ということ vs ということだ


#1

How to distinguish between the ということ and ということだ grammar?

ということ is explained as “phrase to noun”
https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/185
Example: 真面目になるということですね。

And ということだ is explained with “I’ve heard that, rumor has it that, the point is”
https://bunpro.jp/grammar_points/216
Example: イルカは動物の中で頭が一番いいということだ。

These are quite a lot of different meanings and I could use all of them in the example sentences above. So how can I decide/distinguish which meaning/tranlslation ということ has in a sentence?


#2

Can you help, @mrnoone ?


#3

This is a good question and this is just my opinion on how I read this.

I see more similarities rather than two entirely different grammar points. For both, there is a statement of some kind with a relative degree of uncertainty such as opinion/hearsay/rumor/observation. If these were 100% facts, I could see a passive verb ending being to used to distinguish.

I think the context is key here so I see two ways: 1) There is a general statement “it is said that/rumor has it” of less than 100% fact. 2) Then there is a dialogue aspect of Q&A explanation between people of 1st/2nd person opinion “it means/that mean/does that mean”. The english translation isn’t always so literal so the translation took liberties to smooth out the conveyed meaning such as “the point is”.

Here is a another twist on the same grammar point as a topic starter ということは


#4

@s1212z @Anthropos888

ということhas many uses, but like @s1212z says, they are in fact really similar, and if you know the context you don’t really have to think much about exact translation, but there are some hints.

  1. explaining something(like phrase)
    Aというのは・とは・って、Bということだ。
    A means B.
    ‎満身創痍というのは傷だらけということだ。
  2. analysis of some fact etc
    Aということは・とは・って、Bということだ。
    A means B.
    (I have been bitten by vampire, that means I will turn into one)
    吸血鬼に噛まれたということはすぐに吸血鬼になるということだ。
  3. hearsay (I heard that etc, more formal そうだ)
    (Aでは・によると)、Bということだ。In this case, ということだ can be swapped for とのことだ
    Part in () is optional :grinning:
    This one is used all over in newspapers, articles etc.
    Often together with によると/では.
    新聞によると、勇者が死んだということだ。
  4. making sentence into a relative clause(that,ing, what)
    Usually followed by some kind of particle, like が, で, を with verbs like 分かる・知っている。
    税金を収めなくてはならないということが分かった。
    Often used when the clause is pretty long.

You already noticed, that usually ということ means some kind of indirect information or something hypothetical opposed to こと which is often translated as thing/fact/matter. Also, こと and ということare about things that are not material, abstract like concepts, for something you can see/feel もの(and というもの) is used(to mean thing).


ということだ - Grammar Discussion
Bunpro FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
こと vs ということ
#5

Thanks again for your explanations. The main reason I got confused with those two was the fact that I always got the ということ grammar wrong when I was using だ/です at the end. But in your examples you use だ as well for the ということ grammar. So what about that? Is it ok to use だ? Then you probably should add “+ optional だ” to the structure and update the example sentences accordingly.

If だ is usually omitted because it would sound like “I heard that…” (similar to そう/そうだ) then you could use a hint in the structure to clarify this.


#6

Noted :+1:

I will write more notes there :grinning: