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Modifying Nouns with Clauses

Modifying Nouns with Clauses

In addition to noun modification with adjectives and other nouns, noun modification with clauses can be applied to Japanese sentences, similar to the English structure of NOUN X that Y, wherein X is the particular noun and “that” + Y is a descriptor clause such as “that I saw the other day”. When this construct is used, the predicate of the clause modifying the noun is maintained in Plain Form, which includes the Dictionary Form, the た Form, the ない Form, and the なかった Form but not the ます Form, the ません Form, the ました Form, or the ませんでした Form. The reason for this is because when a noun-modifying clause is used in a sentence, there are always at least two predicates in the sentence. Since the predicate within the noun-modifying clause must appear before the other predicate, it is only necessary to use the polite form, if desired, of the final predicate. In summation, the noun-modifying clause can be in Plain Form while the succeeding predicate can be in Polite Form or both can be in Plain Form, but there is no instance wherein the noun-modifying clause can be in Polite Form.


Niku wo taberu hito.
(Person who eats meat.)

Katta team ha?
(Which is the team that won?/Which team won?)

Akihabara e iku densha wa doko desuka?
(Where is the train that goes to Akihabara?)

Manten wo totta hito.
(Person who scored perfectly.)

Sanka shitakunakatta hito.
(Person who didn’t want to participate.)