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Difference between とは and は

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Difference between とは and は

Postby Penguinattack » Wed 06.05.2013 11:14 pm

Hi all

So I read this:

(どこ探しても[三分]どころか),全くないとは言えないのである
cannot completely say


why not just :
全くないは言えないである

The とは ーwhy is the と necessary, it indicates the word being defined. Doesn't は do that also
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Re: Difference between とは and は

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Thu 06.06.2013 2:12 am

You can't simply run a verb into は like that is the simple answer.
The part before は is generally speaking a noun phrase. 'と' is, of course, a particle, but in this kind of case, it's essentially short hand for 'というのは' which would be a noun phrase followed by は.

Or, conversely, you can look at it as the phrase '全くないと言えないのである' with an extra 'は' inserted for 'emphasis' or 'contrast'. The phrase without the は is still valid, after all, but the phrase without the と isn't (unless you rephrase the sentence substantially.)
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Re: Difference between とは and は

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 06.06.2013 4:36 am

The phrase without the は is still valid, after all


perhaps grammatically it fits together OK, but I'd say it definitely needs the は too. As you say, 'emphasis' and 'contrast' is the purpose of は、 which is why it goes hand in hand with ない。

The most simple example is ではない。 There's only very specific occasions where you wouldn't have a は in there. Even じゃない is, of course, just では squashed together before ない。

The と is necessary because it's a quotation.

"blah blah blah" と言う
"blah blah blah" と思う
"blah blah blah" と考える
"BLAAAAH!!" と叫ぶ
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
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Re: Difference between とは and は

Postby Penguinattack » Thu 06.06.2013 11:04 pm

Brilliant thanks
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