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こと

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こと

Postby Eiuol » Mon 08.10.2009 11:03 pm

男は歌を歌ってことが手上です。
The man is good at singing songs.

Is this correct usage of こと? I'm unsure at what times I can use こと after a verb. Does using が require a noun before it, for instance?
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Re: こと

Postby becki_kanou » Tue 08.11.2009 12:07 am

The nominalizer こと follows the "dictionary form" of the verb, so it should be 歌ことが上手. You can use の in the same way: 歌を歌うのが上手。 They're both quite common, but I believe I hear の used more frequently in conversation.
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Re: こと

Postby furrykef » Thu 08.13.2009 3:26 am

But when you follow it with だ/です, you should use こと instead of の, because の has different meanings when used with だ/です.

To the original poster: also note that じょうず is spelled 上手, not 手上. (Likewise, its cousin へた is 下手.) I like to think of them as "up-handed" or "down-handed", much like "right-handed" and "left-handed" in English (but note that these expressions in Japanese are not 右手 and 左手), which might help you keep the order straight.

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Re: こと

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 08.13.2009 8:17 pm

furrykef wrote:But when you follow it with だ/です, you should use こと instead of の, because の has different meanings when used with だ/です.


Actually either meaning can occur; 古いのです can either mean "It's an old thing" or "It's because it's old". It's just context. Although typically in speech, the second meaning is contracted to んです more commonly than the first meaning, I think.
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Re: こと

Postby keatonatron » Thu 08.13.2009 10:24 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
furrykef wrote:But when you follow it with だ/です, you should use こと instead of の, because の has different meanings when used with だ/です.


Actually either meaning can occur; 古いのです can either mean "It's an old thing" or "It's because it's old". It's just context. Although typically in speech, the second meaning is contracted to んです more commonly than the first meaning, I think.


That's what I was thinking at first, but then I was trying to think of a situation where you can use [verb] + の + だ, with the meaning of "XXX-ing" and not "a thing that XXXes".

For example,

禁止されたのは本を買わないで読むことだ。
vs.
禁止されたのは本を買わないで読むのだ。

I think the second sentence isn't correct, which is what Furry was getting at.
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Re: こと

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 08.13.2009 10:56 pm

Yeah, I agree with that -- I think that's because of the の vs. こと distinction though, it doesn't have anything to do with potential confusion with the "extended predicate" のだ.
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