I just started learning Japanese and I came across the particle "の", I understand that it is used between two nouns but I didn't really understand if you can use it only once in a phrase or if you use it between every two nouns.


The Japanese の particle is similar to the possessive “s” in English. Unlike in formal English, it’s acceptable to string a chain の between subsequent nouns. So yes, it can be used more than once in a phrase.

  • 9
    What do you mean “unlike in formal English”? It’s perfectly fine to nest Saxon possessives in English as well. There’s nothing wrong with “my brother’s first wife’s younger sister’s dog”. Jul 29 '20 at 8:12
  • thank you, helped a lot Jul 29 '20 at 13:29
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Or, similarly, to say "the dog of the younger sister of the first wife of my brother" Jul 29 '20 at 14:10
  • 4
    “My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious." Simone Adamley, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    – Ragaroni
    Jul 29 '20 at 14:58

@Ragaroni's answer is very correct. In general のconnects, two words and show what/who possesses what. However, when you write Japanese (in the future), do not use it too much because it doesn't look nice, the same reason we should not abuse "and" in English.

This is not a grammar suggestion but literature advice, rather.

Hope it helps too! =)

  • 2
    Yes, I think it's only natural to overuse の at the beginning of your Japanese studies simply because one doesn't know other ways to connect nouns or words. As one progresses with their studies they stop abusing の progressively
    – jarmanso7
    Jul 29 '20 at 7:33
  • thank you very much, it really made things clear Jul 29 '20 at 13:29

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