Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 2: 14/23

I heard that, rumor has it that, it is said that, it means that

Can be rephrased to とのことだ if expresses hearsay.

Phrase + いうこと +
Phrase + いうこと + です
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Like ということ, an expression used for nominalizing a phrase in the fashion of ‘the ~ that ~’, ということだ makes use of the 助動詞(じょどうし) (auxiliary verb) (or です), and stresses that the nominalized phrase ‘is’ the case. This phrase is often translated as ‘I heard that’, or ‘it is said that’, but literally, it is closer to ‘it is that it’s ~’. The is what gives this expression a high degree of certainty, therefore implying that the speaker has heard the statement elsewhere, and is sure of its validity.
ということだ can be added to the end of any phrase that the speaker wants to highlight as being something that is known.
  • この井戸(いど)水(みず)は汚染(おせん)されているということだ
    It is said that this well is contaminated.
  • この魚(さかな)は全(まった)く臭(くさ)くないまだ新鮮(しんせん)と言(い)う事(こと)だ
    This fish doesn't smell at all. It means that it’s fresh.
ということだ is regularly paired with other expressions that show the ‘source’ of information, such as によると, or によれば.
  • 先生(せんせい)によるとこの病気(びょうき)は薬(くすり)では治(なお)せないということだ
    According to the doctor, (it is said that) this sickness cannot be cured with medicine.
  • 大阪(おおさか)府警(ふけい)によれば、犯人(はんにん)はまだ逃(に)げているということだ
    It is said that the criminal is still on the run, according to the Osaka prefectural police.
When ということだ is being used to express hearsay (statements that cannot easily be proven), it can be be rephrased as とのことだ. The literal difference between these two phrases is as follows:
ということだ - It can be explained that (A) is ~ (more emphasis on the information)
とのことだ - The statement of (A) has been applied to ~ (more emphasis on the source that ‘applied’ the information)
  • 地域(ちいき)によってルール違(ちが)うということだ
    It means that the rules differ depending on the area.
  • 地域(ちいき)によってルール違(ちが)うとのことだ
    It is said that the rules differ depending on the area.
ということだ is considered to be more formal than そうだwhen reporting information that has been heard from another source. This is primarily due to ということだ expressing something that is thought to be a fact, while そうだretains the nuance of being something that is a speculation/guess.
  • 彼(かれ)は家族(かぞく)に内緒(ないしょ)旅行(りょこう)に行(い)ったそうだ。
    I heard that he went on a trip without telling his family.
  • 彼(かれ)は家族(かぞく)に内緒(ないしょ)旅行(りょこう)に行(い)ったということだ
    It is said that he went on a trip without telling his family.
Slow Male
Hide All
Hide Japanese
Hide English
It is said that dolphins are the smartest of all animals.
Rumor has it that Tanaka-san and Yamada-san are dating in secret.
It is said that different people have different ways of thinking.
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 163