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Postby espen180 » Thu 04.15.2010 12:57 pm

In the sentence 「田中さんのこと信じます。」, what is the role of 「のこと」?

Would the sentence 「田中を信じます。」 have a different meaning or nuance? If so, what/how?

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Re: 「のこと」の問題

Postby Sairana » Thu 04.15.2010 3:32 pm

I tend to think of [person]のこと as meaning "All that [person] is", and just like in English, it's a little ambiguous.

If I say "I like all that you are." there really isn't a clearly defined idea of what I mean by that. I guess you could extrapolate things like your style, your moods, your opinions, your preferences.... but who really knows? It's not really important to have the details, though. The idea of the "complete package" is there.

The only real difference between English and Japanese for your example sentence is the fact that English doesn't usually use that aggrandized scope in this context, but Japanese does. The best (IMHO) natural English translation would drop the のこと entirely, "I have faith [believe] in Tanaka-san." A more literal translation might be "I have faith in everything Tanaka-san is/stands for/can do."
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Re: 「のこと」の問題

Postby espen180 » Thu 04.15.2010 5:03 pm

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Re: 「のこと」の問題

Postby spin13 » Thu 04.15.2010 9:27 pm

The NihongoResources Grammar Book
The noun こと is used to turn clauses into an abstract thought, rather than the actual thing...
...It should be noted that these are genuine abstractions; 言ったこと does not only refer to the actually spoken words, but also the thoughts that they stood for, and [付け加えること] likewise stands not just for words, but for thoughts that can be added to the already existent thoughts on whatever was being discussed.
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Re: 「のこと」の問題

Postby espen180 » Mon 04.19.2010 12:40 pm

That website looks very useful. Thank you very much. :)
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