What is the meaning of もの in that sentence 真相を知るものは誰もいません

Dictionary says it can mean 'thing', but also 'really'.

I guess thus it's 'really' but when I automatically translate this sentence, the meaning 'really' never appears.

1 Answer 1


もの has a variety of uses. While it can mean thing, it can also refer to a person, which is what it's doing in this sentence.

Breaking the sentence down, we have:

真相を知る: <someone> knows the truth.

誰もいません: There is no one.

もの is the glue that ties these two parts together.

First note that, when 真相を知る is placed before もの, it's acting as a relative clause. So,

真相を知るもの: someone who knows the truth

And so when placed in the larger sentence,

真相を知るものは誰もいません: There is no one who knows the truth.

  • is it 者 being used in this sentence? Mar 15, 2021 at 17:01
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    @FelipeChavesdeOliveira Generally, this もの isn't usually written with kanji. But I'm not a native speaker and I certainly have read as broadly as a native speaker likely would have. Nevertheless, 者 seems to me have a rather rigid and formal aspect to it. Consider reading 「者」と「もの」との違いについて.
    – A.Ellett
    Mar 15, 2021 at 17:10
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    I think the もの in the original sentence can be safely written as 者. It's not particularly rigid.
    – naruto
    Mar 15, 2021 at 18:05
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    @naruto Thank you for the clarification. :-)
    – A.Ellett
    Mar 15, 2021 at 18:41
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    Just noticed I said "I certainly have read as broadly" that was supposed to read "I certainly have not read as braodly". Sigh.
    – A.Ellett
    Mar 15, 2021 at 18:43

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