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と Particle (Quotation Marker)

と Particle (Quotation Marker)

と Particle (Quotation Marker) Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: X said / With the sound of / In the manner of

Construction: 

  • Quotation + と
    • E.g. わたし学生がくせいです」と [X said “I am a student.”]
  • Onomatopoeia / Symbolic Sound Word + と
    • E.g. バタバタと [With a clatter]
    • E.g. ゆっくりと [In a slow manner (i.e. slowly)]
    • E.g. うきうき [In a cheerful manner (i.e. cheerfully)]

Notes:

  • The basic function of と (Quotation Marker) is to mark a quotation, whether it be a direct quotation, an indirect quotation, or an internal dialogue. A direct quote can be optionally bracketed to delineate the quotation from the rest of the text.
    • E.g. Direct Quotation: ヒルさんはわたし日本語にほんごで「こんにちは」とった。[Ms. Hill said “Konnichiwa” to me in Japanese.]
    • E.g. Indirect Quotation: トムは日本にほんきたいとっている。[Tom has been saying that he wants to go to Japan.]
    • E.g. Internal Dialogue: わたしはバスでこうとおもう。[I think I’ll go by bus.]
  • と (Quotation Marker) is often used with verbs that convey information to others or to oneself, such as おもう [To think], かんがえる [To consider], く [To write], く [To listen], う [To say], and 説明せつめいする [To explain]. Generally, a stative form verb ending indicates that the speaker has been saying / thinking something for some time, while a simple present tense indicates spontaneity.
    • E.g. トムは日本にほんきたいとっている。[Tom has been saying that he wants to go to Japan.]
    • E.g. トムは日本にほんきたいとった。[Tom said that he wants to go to Japan.]
  • Another important function of と (Quotation marker) is to mark imitative sounds (i.e. onomatopoeia) and symbolic sounds that imitate physical form, motion, or psychological states, as opposed to actual sounds. These imitative and symbolic sounds are very prevalent in the modern Japanese language. When a sound is repeated twice (e.g. バタバタ [Clattering Noise]), と (Quotation marker) may be omitted, but when the sound is repeated only once, と (Quotation marker) is necessary.
    • E.g. 子供達こどもたちはバタバタ(と)はしまわった。[The children ran around clamorously.] と (Quotation marker) is optional in this case since バタ is repeated twice.
    • E.g. 正男まさおはバタンとドアをしめた。[Masao shut the door with a bang.] This example requires と (Quotation marker) because the symbolic sound バタン is repeated only once.
    • E.g. リリはしっかりとわたしをにぎった。[Riri grabbed my hand firmly.]
    • E.g. ベンはむっつりとつわっている。 [Ben is sitting sullenly.]

Example Sentences:

ヒルさんはわたし日本語にほんごで「こんにちは」とった。[Hill said “Konnichiwa” to me in Japanese.]

トムは日本にほんきたいとっている。[Tom has been saying that he wants to go to Japan.]

わたしはバスでこうとおもう。[I think I’ll go by bus.]

子供達こどもたちはバタバタとはしまわった。[The children ran around clamorously.]

リリはしっかりとわたしをにぎった。[Riri grabbed my hand firmly.]

ベンはむっつりとすわっている。 [Ben is sitting sullenly.]

WILD Examples:

Listen to the dialogue beginning at 1:02: そんなにきだうなら、このほんはあげるよ。[I you say you like it that much, I will let you have this book.] The communicative verb 言う hints at the fact that this と is a quotation marker. In this case it’s marking an indirect quote.

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