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In this part of the Jack and the Beanstalk story, there's this one sentence:

庭{にわ}にとても大{おお}きな豆{まめ}の木{き}があったのです。

translated as

There was a very big beanstalk in the yard.

My understanding of a の without any following noun is that either it's a normalizer (as in this answer) or that there's some sort of implied noun. In this example though, I don't believe it's the first case since they didn't need to normalize it since there's no succeeding clause, and could have had something like this

庭{にわ}にとても大{おお}きな豆{まめ}の木{き}がありました。

If it is the second case though, the provided translation doesn't give many clues, and I can only think of the generic もの in that context, and looking at the first point in another answer about もの, would it be correct to say that by using の, the narrator is expressing some sort of surprise?

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  • This is an explanatory の. Notice that the previous sentence was いつもと何かが違います. So the natural question is "what changed?" The answer is, "in the garden there was an immense bean plant." In English, this aspect of Japanese does not generally come through in a natural manner. So, the translation will not reflect this の.
    – A.Ellett
    Mar 12 at 14:38

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