Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 8: 22/22

ことは〜が

It is true...but, although, but

Structure

Verb + こと + Verb(*) + (1)

[い]Adjective + こと + [い]Adjective(*) + (1)

[な]Adjective + こと + [な]Adjective(*) + (1)

(1) けどけどもけれどけれども
(*) The same Adjective or Verb

Details

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    Standard

  • 使用域

    一般

About ことは〜が

ことは~が is a set expression which indicates that 'while something is (A), also (B)'. In English, this is usually interpreted as '(A) is true, but (B), or 'although (A), (B)'. When this grammar structure is used, the same word will be repeated before both ことは and が (or けど). Due to this, the literal translation is similar to 'that which is (A) is (A), but (B)'. This simply emphasizes that the speaker recognizes (A) as being true, but would like to express information that is contrary to that.
ことは~が can appear with any type of word, but だ will need to be used following nouns before が, while な, である, だった or ではない tends to follow な-Adjectives.
  • 漢字(かんじ)()めることは()める簡単(かんたん)漢字(かんじ)しか()めないです。
    It is true that I can read kanji, but I can only read easy ones.
  • (あたら)しい(いえ)(ひろ)ことは(ひろ)けど家具(かぐ)(おお)いから(せま)()える。
    It is true that my new house is spacious, but because there is a lot of furniture, it looks small.
  • このスマホは便利(べんり)であることは便利(べんり)であるけど本体(ほんたい)がデカすぎて片手(かたて)では操作(そうさ)できない。
    It is true that this smartphone is useful, but because it is big, I can't use it with just one hand.
  • ここは道路(どうろ)ことは道路(どうろ)けど(せま)すぎて(くるま)(とお)れない。
    It is true that this road is a road, but it is too narrow that a car can't pass through.
In most cases, ことは~が expresses that the base fact of (A) is true, but the speaker has some sort of opinion or impression that is in opposition to that fact.

Examples

--:--

    岩村(いわむら): 「日本語(にほんご)()かりますか?」
    土井(どい): 「()かることは()かります簡単(かんたん)言葉(ことば)だけです。」

    Iwamura: 'Do you understand Japanese?'
    Doi: 'It is true that I understand it, but only simple vocabulary.'

    遠藤(えんどう): 「北村(きたむら)さんって、日本(にほん)()ったことある?」
    北村(きたむら): 「()ったことは()ったけど東京(とうきょう)空港(くうこう)()ただけだよ。」

    Endo: 'Kitamura-san, have you ever been to Japan?'
    Kitamura: 'It is true that I have been there, but I have only seen Tokyo Airport.'

    藤本(ふじもと): 「守口(もりぐち)さんって、(やさ)しい(ひと)らしい。」
    石川(いしかわ): 「(やさ)しいことは(やさ)しい自分(じぶん)家族(かぞく)(たい)してだけ。」

    Fujimoto: 'I have heard that Moriguchi-san is a nice person.'
    Ishikawa: 'Well, it is true that Moriguchi-san is nice, but only towards her family.'

    (あめ)()れたことは()れた(たい)したことはなかった。

    It is true that it got soaked by the rain, but it wasn't a big deal.

    (ねつ)()ことは()、インフルエンザではありませんでした。

    It is true that I had a fever, but it wasn't the flu.

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ことは〜が – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (2 in total)

  • rukimon

    rukimon

    In this grammar form, how do you know which form the verb should take on both sides of the ことは ?

    My understanding was that the verb should be in exactly the same form on both sides of ことは

    However, in the examples on Bunpro, I also see
    分かることは分かりますが、簡単な言葉だけです。(mixed politeness levels)
    ボルトは外れることは外れたが, これ以上分解できない。(mixed tenses)
    引越しはしたことはしたが、こっちの家も欠陥住宅だった。(both instances in past tense)

  • nekoyama

    nekoyama

    Politeness:

    Politeness markers are usually not used in the middle of a sentence, so if the speaker wants to be polite the second word is the only option.

    Tense:

    For events in the past, the second word is in the past form, but the first word doesn’t have to be. There is no difference in meaning.

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