Today when discussing language learning, I was corrected by a heritage Japanese speaker friend who changed what I said




However, the discussion emerging from this post seems to suggest 書くのの方 is correct while 書くの方 is not. So I seem to have been in the right. But what about verb+のの+方?

This site, maintained by college level Japanese language teacher Kano Yoko, claims:

Q:日本語を話すのと書くのと、どちらの方が好きですか。Which one do you like, speaking or Writing Japanese?
A:どちらも好きですが、書くことの(or 書くのの)方がかんたんです。 I like both but writing is easier.

(Note:のの in the 書くのの is often omitted especially in conversation. Consider that it becomes a relative clause.)

In contrast, this answer suggests 書くののほうが上手だ sounds odd. So do the legality and idiomaticness of this construction depend on the verb? Do other verbs work better?

Side note: I did find some attestations of this: 書くのの方が問題。


書く方が難しい or 書くことの方が難しい is the way to go.

書くの方が難しい is 100% ungrammatical. As I said in the linked question, 書くのの方が難しい is not 100% incorrect but it sounds fairly awkward at least to my ears. I suppose that heritage Japanese speaker felt the same way I did, but made a simple mistake while correcting it.

  • 1
    It was a heritage speaker who grew up with one native speaking parent in an environment where nobody else around them spoke Japanese... namely ハーフ. I did double-check with them to make sure it wasn't a mistake on their part.
    – Eddie Kal
    Sep 24 '21 at 5:35
  • 2
    Hmm... 書くの方が難しい is somehow a very common mistake among Chinese natives speaking Japanese (it must be related to the Chinese grammar). Do you think it's related? And I didn't know the term heritage speaker, thanks for the info.
    – naruto
    Sep 24 '21 at 5:42
  • 1
    Well, it doesn't seem to be the case here. But since their dominant language isn't Japanese, there might be some issues in their use of the language.
    – Eddie Kal
    Sep 24 '21 at 5:55

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