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I recently started to learn some Japanese, to get some practice I'm trying to translate and analyse some bits of One Piece, that I'm already familiar with. Right at the very start there's this sentence:

富。名声。力。
かつてこの世の全てを手に入れた男
"海賊王"ゴールドロシア

I deconstructed the middle phrase like this:

かつて once
この世 の this world + of
全て を everything (object)
手 に hand + in (indirect obj)
入れた "gathered"
男 man (subject?)

But I'm really struggling to figure that 男.

To me the translation should sound something like: "a man once placed/gathered everything of this world in his hands". But if so, why is the subject placed after the verb?

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    That's a simple relative clause. Have you studied them yet?
    – Jimmy Yang
    May 6 at 16:49
  • Not yet. I'll look into it May 6 at 16:54
  • @JimmyYang What I'm still missing though is.. Where's the particle? I'm reading that in some cases, where some sort of possession is expressed in a relative clause, that the が particle transforms into の. Is this the case? May 6 at 19:00
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    男がかつてこの世の全てを手に入れた becomes かつてこの世の全てを手に入れた男 so 男 is a subject
    – Jimmy Yang
    May 6 at 19:09

2 Answers 2

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Simple answer: in English a relative clause comes after the noun, but in Japanese it comes before.

Example:

A man who can dance

A man = 男
can dance = 踊れる

In Japanese, that would be

踊れる

Another example:

These are the flowers that I bought

These are = これは
flowers = 花
I bought = 私が買った

In Japanese, the sentence would be

これは私が買った

So, your example sentence should be interpreted as:

この世の全てを手に入れた
The man(男) who got everything of the world in his hands

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    It seems worth highlighting that English typically (as in these examples) uses a word explicitly to mark the relative clause; in Japanese, the grammatical structure is implicit - there is nothing to translate the "who" or "that" (or "which", in other cases). May 11 at 19:58
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This sentence has two grammatical features

  1. inverted type sentence
  2. lack of verb

The complete one is "海賊王"ゴールドロシアは、かつてこの世の全て、つまり富。名声。力。を手に入れた男です。

To express a simple figure, this sentence makes Aは、Bです。

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