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じゃあ、最初に見たほうにします.

This is a relatively easy sentence yet I can't seem to understand the purpose of the の here. This is said after choosing a product.

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    Just out of curiosity, where did this sentence come from? I ask because someone on HiNative asked about a different aspect of grammar from the exact same sentence, which tells me it's probably from a textbook or something. Just curious which resource.
    – Leebo
    Sep 23, 2021 at 21:30
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    @Leebo It's from the 2 hour conversation practice youtube video from JapanesePod101. This exact sentence is at around 22:43.
    – Simon
    Sep 24, 2021 at 0:16
  • @Simon I think it functions as a definite pronoun meaning the one: books.google.com.mx/… Maybe tomorrow I come up with an answer.
    – Nameless
    Sep 24, 2021 at 5:13
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    I would say じゃあ、最初に見たほうにします。 or maybe じゃあ、最初に見たのにします。 or じゃあ、最初に見たやつにします。 I would never say 最初に見たほうのにします in that context.
    – Chocolate
    Sep 28, 2021 at 14:33

1 Answer 1

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This の functions as a nominalizer here, indicating whatever it was that the speaker 「最初に見た」. If the speaker were being fully explicit, the の would be followed by the noun that was whatever they saw first. But this noun (or noun phrase) is omissible if the antecedent has already been established by context.

This usage is broadly similar to the use of "the one" in English:

じゃあ、最初に見たほう[の]{●}にします。
"So, we'll go with the one we saw first."

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    But why would you nominalize a sentence that's already a noun? I feel like ほう should be enough without needing の?
    – Simon
    Sep 23, 2021 at 21:00
  • @Simon: It seems more natural to me with the の. I suspect this is similar to the の that appears in the shift from Xです to Xのです when imparting a sense of explanation. However, I am not a native speaker -- I'm interested if any of our native-J contributors might have something to say on this. Sep 23, 2021 at 21:03
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    To me it seems totally redundant.
    – aguijonazo
    Sep 23, 2021 at 22:14

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