I was going through the usage of Noun Modifiers with Particle の, and I came across a Comment in Maggie Sensei's blog stating for the difference between the following constructions:

Noun + Particle + の + Noun, and Sentence Verb + の(as a nominaliser) + Particle

Eg. 電話での問い合わせは大変だ and 電話で問い合わせするのは大変だ

(There are other examples as well if you think about when you use の as nominaliser)

Maggie Sensei's Answer: "Noun + Particle + の + Noun” is slightly more formal so you use this form more in a written form. So you use 電話で問い合わせするのは〜 more in conversation"

Noun + Particle + の + Noun and, Noun modifier (Which is a Verb) + Noun + Rest of the sentence

E.g. 窓からの景色がきれいです and 窓から見える景色がきれいです

Maggie Sensei's Answer: The listeners/readers can visualize what the speaker/writer says more vividly with a verb.


I was not sure about answer Maggie Sensei provided, So could anyone please elucidate the difference both in nuance and in Grammar? I am also having doubts between the two, as effectively they are conveying the same meaning


1 Answer 1


This is just my personal opinion, but I don't agree with Maggie Sensei's explanation that you referenced. To me, the two sentences simply look like slightly different ways of saying the same thing. I think looking at translations of the sentences might help:

(1) 電話での問い合わせは大変だ。 Inquiries by phone are hard.
(2) 電話で問い合わせするのは大変だ。Making an inquiry by phone is hard.

There is only a slight difference in that (1) emphasises the noun 'inquiries' whereas (2) emphasises the action of making an inquiry. You could argue that these are not quite the same since (2) focuses on the process involved in the action, but I think it's over-analytical to do that.

These are just two alternative ways to say (basically) the same thing. I don't agree that there is any noticeable difference in formality levels, nor do I see any real stylistic differences. But others might disagree, so I recommend getting advice from more people.

  • ありがとう Kandyman さん for writing your opinion. Even I was thinking of the same, as the purpose of の is to modify and perhaps the speaker wants to emphasize more on Noun.
    – APK
    Aug 26, 2020 at 18:05

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