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words that can be removed?

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words that can be removed?

Postby sampaguita » Thu 03.21.2013 12:51 am

I found the following sentence in a children's newspaper.

先生は、ある大事件で命拾いをしたことがきっかけで、自分のいのちの使い方を決めたといいます。

The way I would translate would be:

"Sensei says that, due to an occasion where he escaped with his life in a major incident, he decided how he would use his life."

(That was stilted, I know -- any suggestions are most welcome!)

I guess my main question would be: what would be the use of the terms in bold (ある and ことが)? It seems that I can remove them and still come up with a grammatically correct sentence with the same meaning.
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Re: words that can be removed?

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 03.21.2013 3:45 am

ある(或) is 'a certain (accident.)' You're right in saying that it is not needed, but it helps understand that we don't need to know the specifics about it.

ことが on the other hand is necessary. I think という would be a grammatically correct alternative..?
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
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Re: words that can be removed?

Postby sampaguita » Sat 03.23.2013 7:23 am

Thanks about this Ongakuka! So that's what "aru" means...

Still hope someone will shed light on the other portion though...
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Re: words that can be removed?

Postby shin1ro » Wed 07.03.2013 2:04 am

[A] がきっかけとなる means A is the opportunity to start (doing something),
where A must be a noun.
The こと here makes the sentence [先生は命拾いをした] as a clause corresponds to a noun.

If you want to remove こと here, the sentence should be modified such as:
(ある)大事件での命拾いがきっかけで instead of (ある)大事件で命拾いをしたことがきっかけで.
命拾い itself is a noun and で must be modified to での to make a noun clause.

-shin1ro
英語がおかしければご指摘ください(日本語も...)。サンキュ〜 ;-)
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