I'm not fully sure the linguistic terms yet, I believe it's a noun phrase. Is there a way to form such expressions in Japanese with a single noun phrase?

  • This heart of mine
  • That son of yours
  • These cats of hers
  • Those trash of his

I tried Google Translate and it produced something like「私のこの心」, and that looked weird to me. Is it possible, and if not what's the closest alternatives?

  • 1
    – sbkgs4686
    Apr 22, 2020 at 7:16
  • 1
    You first need to explain the difference in nuance between, for example, "that son of yours" and "your son". Without that information you cannot hope to find a Japanese phrase with the same nuance. Personally I find examples 2 to 4 have a derogatory tone, but I'm not so sure that your first example is the same. Apr 22, 2020 at 13:26
  • To be honest, I'm more concerned with the grammatical feasibility of it, rather than the nuance of my example sentence. That is checking if it's possible to fill the gap in this simple sentence comparisons between Indonesian, Japanese, and English.
    – 奇興好
    Apr 22, 2020 at 23:45

2 Answers 2



Yes, that's it.

Why it makes you feel strange is perhaps because you speak English. Please take a look at the post @sbkgs4686 has cited for details, but the point is that English (as well as many West European languages) has a word class determiner that you can use only once in each phrase. "That", "the", "a", "any", "my", "their" are its typical members so that you can't use any two or more of them at the same time. As a result, you are forced to make ones like "a friend of mine" or "these cats of hers" instead of something like "*a my friend" or "*these her cats".

Japanese is free from all such things, so you just put:

あなたのその息子 "your that son": that son of yours
彼女のこの猫たち "her these cats": these cats of hers

For "those trash of his" I can think of multiple situations which I don't think literal translation works very well anyways. What also should be noted is that the default position of この/その/あの is after possessive, before ordinary adjectives if any: 私のこのかわいい猫たち.

Oh, by the way, pronouns are just nouns in Japanese, that means:

美しい日本の私 *beautiful Japan's me → "Japan, the Beautiful, and Myself"

  • Thanks, but does the order matters weather it's 私のこの心 or この私の心? My native language is actually Indonesian, and I guess English did influence my thinking in believing that was weird. Can it fill the gaps--The ones marked with「分からない」--in this comparison well enough?
    – 奇興好
    Apr 22, 2020 at 23:53
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    @奇興好 この modifies 心 in the former ("this heart of mine"), while it modifies 私 in the latter ("the heart of this guy here"). It's perfectly fine to say この私 in Japanese (see this).
    – naruto
    Apr 23, 2020 at 0:59
  • @奇興好 Yes, though in the case of "this small cat of mine" the determinative no longer comes next to the noun: 僕のこの小さな猫. Apr 23, 2020 at 1:37
  • So, is there any difference in nuance between 私のX and 私のこのX? Why would you choose the latter option? Is it merely "this X that also belongs to me" or does it have some deeper nuance, like the English equivalent? Apr 24, 2020 at 7:57
  • @user3856370 Sometimes it's just an emphasis. Other times the demonstrative is meaningful: 私のこのGalaxyは古いが、あなたのそのiPhoneは新しい. Imagine two gadget lovers' dialogue when having a phone in each hand. But isn't it same in English too? Apr 24, 2020 at 8:18

I'm not sure such kind of phrasing is used in Japanese, but in songs I've seen many times "このX" to implicitly refer to "my X", e.g. この胸, この手 and so on.

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