Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 2: 6/24


In, On, Into, Inside of


Noun + + (なか)


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About 中を

Coming from the base meaning of the noun (なか) meaning 'inside', the addition of the case marking particleを in its role of identifying the place where an action is taking place creates a grammar structure that can be translated as 'doing (B) in (A)', 'doing (B) on (A)', or 'doing (B) inside of (A)'.
With this grammar point, (B) will be the action, while (A) will be a noun indicating the location.
  • (いえ)(かえ)ってきたら、まずは弁当(べんとう)(ばこ)(なか)(から)にしてっていつも()ってるじゃん!
    I always tell you to empty out the inside of the lunch box first thing when you come home, don't I?
  • スーパーの(なか)(なに)()わずにウロウロしていたら、警備員(けいびいん)のおじさんに(あや)しまれて(こえ)をかけられた。
    When I was wandering around (inside) the supermarket without buying anything, the security guard thought I was suspicious so he came to talk to me.
Caution - The person or thing that is doing the action that (なか) is indicating may not actually be within the noun being marked with (A). A good example of this is 'doing (B) into (A)', such as with the う-Verb (のぞ)く 'to peer'.
  • 子供(こども)(みょう)(しず)かだな〜と(おも)い、子供(こども)部屋(べや)(なか)(のぞ)いてみたらただ()ていただけだった。
    I thought, 'My kid is suspiciously quiet', so I peeked into their room, but they were just sleeping.




    The cat is running around the inside of the house.


    I will peer into a tunnel.


    I will wash the inside of a pot.


    It is hard to walk within a crowd of people.


    This aquarium is like walking inside of the ocean.

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中を – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (5 in total)

  • devonhollowood


    Could you instead say 「家の中猫が歩く」? If so, how would the meaning change (using で vs. を)?

  • Fuga


    Hey there! You could say 家の中で猫が歩く,but there is a slight difference in nuance.
    The sentence using で has the nuance of the cat just walking somewhere in the house, while the sentence using を has the nuance of the cat ‘traveling’ or walking around the house.

  • devonhollowood


    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!

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