Thursday, April 18, 2013

というか and ということ "to iu ka" and "to iu koto"

Much of this post was directly from Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar since I'm too lazy right now to write my own explanations.


In summary, というか can be loosely translated as "rather".

Example Dialogue
A: Miki-chan is your girlfriend, right?
B:Um, you might say girlfriend, or friend, or something…
This construction is used all the time, particularly in casual conversations. It can be used to correct something, come to a different conclusion, or even as an interjection.
  1. お酒好きいうない生きていけない
    I like alcohol or rather, can't live on without it.
  2. 多分行かない思ういうお金ないから、行けない
    Don't think I'll go. Or rather, can't because there's no money.
  3. いうもう帰らないだめですけど。
    Rather than that, I have to go home already.

When used in the beginning of a sentence, ということは = "so that means" or "that is to say" (according to When used at the end of a clause, ということ means "rumor has it", "it appears that", or "I heard that".

Example Dialogue
A: I heard that Miki-chan broke up with Yousuke.
B: Does that mean Miki-chan doesn't have a boyfriend now?
A: That's right. That's what it means.
Another (though somewhat unrelated) construction is ということはない. When added to the end of a clause, it means "there is no such thing as..." or "it's impossible to...". Example sentences below from
Toshi o torisugite manabenai to iu koto wa nai.
Lit. There is no such thing as getting too old and not being able to learn.
One is never too old to learn.

Aidea ga tarinai to iu koto wa nai.
Lit. "Ideas are lacking" does not exist.
There is no shortage of ideas.

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