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So, when we use the 代名詞 の, it goes like this:

美味しいをください Please give me the tasty one

静かなはあれ The quiet one is that one

But what happens with adjectives or nouns that take a の already?

最後のの? 最後なの?

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  • “The last one.”
    – David X
    Jul 31 at 23:28
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Such の is called 体言の代用 in school grammar, and it is usually taught that it can be replaced with (の)もの/(の)こと.

According to a dictionary:

  • 体言(practically a synonym for noun) + の = <体言>のもの
  • 活用語 (words with conjugation, including verb and adjective) + の = <活用語> nominalized.

A possible source of confusion is that の can be replaced with のもの or もの, and the grammar does not differentiate them. My guess is that のもの replaces の when preceded by a noun (the first case above) and もの when preceded by others. Not completely sure, though.

The answer to the question: because 最後 is a noun, the correct form is 最後の=最後のもの.

===

Other examples: 二番目の = the second one / 僕の = mine / 人の = other people's (things) or someone else's (thing)

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  • 1
    +1, but it may be worth noting clearly that 最後のの is always ungrammatical. You can say either 最後のをください or 最後のものをください, but not 最後ののをください.
    – naruto
    Aug 1 at 3:42

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