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あの人は千の魔法を使いこなす最強の魔法使い

I took this sentence from a manga. in this sentence the noun that follows 使いこなす directly is not the one that it directly modifies but 最強. In such cases should the て form or the normal form be used? I am under the impression that if the word following it are nouns/ adjectives, it would be the dictionary form while if it's another verb it should be the て form. Is it correct?

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  • If it were the て form, it would indicate a sequence of actions. By the way, by "the noun that 使いこなす follows directly" did you mean "the noun that follows 使いこなす"? 使いこなす is an attributive verb that modifies the head of the noun phrase 魔法使い. The fact that the head is also modified by another word doesn't change that.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jan 22 at 8:32
  • yeah I meant the noun that follows it haha. Thank you for correcting me. Edited it now
    – Tung
    Jan 22 at 8:37
  • @EddieKal So could the て form be used here as well? with different nuances? I thought that if the word that follows the noun is not the one being modified, the て form needs to be used.
    – Tung
    Jan 22 at 8:44

1 Answer 1

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Here 魔法使い ("wizard") is modified by a no-adjective 最強の ("greatest"), forming a noun phrase 最強の魔法使い ("greatest wizard"). 千の魔法を使いこなす is a relative clause that modifies the following noun, and this "noun" can be a noun phrase having more than one word. Here, the relative clause modifies not 最強 alone but 最強の魔法使い as a whole.

  • (千の魔法を使いこなす)→(魔法使い)
    (a wizard) ← (who has mastered a thousand spells)
  • (千の魔法を使いこなす)→(最強の魔法使い)
    (a greatest wizard) ← (who has mastered a thousand spells)

You don't have to change the conjugation of 使いこなす because it is modifying a noun after all.

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