Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 1: 18/18


~ing, The ~ that ~ (Nominalization)


Phrase + いうこと


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About ということ

One of the ways to perform nominalization (turning a phrase into a noun) in Japanese is through the use of the expression ということ. This grammar point is a combination of (the particle), ()う (the verb), and こと (the noun). Together, the literal translation is close to 'that (A) is said to be'. However, in reality, it sounds far less formal than this.
To use ということ, attach it to the end of any phrase (without です, or ます). In most cases it will be written using hiragana.
  • 宇宙人(うちゅうじん)いるということです
    Does that mean aliens exist?
  • 一緒(いっしょ)()でいるけど()()ってない?ルームメイトだということ
    You are living together, but not dating? So that means they're your roommate, right?
  • あの先生(せんせい)(おし)(かた)(ひど)ということ()いた。
    I heard that the way that teacher teaches is harsh.
In conversation, という is regularly shortened to simply って. This form will be heard/seen much more frequently in conversation/manga and similar things.
  • これ(ただ)ってことです
    Does that mean that this is correct?
  • (くるま)(こわ)電車(でんしゃ)くるってこと(おく)ないで()
    Your car broke? Does that mean you are coming by train? Please don't be late.
ということ is also frequently used when clarifying what someone else has said. In these cases, it translates very similarly to 'you mean that (A)?', or 'you mean to say that (A)?'
  • これ人工(じんこう)ってこと
    You mean that this is man made?
Although the kanji ()う and (こと) may be used in this expression, the most common form does not use any kanji at all. This is a regular occurance in Japanese, as many set grammatical structures will not use kanji, simply because it makes the pattern easier to identify.




    I often hear that this restaurant is delicious. (Phrase to noun)


    Do you mean I should pay for everyone? (Phrase to noun)


    Do you mean that I have to wash the dishes all by myself? (Phrase to noun)


    It means that you want to break up? (Phrase to noun)


    You mean that you will get serious? (Phrase to noun)

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ということ – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (21 in total)

  • KrisV70


    • 一緒いっしょんでいるけどってはいない の?ルームメイトだということだよね?

    You are living together, but not dating? That means they are a roommate, right?

    The English translation makes sense but it is very outspoken in meaning.
    There is a more neutral translation.
    This sort of is saying that you are (just) roommates

    You are living together, but not dating? That means you are roommates, right.

    This is more neutral. Here there is no shift from you to your roommate.
    It is very subtle.

    Singular roommate focusses attention to the singled out.
    plural… there is no particular focus.

    The first translation ( yours) you would use if a guy brags about living with a girl and you want to bring him down a little.
    She is just a roommate. ( nothing more)

    The second translation (mine) is just a neutral observation made.
    So that means you are roommates.

  • Asher


    Hi there, and thanks for getting in touch! In this case, ‘they are’ was just used in the gender neutral sense, but I agree it could definitely be a little bit more natural!

    I am going to change it to -
    You are living together, but not dating? So that means they’re your roommate, right?

    I think in this case, prolonging the ‘they are’ and adding ‘a’ made the English come off a little like an accusation. I hope this is a better translations that more closely reflects the Japanese.

  • Brux


    Sorry for unburying this but I really just wanted to go out of the way to say how wonderful of an explanation this is for this particular grammar point.

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