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Japanese Particle NO (の)


The particle の (no) can be used to indicate possession. In this case it works essentially like possesive [‘s] in English

私の車 (watashi NO kuruma) – my car
山田さんの車 (yamada san NO kuruma) – Yamada’s car
猫の耳 (neko NO mimi) – cat’s ear.

“No” can be used as a noun modificator: the noun BEFORE “no” modifies the noun AFTER “no”. This usage is similar to the possessive, but it is seen more with compound nouns. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of the particle の (no) as the English word “of.”

英語の先生 (eigo NO sensei) – English teacher (teacher OF English)
日本の車 (nihon NO kuruma) – A Japanese car
日本の大学 (nihon NO daigaku) – A Japanese university.

“No” can be used multiple times in a single phrase.

日本語の先生の車 (nihongo NO sensei NO kuruma) – Japanese language professor’s car.

“No” is also used to indicate position

机の上 (tsukue NO ue) – on the desk
いすの下 (isu NO shita) – under the chair
学校の前 (gakkou NO mae) – in front of the school
私の後ろ (watashi NO ushiro) – behind me

Read more: Usage of Particles in Japanese Language