Questions tagged [cleft-sentences]

分裂文. Sentences "clefted" into two parts. In Japanese, these commonly take the the form 〜のは〜だ or 〜のが〜だ, putting focus on the precopular constituent.

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I don't understand what のも means in 生まれたのも育ったのも京都なんですよ

Here's the sentence in question: 生まれたのも育ったのも京都なんですよ I thought using の in a sentence signified possession (e.g. 私の本 [My book]). If I interpret the sentence as such, it doesn't make any sense. Then I ...
Korclus's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers

How to appropriately pair tenses in subordinate and main clauses?

Consider the following combination. Which is the correct one? テレビが私の国で 《できた》 のは1960 《です》。 テレビが私の国で 《できる》 のは1960 《です》。 テレビが私の国で 《できた》 のは1960 《でした》。 テレビが私の国で 《できる》 のは1960 《でした》。 Note: The important ...
Friendly Ghost's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers

Varying word order for stylistic effect

Sometimes, for stylistic or rhetorical effect, one wants to delay mentioning a word/concept until the end of a sentence. For example, it's often best to save the punchline for the very end: I was ...
Mechanical snail's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers

Most natural way to write sentences of the type "A verbs that B verbs that C verbs that..."

A) I think the typical way to say Tanaka said that Yamata knows where the building is in Japanese is 田中さんは山田さんが建物はどこか知っていると言った Maybe it's more natural to say "the building's location" ...
Senjougahara Hitagi's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers

Sentence ending のを(だ)

I do not understand the meaning of のを: a. 彼は家を買った。 しかも大きい庭付きのを(だ)。 (だ is indicated as optional) Is it different from: b. 彼は家を買った。 しかも大きい庭付きだ。 (I'm not sure if this is grammatical) c. 彼は家を買った。 ...
Flaw's user avatar
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5 votes
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How to rephrase sentences with an ambiguous は to indicate the contrastive or thematic / 「主題」と「対比」の解釈の余地のある、あいまいな「は」の言い換え方

First, some background. My question is kind of an extension of this previously-answered question about the difference between は and が. While I am fairly clear on the different usages of は as a ...
Lentlby's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers

Confused in choosing でした or です in のは~だ grammar

Which one is the correct one between the following 2 sentences? Are my English translations correct? A: 昨日食べたのは肉まんです。 A': It is nikuman (steamed meat bun) that I ate yesterday. B: ...
Second Person Shooter's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers

Can someone verify the reasons I give for using a "wa" and "ga" in this sentence?

私の生みの母は、若い未婚の日本人だったため、私を養子に出そうと決心したのです。彼女がこだわったのは、私の養子先は日本に住んでいる家族でなければ、ということでした。 The highlighted "は" looks to be there for thematic reasons? The highlighted "ga" looks to be there for neutral ...
Just Someone's user avatar
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4 votes
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が vs. は in のが/のは...である cleft-sentence structure

The following is a sentence from the Japanese Wikipedia article about Berlin: ベルリンという名称が歴史的文書で最も古く遡れるのが1244年である。 I understand the sentence, but I would have expected 遡れるのは here instead of 遡れるのが, ...
Kaskade's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer

Plain Verb followed by がよい

Recently I am reading 走れメロス, and there is a sentence pattern that I am not familiar with (Group 2). Compare the following sentence groups: Group 1 訪ねて行くのが楽しみである。 疑うのが、正当の心構えなのだと、...
NoNames's user avatar
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3 votes
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Translation help: 私が困っているのがはつおんですね

This is a trascript from a podcast I was listening to. The woman was asked about what she thought was the hardest aspect in learning english, to which she replied 私が困っているのがはつおんですね So... why 私が ...
Gabu's user avatar
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3 votes
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「昨日ここへ来たのはだれですか」Is の short for 者?

昨日ここへ来たのはだれですか Book translation: who is the one who came here yesterday? My understanding is the following: 「昨日ここへ来た」 is a relative clause modifying the pronoun 「の」 to mean "the one who came ...
Nameless's user avatar
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3 votes
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たんですから vs たからなんです

私がこの町のことをよく知っているのは、 前に________。 1. 住んでいたんですから 2. 住んでいたからなんです According to the answer key, the correct answer is 2. I want to know why it is not answer 1. What is the difference between たんですから ...
GB Boss's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers

nowa , to in the phrase "kimi o shiawase ni dekiru nowa boku dake da to shinjite imashita"

I'm trying to make sense of this phrase to me 君を幸せにできるのは僕だけだと信じていました。 Kimi o shiawase ni dekiru nowa boku dake da to shinjite imashita. which I found translated as I always believed I was ...
Pablo's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer

fragmented statement and いつの世も

Speaker talking about a painting with a goddess and an owl 「ミネルヴァの梟は夜に飛ぶ──と記したのはヘーゲルでしたか。知恵の女神の聖鳥である梟もまた知恵の象徴」 「そんな梟が夜に飛び立ったのを人が知るのは、夜が明けて朝になってから。いつの世も人は起こったことしか知ることができないのです」 「...
charu's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers

Meaning of 私がではない

Spoken as part of a monologue by an anime character (cutting out parts irrelevant for context): 私にとっても、それは不快な事実だった。私がではない。 あれほど冷酷な魔術師だった男が、敵を助けたという事実こそが不快だった。 Is it a fixed phrase? What does it ...
user9771's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer

How to say "the one I sent the letter to"

I sent him the letter - 彼に手紙を送ってあげた  He was the one who sent me the letter - 手紙を送ってくれたのは、彼だった He was the one I sent the letter to - ???
Karl Leitner's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers

Can someone help break down this sentence? 僕が同一人物だと確信に踏み切れないのはこの子の顔が半分しか見えていないからだ

I don't really understand this sentence. Could someone help break it down for me? 僕が同一人物だと確信に踏み切れないのはこの子の顔が半分しか見えていないからだ。 From the way I interpreted it, it would have a meaning similar to: The ...
Tomm's user avatar
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1 vote
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Possible interpretation? The use of 脅かされる in this sentence

So, I came across a line in a manga that I'm interpreting in two ways. There's the main character who gets cornered by a monster, and the MC is vexed because he was weakened from a previous fight and ...
Alice B. Rabbit's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

What is the function of の in 「私があんた連れ出したのなんでだと思う?」

I tried to think about all the possible meanings of の but I really couldn't understand the sentence above. I don't know if の is connected with なんで, or if it's the explanatory の, or something else.
BIG-95's user avatar
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1 vote
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How to translate this cleft-sentence: あと少し避けるのが遅れていたら……?

I need some help with understanding the meaning of the のが part in the last sentence (shown in bold), which this answer has told me means that the sentence is a cleft sentence and this one told me how ...
Toyu_Frey's user avatar
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1 vote
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~のは at the end of the sentence. What does it mean?

I started reading 君の名は and this sentence came up: そんな気分になったのは。。 (1) what does the なった means here? Is it the past tense of the verb なる which means “to become”? What meaning does it have in this ...
magikath's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Confusion on use of だった with sentence that uses nominalized verb

I'm reading a book and have come across this sentence アニーが指さしているのは、一本のなわばしごだった。 I know this sentence translates to something like Annie was pointing to a long rope ladder. But what I truly don'...
Tylersanzura's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer

~のは~から。 sentence structure

The second opening for 四月は君の嘘 starts with these two lines: 忘れようとすることで傷が癒えないのは 忘れようとすることで思い出されるから。 I get the feeling that something is missing after から, like だ or です. Is this sentence still ...
Bonaparte's user avatar
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1 answer

What is the function of のは in this question?

metal's user avatar
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Verb in dictionary form followed by のと

お母さんが頭を下げて試供品を受け取るのと、まる子がぴたりとさわぐのをやめるのは同時だった。 Mother bowed, and when she took the free sample, at the same time Maruko suddenly stopped making a racket. What is the purpose of the の in bold in this ...
user3856370's user avatar
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Does ~のは...ためです make sense?

There's a sentence in a Japanese grammar book describing the differences between transitive and intransitive verbs. 自動詞: XがVi 他動詞: YがXをVt 自動詞と他動詞の違いは、自動詞の場合は、自然力の影響などで出来事が起こったのであって、そこには人間などの意志 (意図) ...
Hikonyan's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer


This is going to be a bit lengthy so please bear with me. I'll start with an excerpt from a game that has sparked this whole fiasco and sent me on a wild goose chase: ゼロス「...
Boolicious's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer

How was まで used in this sentence: やる気がない者に構ってやるのは義務教育まで

I was wondering how まで was used in this sentence: やる気がない者に 構ってやるのは 義務教育まで→ 意志なき者は去るほかない
user38996's user avatar
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Questions about the construction A が B(B is a noun)+のだ/のである?

「……そんな危険な大学出身者どもを、ありがたく受け入れるのが塾講師業界ってんだから」 Hi. The speaker is a 塾講師 and he is talking with a stranger in a bar. Hi. I have some problems with the bold part. I know it equals 業界というのだから. But I’m not ...
chino alpha's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer

Help understanding 「そのタイトルのリストに次に載るのは俺だ」

I've been reading this Japanese wrestling results site and I'm having trouble understanding this sentence: そのタイトルのリストに次に載るのは俺だ。 from this ...
Jon's user avatar
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0 votes
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Need help with のが and のある in this sentence

で、そのときに私がいつも思い出すのが、映画『シンドラーのリスト』のある場面です。ご覧になった方いますか?シンドラーのリスト。 (Source: at 0:47) Can anyone shed some light on the uses of のが and のある in this sentence?
browncm's user avatar
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