I was reading a book of Pokemon, and this sentence came across:


My interpretation was

Among them, one is called a "phantom" and rarely appears in public.

which I think has the general idea, but the last part of the sentence is bugging me, namely 現れないものもいる。A more literal translation that I can think of would be something like

Among them, one is called a "phantom". A thing that rarely appears in public also exists.

although this seems much more unnatural in English. To be honest, I expected the original sentence to be written as just


1. What are the nuances between the original sentence and the alternative?
2. Do Japanese people use the original more often (or even strictly)?
3. Should they be translated as the same in English? I feel that my translation of the original is more close to the alternative sentence. However, the more "literal" translation feels too unnatural in English.

1 Answer 1


Looks like you have been tricked by a comma within a long relative clause, which is very common in Japanese. The correct translation is:

Among them, there are also ones that are called "phantoms" and rarely appear in public.

That is, 「幻」と呼ばれ、めったに人前に現れない as a whole is the relative clause that modifies もの. Your "alternative" suggestion doesn't make sense to me.


  • I think I got it now. This way, I can see how the alternative wouldn't make much sense. Also, I'd like to confirm that "と呼ばれ" would be equivalent to "と呼ばれて" and connects the 2nd portion of the clause (between the 2nd and 3rd comma) to the rest. Finally, is there any "rule" to identify long relative clauses? I've seen the links and some can get quite long. I'm guessing it's a bit case by case, and that it comes with experience but I wanted to at least make sure.
    – Jak
    Jun 13, 2020 at 15:54

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