Here is a sentence from my grammar exercise book.


I don’t understand the use of the particle の in bold font in the above sentence. (The grammar point is ようがない, not の, so the book doesn’t explain the use of の.) Shouldn’t the sentence be 「これでは返事出しようがない」? Can の replace を under certain circumstances?


出しよう is functioning as a noun in the sentence, which is why you would use の to connect another noun to it. This is similar to how you would say 手紙の書き方 and not 手紙を書き方, even though 書き方 is based on the verb 書く.

Perhaps the fact that the よう in this grammar point is usually not written in kanji makes it look less like it's a noun, but technically this よう is 様. It attaches to a verb stem to make the construction "method/way of [verb]ing". And then you've got がない, so " there is no way of [verb]ing."

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