Japanese Lesson – Which … is …?

Hello Everyone,

Today will be our third article around the kosoado with この, その, あの and どの. Let’s go!

Previous articles:

Which … is/are …?

To introduce the kosoado -の group, let’s have a look at an example. Let’s imagine you are on a playing field at tyhe beginning of a tournament and you want to know which among the teams there is the best, you will ask:

  • どのチームが一番ですか。
  • どの チーム が いちばん です か。
  • / which / team / {focus} / best (first) / to be / {question} /

At the difference of どれ, which is used alone and only to identify things or animals, どの is always used with a noun which can be a pre-identified thing, animal or person.

So, どの is used point out, among a group of identified objects, animals or persons, the one with the given characteristics.

This/that/that … (over there) is …

Now, if you are to answer such question as the one above, or if you want to express some opinion or fact, the way you will build your sentence will depend on the position of the object that has to be pointed out relative to you and your interlocutor, like with どれ or どこ:

この… this … If the pointed out element is close to you.
その… that … If the pointed element is close to your interlocutor.
あの… that … over there If the pointed element is neither close from you nor from your interlocutor.


  • このチームは一番です。(この チーム は いちばん です。)
    • This team (close to me) is the best.
  • そのチームは一番です。(その チーム は いちばん です。)
    • That team (close to you) is the best.
  • あのチームは一番です。(あの チーム は いちばん です。)
    • That team over there is the best.

If your answer may not seem obvious you can add some complements to the pointed out noun to make your answer more precise:

  • あの赤シャツのチームは一番です。(あの あか シャツ の チーム は いちばん です。)
    • That team with the read shirts over there is the best.

Of course, if you can further identify the pointed out thing or person using a given name, you can use that given name but then you must quit using その, この, あの:

  • 赤犬は一番です。(あかいぬ は いちばん です。)
    • / Red Dogs / {topic} / best / to be /
    • The Red Dogs are the best.



  • 本 ほん / book /
  • 好き すき / liked, loved, fond of /
  • 車 くるま / car /
  • あなたの あなた の / yours /
  • 赤い あかい / red /
  • 私の わたし の / mine /
  • 金髪の男 きんぱつ の おとこ / blond haired man /
  • スウェーデンから / Swedish (person) /

Translate the following sentences using the vocabulary above and この, その, あの or どの as appropriate.

  1. I love this book (close to me).
  2. Which car is yours?
  3. That red car over there is mine.
  4. That blond man is from Sweden


  1. この本は好きです。(この ほん は すき です。)
    • / that / book / {topic} / liked / to be /
  2. どの車があなたのですか。(どの くるま が あなた の です か。)
    • / which / car / {focus} / yours / to be / {question} /
  3. あの赤い車です。(あの あかい くるま です。)
    • / that over there / red / car / to be /
  4. その金髪の男はスウェーデンからです。(その きんぱつ の おとこ は スウェーデン から です。)
    • / that / blond haired / man / {topic} / Sweden / from / to be /


Here it is for today! These structures are quite commonly used so take your time to learn it correctly. Do not hesitate to leave me a message here, on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit if you have any question.




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