"*I like run") without の is ungrammatical. Depending on the context, はしるの can also mean "the one that runs", but it's rather exceptional.

  • After an i-adjective, as a pronoun meaning "one".

    I like the red one.

    (cf. おおきいをください。 The bigger one, please.)

    あかいがすきです is ungrammatical.


I like running.
I like the red one.
I like French better (than English). 私はフランス語のが好き。

verb+の=ing (noun)
の=one, thing
のが=の方が=more, better (adverb) This is a dialect.

I like the running one.
I like the red one better.
I like running better (than swimming).
I like the running one better.

  • 3
    Are you sure about the translations you give? 「私は走るのが好きです」 is translated in two different ways, and you state that 「のが」 is equal to 「の方が」 (which isn't, as far as I know); also, should "I like French more (than English)" be 「私はフランス語の方が好きです」 instead of 「私はフランス語のが好きです」 (which I think is just "I like French")?
    – Mauro
    Oct 12, 2019 at 17:05
  • Sorry. I’d always thought that 私は走るのが好きです can be translated in two different ways and it depends on the context. But according to google, it may be a kind of dialect. I think it’s relatively common in Kanto region.
    – Yamacure
    Oct 12, 2019 at 22:12

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