Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 6: 22/24

かと言(い)うと ①
Why? Well..., Why? Because..., if you ask me why..., the reason why is..., it is because...

In casual speech, の can be changed to ん and と to って

どうして(1) + Phrase (A) + いう(2) + Phrase (B) + から(3)

Phrase (A)。どうして(1) + いう(2) + Phrase (B) + から(3)

どうして(1) + Verb + (の) + いう(2)

(1) なぜ
(2) いえ
(3) のだためだ
どうして(1) + Phrase (A) + いう(2) + Phrase (B) + からです(3)

Phrase (A)。どうして(1) + いう(2) + Phrase (B) + からです(3)

どうして(1) + Verb + (の) + いう(2)

(1) なぜ
(2) いえ
(3) のですためです
Register Standard
使用域 一般
~かというと is a phrase that has two primary functions. The first is used in conjunction with ‘why’ and ‘how’ words, while the other is used with ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘what’. We will focus on the former in this lesson. かというと is a combination of the 格助詞(かくじょし) (case marking particle) か in its use as a question marker, the 格助詞(かくじょし) in its 引用(いんよう) ‘citation’ use, the う - Verb 言(い)う ‘to say’, and the 格助詞(かくじょし) と in its 結果(けっか) ‘result’ use.
This is quite a few particles combined together, but the literal meaning is more simply ‘if (A) were to be asked’, before the speaker will go on to highlight their reasoning in (B). どうして or なぜ.
  • どうして明日(あした)パーティーに行(いき)きくないかというと、元(もと)カレ来(く)ると聞(き)いたからです
    The reason why I don't want to go to the party is because I heard that my ex-boyfriend is coming.
  • なぜこの計画(けいかく)進(すす)めようと思(おも)ったかというと、以前(いぜん)この計画(けいかく)似(に)たプラン成功(せいこう)したからです
    The reason why we have decided to continue with this plan is because a similar plan succeeded last time.
As ~かというと will come before some sort of explanation, から will also regularly be used at the end of the sentence as ‘because’, emphasizing the speaker's reasoning.
Like other grammar points that utilize the ‘if’ nuance of , , and sometimes even たら may be used. However, たら will appear far less frequently than と or .
  • どうして冬(ふゆ)でも冷房(れいぼう)かけているかと言(い)えば、お客(きゃく)さん汗(あせ)かかずに買(か)い物(もの)させる為(ため)です
    If you ask me why we keep the air conditioning on even in the winter, it is because we want the customers to shop without sweating.
  • なぜ安(やす)い方(ほう)選(えら)んだかといったら、安(やす)いやつも、高(たか)いやつもついている機能(きのう)同(おな)じからです
    If you ask me why I picked the cheaper one, it is because both the cheaper one and the expensive one have the same functionality.
Slow Male
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If you ask me why I don't want to buy that brand of smartphone, it is because I bought one before and it broke in (just) two weeks.
Giraffes have long necks. The reason why is because by using their long necks they can eat leaves on the top of trees.
If you ask me why I do my best to bike (to work) rather than take a bus, it is because bicycles are not only cheaper but also faster in traffic.
Maggie Sensei
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