What are Japanese participles?
In English relationships between the words of a sentence are shown mostly by word order.
In Japanese, however, the sentence function of nouns and pronouns is shown by additional words that are placed immediately after the noun or pronoun. These words, which are called particles.
In English, there are special words called prepositions. Japanese has no prepositions, but particles have many of the same functions as prepositions.
Japanese uses particles after words to mark what they are for. Particles will follow the words they control. That is why particles are sometimes called postpositions.
There are many kinds of particles like: ga/が, which is a to things you give attention marker; wa/は, which is a topic marker; o/を, which follows the direct object; no/の, which means “of” in most of the English senses of the word, and indicates possession; and ka/か, which indicates a question.
Let’s learn particle no/の for now.
How to use particle no/の
The particle no/の can be used like the English preposition “of” to show ownership, material, type, location or origin.
In English, prepositions are always followed by a noun group and make a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase plays the grammatical role of an adjective or adverb.
Similarly, no/の always follow a noun group and make a postpositional phrase, which plays the grammatical role of an adjective. That is, postpositional phrases usually tell us more about nouns.
no/の indicates ownership
no/の can be used to show ownership.
Kore ga boku no kamera desu.
これ が ぼく の かめら です。
これ が 僕 の カメラ です。
[this ga/が I of camera is]
This is my camera.
Here, no/の comes after “boku”, and this tell us that camera is owned by me.
no/の indicates material
no/の can be used to show material.
Kore wa ki no isu desu.
これ は き の いす です。
これ は 木 の 椅子 です。
[this as-for wood of chair is]
This chair is of wood. / It is a wooden chair.
Here, no/の comes after “ki”, and this tell us that the chair is made of material wood.
no/の indicates type
no/の can be used to show type.
Heya ni otoko no hito ga iru.
へや に おとこ の ひと が いる。
部屋 に 男 の 人 が いる。
[room に/ni man of person ga/が is]
There is a man in the room.
Here, no/の comes after “otoko”, and this tell us that the person in the room is a man.
no/の indicates location
no/の can be used to show location.
Tookyoo no tenki wa ii.
とうきょう の てんき は いい。
東京 の 天気 は いい。
[Tokyo of weather as-for good]
The weather in Tokyo is good.
The location of good weather is Tokyo, and we know this because “tookyoo” is followed by no/の.
no/の indicates origin
no/の can be used to show origin.
firipin-san no banana wa oishii.
ふぃりぴんさん の ばなな は おいしい。
フィリピン産 の バナナ は 美味しい。
[Philippine-made of banana as-for delicious]
Bananas made in Philippine are delicious.
Delicious bananas are made from philippine, and we know this because “firipin-san” is followed by no/の.