第93課: Nominalization

     Nominalization is making another part of speech--verbs, adjectives, phrases, abstract nouns, etc.--noun-like. Nominalization is mainly done with the help of 形式名詞けいしきめいし (nominal/dummy nouns).

The Nominalizers の and こと

     The nominalizers の and こと are interchangeable in making other parts of speech noun-like to an extent. The main difference is that the former is more subjective and the latter is more objective.

Orthography Note: こと is usually not written as 事, but is frequently so in contexts in which it is more concrete as well as for all instances in older documents.  

1. 見ることは信ずることである。
    Seeing is believing.  

2. お二人が会うのは初めてですか。
    Is this the first time you two have met?

3. カナダが寒いことに気づいた。(Objective)
     I just noticed that Canada is cold.  

4. カナダがペンギンも生きれるほど寒いのに気づいたばっかりだわ。(Feminine)
    I just realized that Canada is cold enough for penguins to even live. 

  Objectivity/subjectivity, although often a part of the equation, may not be the most important thing at work. In the following sentences, の just acts as a dummy noun for something else, but こと is more concrete, referring specifically to a situation. However, one can say that this is related to subjectivity being related to abstractness and objectivity being related to concreteness. 

5. どんなのを聞きましたか。 
     What sort of thing did you listen to?    

6. どんなことを聞きましたか。  
     What sort of thing did you hear/ask?

In the first sentence のreplaces some noun such as 曲. In the second, こと refers to a situation (状態). The response could be something like the following.

7. 彼が京都に行った{と・か}きました。 
  I heard/asked that/whether he went to Kyoto.

    Lastly, こと can follow other nouns, のこと. This is very common with pronouns, and although it seems like a filler word to English speakers, think of how this would emphasis person in sentences like this one.

8. 僕のことがすき?
    Do you like me?  

Below are more examples to help you sort out differences between the two.  

9. 彼()有名(ゆうめい)音楽家(おんがくか)だということを()りませんでした。
    I didn't know that he is a famous musician.

10. あたし、そんなことはいわんかったわ。(Feminine; dialectical)
      I didn't say anything like that!

11. もう()()(たず)ねたいことがある。  (Male)
      There's another thing I'd like to ask you about.

Speech Note: To a teacher say something more respectful like 先生、もう()(うかが)いたいことがあるんですけれども(よろしいですか)。 

12. (あなたが)()たことを()してくださいませんか。
      Could you tell me what you saw?

13. 恋人こいびとたちは一緒いっしょにサンバをおどるのをやめました。
      The couple stopped dancing the samba together.

14. 毎日散歩まいにちさんぽするのは健康けんこうにとてもいいようです。
      It seems that going for a walk every day is very good for your health.

15. 彼女()昨夜遅(さくやおそ)()ってきたことを()ってた。
      I've known that she came home late last night.

16. 彼女()のいうことを()()けたな。
      You took her at her word, didn't you?

17. 何か心配(しんぱい)なことがあるんですか。
      Is anything bothering you?

18. 新鮮しんせんいきうことは素晴すばらしい。
     Breathing fresh air is wonderful. 

19. これからのことを()えるのは(かしこ)いですね。
      It sure is wise to think about the future?

20. 容疑者ようぎしゃがその部屋からあわてててくるのをましたよ。
      I saw the suspect come out flustered from the room. 

21. 宿題()をしないで授業(じゅぎょう)()るのはよくないです。
      It's not good to come to class without having done our homework. 

22. まれたのも育ったのもニューヨークです。
      I was born and raised in New York. 

Usage Note: It may be the case that の is used in place of a thing, person, or place. In this case の refers to the city that the speaker was raised in. 

23. 彼女の電話番号を調べるのに時間がかかった。
      It took a lot of time to find her phone number.

24. 旅行に便利ですね。
      It'll be convenient for trips, won't it? 

Grammar Note: (の)に can be followed by expressions that indicate purpose just as in the last two examples.  

25. 歌うことは(あきら)めていただけに偶然(ぐうぜん)(に)初舞台(はつぶたい)()めたことはとても(うれ)しかったです。
      Since I had given up singing, being able to debut by chance was very delightful.

26. 教育きょういくを受けるのは重要じゅうようです。
      Receiving an education is important.

27. 警察けいさつが今ここにあることはうたがえない。
      You can't doubt that there are police here now.

28. 日本語を話せる人の間では常識(じょうしき)のことだ。
      It's common sense among Japanese speakers.

29. 日本が経済大国になれたのは、何と言ってもアメリカのおかげではないと思います。
      No matter what they say, I don't think that Japan was able to become an economic power thanks to         America. 

30. 単純労働でお金を稼ぐのは大変だ。
   It is difficult to earn money by simple labor.

31. 生まれたのは中国だが、国籍はインドネシアだ。
   I was born in China, but my nationality is Indonesian. 

32. あきらかに情報じょうほうをもう一度目をとおすのは当然とうぜんですよ。
      It's evident that we clearly look over the information once more. 

Phrase Note: 目を(とお)す = To look/scan over.

Is this the first time that you two have met?

Honorifics Note: お- makes the sentence more polite to the addresses. 

Is this the first time that you two have met?

Honorifics Note: お- makes the sentence more polite to the addresses. 

The Nominalizer もの

     もの nominalizes something to show that something is undoubtedly true. 

33. あぶらくものだ。
      Oil floats on water.  

34. 子犬()になりたいものですわ!(Feminine)
      I want to become a puppy!

35. よく金曜日()()()いだものだね。
      I used to swim in the sea on Fridays, you know.

Phrase Note: よく…たものだ = Used to.
Contraction Note
: もの may be seen colloquially as もん. 
Origin Note
: もの comes from the noun 物.


    もの can be anything. This もの can be in particle constructions like above. 物 is a tangible and perhaps living thing. It can even be a spiritual force. It's in many set expressions. It can even be used as a prefix. 者 refers to a person humbly or in a condescending manner.

36. ものにとりつかれる。
      To be possessed by an evil spirit.


      Something else

38. 物()()いようで(かど)()つ。
      People may be offended by the way you speak.

39. 物悲ものがなしい

40. 物()()かった()
      A sensible person

41. 物()()(はい)らない

42. 物()の数分もしないうちに
      In no more than a few minutes. 

43. 物言ものいえばくちびるさむし。(Proverb)
      Least said, soonest mended.

44. 物()()たる。
      To get flustered.

45. 物()(あわ)

46. 物()見事(みごと)
      With great success 

47. 物()()わす。
      To let something speak for itself.

48. 早()(もの)()ち。
      First come, first served.

49. 生()()
      Living creature

50. 物心ぶっしんついて以来いらい
For as long as one can remember

Definition Note: 物心(ぶっしん) = Matter and mind; 物心(ものごころ) = Discretion