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The particle "no" : の



The essential functions (as they are numerous) of this particle are, for the beginner:


a. The "link"

So, "no" is used to create the possessive form: "Who or what" + no + "what is owned".

Ex.:

Watashi no hon = My book.
Pieru no inu = Pierre's dog.

But more generally, "no" is used to "link" words to each other.

Ex.:

Ashita no asa = Tomorrow morning.
Toranku no naka = In the suitcase.
Nihonjin no tomadachi = A Japanese friend.


b. To turn a verb into a name

It's a complex function that "replaces" a little bit our infinitive. This "no" may also be tanslated into "the fact of".

Ex.:

Watashi wa Nihongo o hanasu no ga suki desu = I like to speak Japanese. (lit.:"The fact of" speaking Japanese is liked by me.)


c. To ask a question

As indicated above, this function is reserved for the women and replaces the particle "ka". This use, although widespread, is optional: A woman can only use "ka".However, a man can never use "no" to ask a question.
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Author: Duncan

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Translator: Othman