"I am in front of you."
Can someone break this down for me please? Why is の being used in this sentence? In another example, the sentence was 前にテーブルがあります。 Does this mean that if の is used, then that is the thing behind the other one (in this example, "あなた" is behind the subject - in other words, the subject is in front of あなた)? And if it's が then that thing is in front of the subject (テーブル is in front of the subject)? Also, when does 前に go at the beginning of the sentence and when does it not? Thank you hahaha
The の particle here is denoting possession, in a way. If you wanted to say that a chair is to your right, we do the same thing in English (YOUR right, it belongs to you) - so あなたの右 would be doing the same thing - "you" "possession" "right". However, in Japanese, the subject, or in this case the reference point, is often dropped if it's understood - especially when the subject is "I" or "you" (saying "わたし" all the time makes you sound conceited, and あなた also can mean "dear/darling/honey" like what you'd call your spouse, so it's actually rarely used - people tend to address others by name instead), so when the subject is dropped, the location begins the sentence. For these location sentences, there are two ways they can be formatted: you can say either: (Subject)が(reference point)の(direction)にいます・あります or (Reference point)の(direction)に(subject)がいます・あります So just like in English we can say 'the chair is next to the table' or 'next to the table is the chair', in Japanese we can say いすがテーブルのよこにあります or テーブルのよこにいすがあります.
Does that help?
what I understand is that の specifies in this context the positioning. ex. あなたの前に means in front of you. when の is left out like in your sentence, we should get within this context that the speaker talks about the front of themselves (私の)前に, 私の is just not needed. テ一ブルがあります means there's a table. so if you place 前に in the beginning of your sentence, it should be translated into "there's a table in front (of me)."
I'm learning Japanese as well so I still have a hard time organizing my own comprehension hahah. there sure are many people who could explain better the grammar and structure of this kind of sentences.
So you're confusing subject with reference point here. "you" is the reference point for the direction (in front of what? In front of YOU). "I" is the subject. The subject needs to be referred to with the は・が particles. So the formula for these sentences would be either:
(Subject)が(reference point)の(direction)にいます・あります or (Reference point)の(direction)に(subject)がいます・あります
So like in English "the cat is to the right of the dog" or "to the right of the dog is the cat"
が is similar to は except it refers to an implicit or non specified object of the type. It's like "a cat" versus "the cat." However, it can indicate the noun of a subordinate clause. https://www.wasabi-jpn.com/japanese-grammar/ha-vs-ga-five-points-you-need-to-know/
Found a reddit thread about this: https://www.reddit.com/r/japanese/comments/3q6r8c/%E3%81%A7%E3%81%99_vs_%E3%81%84%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99/
(私の)前にあなたがいます is "you're in front of me."
あなたの前に(私が)います is "I'm in front of you."
note what comes before 前. の attached to the word before it explains the positioning of 前に here. you can think of it as a possession: 私の前に (I's front > front of me) vs あなたの前に (you's front > front of you).
nb. within the context, 私 is usually implicit and not mentioned. you can drop out what's in the (...) and be perfectly understood.
Think of it this way: [あなた] [の] [前] [に] [います] [You] [<-(possessive of)]<- [front] [is where] [I <-(implied) am] "Your front is where I am" It would sound weird(er) if you said "Front your is where I am." The fact that 前 comes after あなたの is important because it signifies that 前 is possessed by あなた because of の. If it were not in this order, it would be hard to tell what あなた is possessing; and in much larger sentences, that could turn into a tragedy.
The "no" particle must come after the thing that will be the possessive.
"Anata no..." = "your" "watashi no..." = "my"
And the thing being possessed always comes after. Also, possessives can always be restated as "the [noun A] of [noun B]". So you could think of "no" as the "of" in English, with reverse order.
"Sabaku[desert] no Gaara[a person's name]" = "Gaara of the desert".
If your watch anime, or any Japanese media, just try to remember a common phrase or nickname if it'll help you remember word order.
Note that the の particle establishes a relation between two nouns, and as such, it needs to be between its two "operands". In the case of other postpositions like を and に establish a relation between what comes immediately before them and the sentence as a whole (or, equivalently, the main verb of the sentence). So if you move the あなたの to after the 前に it no longer refers to it, but would somehow try to modify the main verb います in an ungrammatical way; あなたのいます doesn't mean anything.
Alia is correct it's for a location, I don't know why she got downvoted
It's hard to get your head around direction as a location, but in front of (前) represents a physical space, and just like the other questions (on top of the table, at the restaurant, outside, etc) requires に after to mark a location/direction, in front of also needs the に
It's the same structure as previous questions but with different kanji.
Hope this explains further
あなたの前 = Your front
私の前 = My front
Although they are basically the same, saying "I am in front of you" is like saying "I am in the area of your front." for "you are in front of me" you are saying "you are in the area of my front"
Basically, although they are realistically going to be used in the same way, using あなたの前 is literally your front, so they want to make it as literal as possible