How would you add adjectives inside a relative clause to the thing being modified? Is the placement set?

For example, in this sentence, can "new" come directly before computer (1) or should it be within the clause (2) or would even outside the clause be preferred (3)?



I think (1) is best. (2) is unnatural. If you want to place 新しい at (2), you need to change 新しい to the continuative form of it, which is 新しく, because the adjective modifies a verb 買う.

You can place 新しい or 新しく at (3), but If 新しい is placed at (3), a comma is necessary between 新しい and お母さん because it can mean 新しいお母さん(new mother).

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  • If it were at (3), wouldn't it become "the computer that her 'new mom' bought"? Or does no such misunderstanding happen because of context? – Sweeper Feb 21 at 10:01
  • @Sweeper Haha, I didn't think of "new mother". Yes, it can mean "new mother", but what is "new mother"? If 新しい is placed at (3), a comma is necessary between 新しい and お母さん – Yuuichi Tam Feb 21 at 11:01
  • FYI 新しく is not called the “て form”, it’s the 連用形 or “continuative form”. You could also call it “adverbial form” (which is more understandable but less precise). – Darius Jahandarie Feb 21 at 13:52
  • @Darius Jahandarie I heard 連用形 is taught as て form to non-Japanese people. Is it wrong? – Yuuichi Tam Feb 21 at 14:28
  • 1
    Yes, “including て” is what I call the て form. You could say “stem of the て form”, but in the case of verbs I think that would better be used when you are trying to refer to the 音便形 (i.e., 行っ instead of 行き). – Darius Jahandarie Feb 21 at 15:09

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