In this anwser https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/39042/55243 it says that の after adjectives is interchangable with こと/もの. It gives an example:

の after an adjective is mainly もの, but it can be こと in some contexts:

大きいのを着た。 = 大きいものを着た。
I wore the big (bigger) one.
大きいのはいいことだ。 = 大きいことはいいことだ。
Being big is good.

But when would one use adjective+の over adjective+こと/もの and vice-versa? Like for example in

「町に人が多い のは 当然だ。車が多い のも 当然だ。」
"It is natural that there are a lot of people in the town. It is also natural that there are a lot of cars in the town." .

what happens if you replace 多いの with 多いこと?


1 Answer 1


もの means ”object”, こと means ”situation”. But の means both ”object” and ”situation”.

Therefore, for example, if 大きいの means ”big one(object)”, you can replace it with 大きいもの, but it means merely ”big(situation)”, you have to replace it with 大きいこと.

In your example, 町に人が多い is the situation. So it is good to replace with 町に人が多いこと.

If you replace it correctly, there is little difference between the two expressions. But I think it is more natural that you use の than もの or こと in many cases.

  • 1
    I guess the difficult part of the question is, are there cases where こと is preferred over の, and why? Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 11:13

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