Wild Nihongo!
の Particle (Explanation / Emotion)

の Particle (Explanation / Emotion)

の Particle (Explanation / Emotion) Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: It is that / It’s because / The reason is that

Construction: 

  • (Verb / い-Adjective) informal + の
    • E.g. はなすの [It’s because X talks]
    • E.g. おおきいの [It’s because X is big]
  • (な-Adjective stem / Noun) + [な / だった] + の
    • E.g. しずかなの [It’s because X is quiet]
    • E.g. 先生せんせいなの [It’s because X is a teacher]

Notes:

  • This form of the の particle is derived from the expression のだ through the omission of だ. の (Explanation / Emotion) indicates that the speaker is explaining or asking for an explanation about some info that has been previously shared with the hearer. It can also indicate that the speaker is talking about something emotively and expecting that the topic is of common interest to the hearer. It’s similar to saying “So…” or “You know…“; not only does it convey information emotively, but it sets an expectation for a response.
    • E.g. A: どうしていているの? B: おかあさんがいないの。[A: How come you are crying? B: It’s because my mom isn’t here.] In this example, Speaker A uses の to seek an explanation, and speaker B uses の to provide an explanation.
    • E.g. はははまだとても元気げんきなの。[My mother is still very healthy.] In this example, the の particle is used to convey emotion with the expectation that the mother’s health is of concern to the hearer.
    • E.g. あのひとはとてもやさしいの。[That person is very gentle, you know?] In this example, the speaker is making a statement and setting the expectation that the hearer will respond or engage somehow.
  • の (Explanation / Emotion) is commonly used by females and children in informal situations, but there are also situations where a male may use it interrogatively to seek an explanation.
    • E.g. どうしてべないの。[Why aren’t you eating?]
    • E.g. どうしたの。[What’s the matter with you?]

Example Sentences:

A: どうしていているの? B: おかあさんがいないの。[A: How come you are crying? B: It’s because my mom isn’t here.]

あのひとはとてもやさしいの。[That person is very gentle, you know?]

主人しゅじんはエンジニアなの。[So my husband is an engineer.]

WILD Examples:

At 1:03, listen for this line: キスからさきすすめない, 臆病おくびょうすぎる [I’m unable to go further than a kiss…because I’m too cowardly.] In this example, being too cowardly is a the singer’s explanation / excuse for being unable to go further than a kiss.
At 1:24, listen for this line: そらはこんなにあおいのに、かぜはこんなにあたたかいのに、太陽たいようはとてもあかるいのに, どうしてこんなにねむ [Even though the sky is this blue, even though the wind is this warm, and even though the sun is so bright, why am I this sleepy?]
From 2:05, listen for this line: 一人ひとり部屋へやながながかみとかしながらかんがえているわたしのこんなくららしいつまでつづ [Alone in this room, while brushing my long long hair, I’m wondering how long my life will continue like this]
At 1:30, listen for this line: Take me, このわたし全部ぜんぶあげたい [Take me, I want to give my everything to you]
Listen to this line at 2:49: らないこと、やりたいこと、たくさんある [Things I want to know, things I want to do, there are many!]

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