I have been learning Japanese for a bit but dochira no as well as dore no stump me. Such as in kono tokei wa dochira no kuni no desu ka. Why couldn’t it be kono tokei wa kuni no dochira desu ka? I know dochira means which one as well as dore but what is the no doing here? In English which doesn’t really have a ownership way to spell it unless you said which ones which then it would be “this watch, which ones countries is it?” Which doesn’t sound right and I don’t think no is being used to link nouns here as in aka no kuruma “red car” where no is being used to link red and car. Could you help me clear this up? It seems the same for kore and sore and are as in how could this and that have ownership forms? “This’s Cat” or “That’s Cat” doesn’t make sense. Thank you!
このとけいは どちらの くにのですか。(KONO TOKEI WA DOCHIRA NO KUNI NO DESUKA) = Which country does this watch belong to? / In which country was this watch made?
The の between どちら and くに is simply connecting the pronoun and the noun together rather than showing possession/ownership.
Let me give you some examples using pronouns and nouns.
1) わたしの うち (WATASHI NO UCHI / my house) – ownership 2) あなたの ほん (ANATA NO HON/ your book) – possession 3) だれの かばん (DARE NO KABAN/ whose bag?) – possession 4) こちらの へや (KOCHIRA NO HEYA/ this room) 5) どちらの へや (DOCHIRA NO HEYA/ which room?) 6) あちらの せんせいの へや (ACHIRA NO SENSEI NO HEYA/ that teacher’s room over there)
It is clear that the の in #1, #2 and #3 are used to show possession. The の in #4 and #5 are just linking two nouns/pronouns. As for #6, の is used in both ways (linking nouns & possession). The particle is not limited to only one use.
It may help if you simply memorize the following patterns.