ということ - Grammar Discussion

English translation:
Phrase to noun
-ing, that

Phrase + ということ

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This should be possible as well

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I got a review that still showed the “phrase to noun” message in the old style, next to the sentence (in yellow) rather than below it (in orange).

Also, “phrase to noun” is basically a give-away that you want ということ since you only specify it for this grammar point, even though “phrase to noun” is otherwise a pretty meaningless hint.

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The といわれている grammar point links to this page

@darkness_rising Hey! I am not able to reproduce this on my end. Did you click on the Community Discussion page from the main grammar point page or were you using Study? Cheers!

Yeah… I couldn’t get it to replicate either a few days later. I don’t remember what I was using, and I couldn’t get the problem to happen again so idk.

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For the sentence:
もう別れたい ということ

Could I also put:
もう別れたい ということだ ?

It was marked as incorrect, but I don’t understand why

Because it’s a question. か etc should work (but there already is a ? at the end).

Can the こと sometimes be dropped like in the sentence below, or is that a different grammar point?


Similar idea. Basically it’s this grammar point:
という | Japanese Grammar SRS

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I’m having a hard time understanding HOW という事 works, or even, why is it used.

“phrase to noun/-ing” is not clicking with me.

I’m a native Spanish speaker so maybe there are some dual translation shenanigans but could anyone please abstract why and how is this used on a regular conversation?

For example, I understand-abstract in my brain these 2 the same way (but since I dont know how to use という事, I dont use it):

  • 冷蔵庫にチーズしか残っていないという事ですか。
  • 冷蔵庫にチーズしか残っていないですか。

Even as a native English speaker, normalizes STILL cause me the occasional headache, especially this usage. Before I go more in detail, do you understand the general concept of normalization that’s taught before this one? If so, that’ll help a ton. However if I know there’s some native speakers here like @Daru who may be able to explain it in your mother tongue muuuuch better than I could.


Everything else seems to have clicked (previously), although I dont recall what “normalization” entails. Maybe I need a different abstraction approach.

¡Hola @Leo-Tyrant! Yo soy de México y hablo español de manera nativa también.

Básicamente, という事 tiene dos usos: convertir una frase a sustantivo, (lo mismo que la nominalización o sustantivación en español) y pedir confirmaciones. Vamos por partes.

Nominalizar significa convertir un verbo o adjetivo en sustantivo simplemente agregándole un determinante (el, la, los, las, lo). Ojo, el japonés nominaliza al final, mientras que el español al inicio.

  • Fumar (verbo) → El fumar (sustantivado)
  • タバコを吸う (Verbo) → タバコを吸うということ(Sustantivado)

Por ejemplo, puedes decir:

  • タバコを吸うということは体に悪い → El fumar es malo para el cuerpo.

En la última oración, estás usando は para indicar que el tema es “el fumar”, a diferencia de タバコを吸うは体に悪い, que en español sería “Fumar, malo para el cuerpo”. Se entiende pero suena raro. En este uso, という事 es lo mismo que ~のが/は/を/に.

En cuanto al segundo uso, pedir confirmación, piensa un poco en cómo puedes hacer preguntas en japonés.

今日ですか。→ ¿Es hoy?

Al nominalizar una oración completa, puedes pedir confirmación sobre lo que estás nominalizando. Veamos tu mismo ejemplo.

  • 冷蔵庫にチーズしか残っていないですか。→ ¿Ya no queda mas que queso en el refrigerador? (Pregunta simple)
  • 冷蔵庫にチーズしか残っていないという事ですか。→ Entonces, ¿significa que ya no queda mas que queso en el refrigerador?
    (Lit. ¿Ese queso que es lo único que queda en el refrigerador?)

La primer oración se entiende como un simple comentario o pregunta, sólo estás diciéndolo y ya. Al agregar という事 estás pidiendo confirmación, con contexto se entiende más claro.

  • Aさん「ピザ作ったよ!」→ “¡Hice pizza!”
  • Bさん「チーズが残っていないということですか。」→"¿Entonces ya no queda queso?" (Implicando que se A se acabó el queso preparando la pizza, y suena como respuesta natural)

Sin という事

  • Aさん「ピザ作ったよ!」→ “¡Hice pizza!”
  • Bさん「チーズが残っていないですか。」→ “¿No queda queso?” (No implicas nada, y no se está conectando mucho a la conversación. Sólo preguntas si hay queso o no. Pareciera que no hiciste caso a lo que se te dijo.)

Espero haya quedado claro. ¡Si tienes más dudas dime!


Te agradezco, increible explicacion, de las mejores que he recibido.

Back to English in case some other users have doubts in the future:

With your explanation I’m seeing that normalization is just a way of being able to:

“Manipulate the verb or adjective” like we do in Spanish or English to be able to use them as substantives (meaning: I could assign an adjective to a verb or another adjective).

Am I close? That’s they differentiator?


ということ in this case, is assigned to the 吸うverb to be able to use-map 悪い to it?


Kind of!

Nominalization is basically “compressing” what was said before into a single unit of information, in most cases to make connecting it to the rest of the sentence easier.

Japanese has this very interesting thing called progressive simplification, in which you keep considering something as a single unit to explain how it connects to the rest of the sentence, until you find a hard stop or something that stops building it up. Using the same sentence as before:

  • [タバコ… “Tobacco” First piece of information. It can be a hard stop, but we know there’s more so lets keep going.
  • [タバコを… “Tobacco…” An action is about to be applied to tobacco, but what? Keep going.
  • [タバコを吸う] “To smoke” This could be considered a hard end, but let’s keep going.
  • [タバコを吸うということ… “That which is called smoking…” The previous hard end is removed, and we can now consider this as a single unit of information that’s about to be connected to something.
  • [タバコを吸うということ][…] “As for that thing which is called smoking…”
  • [タバコを吸うということ][は][体に悪い] “As for that thing which is called smoking, it is bad for the body.”

This is a way that has helped me a lot to approach Japanese. Sometimes it gets thrown out the window when stuff gets poetic, but it’s helped me a lot. Consider what is creating a single unit in the part of the sentence, then connect with the fundamental meaning of the particle that’s connecting.

You can learn more about this in Jay Rubin’s “Making Sense of Japanese”, which is where I learned this from.


That was an amazing explanation @Daru!
(I understand just enough Spanish that I could follow what you said.)

I’d like to add that, in addition to everything said above, ということ adds a bit of distance (and therefore sometimes politeness) between the fact and the speaker’s understanding.

冷蔵庫にチーズしか残っていないですか。→ (asking about the fact)
冷蔵庫にチーズしか残っていないという事ですか。→ (asking about the meaning of the fact)

Then, in a related grammar point, this becomes a way to express a more formal version of “I heard that”…
ということだ | Japanese Grammar SRS


Gracias nuevamente.

I have been reading that book, its giving me a lot of insight.

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  • 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.

It’s about possible omissions. Something what Japanese language does a lot.
what I am trying to say is that the translation of the example is easier to interpret having extra meaning.

Another possible translation could be.
You are living together, but not dating. That would mean you are roommates, right.

Because Japanese omits a lot , a lot of sentences could have multiple meanings.
So maybe it is worth contemplating in showing some of them as well or making sure that the translation is neutral.

I have been contemplating getting a lifetime membership. But some translations make me really doubt it.
There is a big mistake in sugiru in it’s double negative form and the translation. The real meaning of the sentence is not given.

Since this is just basic stuff, I am worried N1 and N2 will be a mess if translations are not “neutral” and I will be spending extra time deciphering what is part of the grammar point and what is not.

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