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Lesson 111: Other usages of の

You've already learned that the particle can be used to express possession and that we can place it next to a pronoun to make the words my, yours, his, and hers.

This is not the only use of the particle however. It can be used in many situations where we don't use a possessive construction in English. The function of is often to describe the noun that follows it in terms of the noun that precedes it.

I saw a Japanese car. ほんくるまました。
nihon no kuruma wo mimasita.
I am a Japanese (language) student. わたしほんがくせいです。
watasi ha nihongo no gakusei desu.
You are a Japanese studenthaving the Japanese nationality. あなたはほんじんがくせいです。
anata ha nihonzin no gakusei desu.

As you can see in the sentences above, when we put after a noun, it basically makes the noun behave as an adjective.

Until now, we have used counters after the words they count. A counter can however also be used in front of the word it counts if we put after the counter.

There are four plates. よんまいさらがあります。
yonmai no sara ga arimasu.
I want three photos. さんまいしゃしんがほしいです。
sanmai no syasin ga hosii desu.