4

店は人の多いところがいいです

Book translation: stores are better (to be) located at heavily trafficked places.

My question is related to Relative Clauses: 多い人 vs 多くの人 in which the answerer provides a similar example to the above:

オーストラリア人の多い場所

Given translation: a place where there are many Australians.


人の多いところ

My understanding is that の marks the subject of the adjective 多い, which can be replaced が for emphasis.

  1. 人が多い
  2. 人の多い + ところ

Overall, it means "A place with lots of people." Assuming this parsing is correct, I move on to my next question.

Can 店は人の多いところがいいです be ambiguous?

ところ means "place" but it can also be used to refer to a point in time. Therefore, can the above sentence convey the meaning "It's good when the shop is crowded"?

1
  • 1
    ところ can refer to a place in time, but that's an unlikely translation with 店 because 店 are located in space (not particularly time). But with a word like 商売 I think the ambiguity would better come out.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 21 at 18:14
5

I've been working with and in Japanese off and on since about 1988, but I'm not a native speaker, so take this with a grain of salt. :)

How to parse 店は人の多いところがいいです

人の多いところ
My understanding is that の marks the subject of the adjective 多い, which can be replaced が for emphasis...
Overall, it means "A place with lots of people."

Your parsing so far is correct.

Can 店は人の多いところがいいです be ambiguous?

I don't think so.

You point out:

ところ means "place" but it can also be used to refer to a point in time.

The term ところ used to refer to a point in time is, I think, always usually in the context of a verb phrase:

  • するところ → just about to do
  • しているところ → in the moment of doing
  • したところ → just finished doing

I don't think it refers to time with most adjectives, where instead it refers to an aspect of something (as in 「彼女【かのじょ】のいい[と]{●}[こ]{●}[ろ]{●}」 "the good aspects of [my] girlfriend"), or to a location (as in 「蚊【か】のいない[と]{●}[こ]{●}[ろ]{●}」 "a place without mosquitoes", or 「カバの少【すく】ない[と]{●}[こ]{●}[ろ]{●}」 "a place with few hippos").

Can the above sentence convey the meaning "It's good when the shop is crowded"?

I don't think so. To convey the sense of "the point or span in time when a quality is present", I'm much more accustomed to seeing the word とき used instead:

店【みせ】は人【ひと】の多【おお】い[と]{●}[き]{●}がいいです

(Albeit, this isn't "crowded" so much as just "there are a lot of people".)

Addendum

As pointed out by @Nameless in the comment to this post, there are sometimes cases where [ADJ]+ところ refers to a moment or time, such as 「忙【いそが】しい[と]{●}[き]{●}」 "a busy moment".

I think the reason that doesn't work here with 店【みせ】 and 人【ひと】の多【おお】いところ is because a 店【みせ】 is inherently a "location", as noted by @A.Ellett in the comment on the question, so ところ in context must mean a place. Meanwhile, because neither a person nor a person's current state is a "location", 忙しいところ cannot refer to a "busy place" and still make sense in that context.

2
  • 1
    Thank you for answer. My book provides an example which uses an adjective to refer to a point in time: お忙しいところどうもすいません. This, according to my book, translates as I'm sorry to trouble you when you are busy.
    – Nameless
    Oct 21 at 19:24
  • Aha, good example @Nameless! That's one I've heard, which escaped my mind earlier. I'll tweak my post accordingly. Oct 21 at 21:11
5

店は人の多いところがいいです

A sentence like this is fine only when there is enough context. Without any context, this is a very vague sentence. My interpretations (in the order they came to my mind) were:

  1. I (usually) prefer crowded places within a shop/restaurant.
  2. The good point of shops/restaurants (in general) is that I can find many people there.
  3. Shops/restaurants should be located at a crowded location.
  4. When you go to a shop/restaurant, choose one that has many customers.
    (I somehow didn't notice this until @Chocolate mentioned it, but this is also a natural interpretation.)

In 1, 3 and 4, ところ refers to (three different kinds of) physical places. In 2, ところ refers to an abstract aspect (cf. Meaning of ところ in アメリカのいいところ).

ところ can refer to a point of time, but in this case I could not think of a possible interpretation where ところ means time point. Something like 人の少ないところを狙って店に入る would mean the same thing as 人の少ない時を狙って店に入る.

4
  • 3
    1,2,3 私もです。私はもう一つ、「店(で買い物するor食事する場合etc)は、人の多い店のほうが(品物の回転が速いので新鮮だからor人気がある証拠だから)いいです。」もいけるかな~と思いましたが、どうでしょう?
    – Chocolate
    Oct 22 at 3:12
  • @Chocolate あ、確かに。言われてみればそれが一番自然かも。
    – naruto
    Oct 22 at 3:13
  • 英語圏出身である故かもしれませんが、個人的に3,4が頭の中に先ず浮かんでくる解釈です。日本語圏出身の観点から見ますと、1,2のほうが最初に当たる解釈でしょうか。興味深いです。 Oct 22 at 6:01
  • 1
    @EiríkrÚtlendi どれも文脈によっては全く問題ない解釈なので、順番はあまり関係ない気がします。今見ると、なんとなく2と4が他よりは自然かもしれません。普通は店の中の混んでいる場所を好む人はいないので。
    – naruto
    Oct 22 at 6:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.