1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. Word order in "Where is the c…


Word order in "Where is the classroom for the Japanese class?"

The Classroom lesson has the following sentence:

日本語のじゅぎょうは どこのぎょうしつですか。

I find the placement of のぎょうしつ somewhat unexpected; I would have put it right after 日本語のじゅぎょう.

Is this a style thing, trying to avoid an expression containing two のs? Or what is going on?

December 20, 2017



I'm afraid that your question doesn't make much sense to me. Grammatically the sentence is fine. じゅぎょう is a lesson or a class. きょうしつ (not ぎょうしつ) is a classroom. 'Where is the classroom for the Japanese class'. There are many sentences which have の repeated. To say this is strange would be like saying that there cannot be two possessive nouns in an English sentence. どこの is equivalent to asking 'which' or 'the one where'. (I am aware that the last bit sounds a bit strange).


Oh - maybe I misunderstand the sentence? I thought it was a sequence of possessives, and so I would have said: the room of the class of the Japanese, where is it?


I had never seen どこの + noun before, and I'm finding it a bit hard to translate literally. "As far as the Japanese class is concerned, where of the classroom is?" - sounds awful, doesn't really make sense.


Is it about the emphasis? Here are some sentences:

  1. 日本語のじゅぎょうは どこのきょうしつですか? - Where is the classroom for the Japanese language class?

  2. 日本語のじゅぎょうのきょうしつはどこですか? - Where is the classroom for the Japanese language class?

  3. 日本語は どこのじゅぎょうのきょうしつですか? - Where is the classroom for the class of Japanese language?

  4. どこは日本語のじゅぎょうのきょうしつですか? - Where is the classroom for the Japanese language class?

The "は" particle appears in four different places, which changes the emphasis on the topic of the sentence. That's my understanding of it, but I'm not really sure which ones of those actually get used in daily conversations.

According to Keith_APP's comment, the sentences 2, 3 and 4 probably sound unnatural... so that leaves option 1 . Or just:

  • 日本語のじゅぎょうはどこですか? - Where is the classroom for the Japanese language?

  • 日本語の クラス (or きょうしつ)はどこですか? - Where is the Japanese language class (classroom)?


Scratch #4. 「どこは」 is not grammatically correct. Scratch #3. 'The Japanese language is in which class?' Answer: The Japanese class of course.

The final two suggestions are the most natural sounding.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.