Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 1: 16/22


Should, Ought


Verb[る] + こと +
Verb[ない] + こと +


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About ことだ

As a sentence ending particle, こと has two primary functions. These are as follows:
願望(がんぼう)(かる)命令(めいれい)(あらわ)す - Highlighting a desire or weak command.
感嘆(かんたん)疑問(ぎもん)(あらわ)す - Highlighting astonishment or doubt.
We will focus on the first meaning in this grammar point, as the 'astonishment' nuance is not as commonly used in modern Japanese, and is primarily used only by women.
At the end of a sentence, こと will be paired with the dictionary (or ない) form of a verb, to highlight a particular action that either should, or should not occur. It is usually grouped with the auxiliary verb , although this is not always the case. This construction is most often translated as 'should/should not (A)', or 'ought to/not (A)'.
  • 面倒(めんど)くさくても(あさ)(はん)()べることだ
    Even though it might be a pain, you should eat breakfast.
  • 明日(あした)(あさ)8()から試験(しけん)(はじ)まる。(なに)あっても時間(じかん)(どお)()ことだ。みんな、()かったか。
    The exams will begin tomorrow at 8 am. No matter what happens, you should come on time. Understood?
  • どんな(つか)れていても(あきら)めないことだ
    You should not give up, no matter how tired you are.
  • 怪我(けが)たら我慢(がまん)しないことだ。すぐ責任者(せきにんしゃ)報告(ほうこく)するように
    If you get hurt, you shouldn't just suffer in silence. Immediately call your supervisor.
This use of こと implies a certain level of 'authority', and is therefore regularly used in relation to set rules and expectations (can very frequently be seen on signs in shops/parks, etc). Due to this, it should not be used when giving 'general' advice, especially to people of higher status.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)後輩(こうはい)はもっと大切(たいせつ)にすることだ
    Senpai you should treat your kouhai with great care.




    Because there is an important game tomorrow, you should practice.


    Students should obey their teachers.


    What is important, is that you should take the medicine the doctor gave you.


    You ought to try it first because you'll find out what needs to be improved.


    As soon as you memorize something, you ought to say it out loud. If you do that, you will get better.

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ことだ – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (8 in total)

  • CursedKitsune


    Why is the copula required in this lesson? Why isn’t just すること taught/accepted as an answer/bounced back?

  • domi650


    Hey, I just had this grammar point and when reviewing it “ことです” has been marked as wrong. This is weird because it is displayed as the polite equivalent to ことだ, there should at least be a warning that the casual version is wanted in that specific sentence.

  • mekomori


    no i like agree with this so much because the amount of times i am ONE hiragana character off and it marks me wrong, like damn, im so sorry i missed the な or よ particle

    like damn, i understand particles are important but god, at least I remembered the kanji

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