Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 9: 7/20

こととて

Due to, Since, On account of, Because

こととて in some contexts can also mean “even”

Structure

Verb + こととて
Verb[ない+ (1) + こととて
Noun + + こととて

(1) ない

Details

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    Formal

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    硬い

About こととて

こととて is a combination of the noun こと 'thing', and the binding (adverbial) particle とて, which is used for presenting reasons. It will be translated as 'due to (A)', or 'because of (A)'. This is a fairly old-fashioned expression, and will almost exclusively be used in writing in modern Japanese.
To use こととて, attach it to the end of a verb, or a noun followed by the case-marking particle の.
  • あの事件(じけん)は20(ねん)(まえ)()こったこととて世間(せけん)からは(わす)れられているだろう。
    Due to that incident happening 20 years ago, it probably has been forgotten by the public.
  • 商品(しょうひん)についてあまり()らぬこととて、お(きゃく)(さま)信頼(しんらい)(うしな)ってしまった。
    Due to me lacking knowledge about the product, I unfortunately lost credibility.
  • 新人(しんじん)こととて、まだ()からないことがたくさんありますが、これからよろしくお(ねが)いいたします。
    Since I am still new, there are many things I don't know, but please take good care of me.
  • 突然(とつぜん)こととて(まえ)(くるま)()けきれませんでした。
    Due to it being a sudden event, I was not able to avoid the car in front of me.
こととて will primarily be used when asking for forgiveness for something. Due to this, when appearing after verbs, the verb will usually be in past tense, or have been negated with either ない or ぬ. This highlights something that was done and shouldn't have been, or wasn't done and should have been.
In many cases, (A) will be something for which the negative result of (B) is obvious, or to be expected.
Fun Fact
とて is thought to either be a combination of the case-marking particle と and the conjunction particle て, or the conjunctive form of the classical auxiliary verb たり, と, and the conjunction particle て. As the origin is unclear, it will be best to think of it as its own structure, that carries its own original meaning.

Examples

--:--

    時代(じだい)(げき)。A:「あなたのお(とう)さんによろしくお(つた)えください。」
    B:「お(とう)さんは(はる)(むかし)()くなりました。」
    A:「そうでしたか。()らぬこととて失礼(しつれい)をお(ゆる)しください。」

    A period drama, A: 'Please, send my greetings to your father.'
    B: 'My father passed away long ago.'
    A: 'Is that so? Please, forgive my rudeness due to my lack of knowledge.'

    (ふる)手紙(てがみ):「()()(ちゅう)こととて迷惑(めいわく)をおかけしましたがなにとぞご寛容(かんよう)のほどお(ねが)(もう)()げます。」

    Old letter: 'I have caused you a lot of trouble due to being busy, but I would kindly ask for your understanding.'

    仕事(しごと)になれぬこととて間違(まちが)いをしてしまいました。(もう)(わけ)ございません。」

    'I made a mistake due to not being accustomed to the work. For that I am awfully sorry.'

    田舎(いなか)こととて年齢(ねんれい)学年(がくねん)関係(かんけい)なく生徒(せいと)勉強(べんきょう)する教室(きょうしつ)が1教室(きょうしつ)だけしかなかった。」

    Since it was the countryside, there was only one classroom where school children studied, regardless of their age or grade.

    子供(こども)がやったこととて(おや)としてお()(もう)()げます。」

    'Since my child did it, I would like to apologize as their parent.'

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