Request Lesson という ( = toiu) ということ(= toiukoto) and many more!

April 24, 2010 in French, Grammar


:maggie-small: 「皆さん、今日は私の誕生日だというのにケーキもないのですか?」

(=Minasan kyou wa watashi no tanjoubi da to iu noni keiki mo naino desu ka?)

“It’s my birthday today, everyone! But you don’t even have a cake for me???”

:roll: 「先生、ケーキというケーキはさっきみんな食べたじゃないですか!」

(=Sensei, keiki to iu keiki wa sakki minna tabeta ja nai desu ka!)

“Miss, but you just ate all the cakes we had!”

Hi, 皆さん、日本語の勉強がんばっていますか?(=Minasan nihongo no benkyou ganbatte imasuka?)
Are you studying Japanese hard?

Good!! We received another request from R-san a couple weeks ago.

!to right! In my studies of the Japanese language I have come across several expressions involving と言う such as; と言うこと,と言うと、と言うもの,と言う訳だ and so-on so-forth. I have a lot of trouble knowing when to use these expressions and how they can be appropriately combined in sentences. Particularly, the difference between と言うのに and just plain old のに confuse me. Please, if you don’t mind could you explain these differences? It could make a great lesson to sort out the different と言う phrases! ありがとうございます!

Umm…I have to warn you before you read this lesson,…it is going to be another long long lesson, but I still won’t be able to cover the whole thing because there are tons of usages of という(=to iu).

Let’s check the simple function of ““(=to) first.

When we quote what somebody has said we use ““(=to)+言う(=iu)

Maggie said “I’m hungry”.

(=Maggie wa “Onaka ga suita” to itta.)

Maggie said that she was hungry.


(=Maggie wa onaka ga suita to itta.)

We usually use Kanji for 言う(=iu) here.

Note : The casual form of (=to) is って(=tte)

Ex. マギーがお腹がすいたって言ってるよ。(=Maggie ga onaka ga suita tte itteruyo .)
Maggie says she is hungry.

OK, it seems bottomless… but let’s jump into the deeper world of “toiu”. Ready?

:l: という(=toiu)

(Note : いう=Hiragana is more common)

(1) To be called, said, named:


(=Kore wa nan to iu inu desu ka?)

What’s this dog? (What kind of dog is this? / What is the name of this dog?)

More casual : なんていう犬ですか?

(=Nanto iu inu desu ka?)


(=Furenchi burudoggu desu.)

It is a French Bulldog.


(=Kono inu wa Maggie to iu namae desu.)

This dog’s name is Maggie.


(=Watashi wa Maggie to iimasu.)

I am Maggie. (I am called Maggie)

More casual マギーっていうの。

(=Maggie tte iu no!)


(=Maggie to iu inu ni eigo wo osowarimashita.)

I have learned English from a dog who was called Maggie./whose name is Maggie.

More casual :マギーっていう犬に

(=Maggie tte iu unu ni….)


(=Kinou yukari toiu hito ni aimashita.)

I met a person named Yukari.

More casual :ゆかりっていう人に

(=Yukari tte iu hito ni…)


(=Anata ga benkyou shiteiru gakushuu saito wa nanto iu saito desu ka?)

What is the name of the learning site you are studying?


(=Maggie sensei dotto komu toiu saito desu.)
It is a site called Maggie

More casual :マギー先生ドットコムっていう (=Maggie sensei dotto comu tte iu…)

(2) When you define something:

1) あなたみたいな人を意地悪というんですよ。(=Anata mitai na hito wo ijiwaru to iun desuyo.)

A person like you is called “mean”

More casual : 意地悪っていうんですよ。(=Ijiwaru tte iun desu yo.)

2) 英語で「知的」は、なんといいますか?

(=Eigo de “chiteki” wa nan to ii masu ka?)
How do you say “chiteki” in English?

「知的」は英語で”intelligent” といいます。

(=”Chiteki” wa eigo de “intellingent” to ii masu.)
“Chiteki” in English is “Intelligent”.


(=Kore wa manga toiu yori mo rippana bungaku da.)


(=Kore wa manga dewa naku rippana bungaku da.)
This is not just a comic book but an excellent literature!

(3) When you emphasize something or some idea:


(=Nihon toiu kuni wa fushigi na kuni da.)


(=Nihon wa fushigi na kuni da.)
Japan is a country which is mysterious.


(=Kyou toiu hi wa mou konai.)


(=Kyou wa mou konai)
The day which is today won’t come again.


(=Anata toiu hito wa、…)

あなたは... (=Anata wa…)
You are such… (This looks like an unfinished sentenced, and it is, but in Japanese you don’t have to finish this particualr sentence. The listener will realize you are saying that you are impressed or disappointed with them.)

(4) Referring some number : Numbers+ という(=toiu) (+noun)  : reaching certain numbers, meaning a lot.


(=Nanbyaku toiu hito ga sono saigai de nakunatta.)
Hundreds of people have died in the disaster.


(=Jidou hitori atari ichimanenn toiu okane ga kuni kara shikyuu sareru koto ni natta.)
The government will provide 10,000 yen per child from now.


(=Suusenmandoru toiu shikin ga sono purojekuto ni tsuiyasareta.)

They poured thousands of dollars (of fund money) into the project.

(5) They say / People say~  :


(=Arekara kono mura no hitobito wa mina inaku natta toiu.)
They say that after that everybody in this village disappeared.


(=Doubutsu zuki no hito ni warui hito wa inai to iu.)

They say that there are no bad people among animal lovers.

(6) A function as relative pronoun.:

*Basic pattern 1.

Aという(=toiu) B : B that / which is (or verb)A

Note : A could be a noun or a sentence.


(=Anata ga sukida toiu kimochi)
the feelings that I like/love you


(=Naniga okoru ka wakaranai toiu kyoufu.)
the fear that we can’t  predict what is going to happen


(=Mono ga houfu ni aru toiu seikatsu.)
the life where there are an abundance of things.


(=Oomouke dekiru toiu hanashi.)
a deal in which you can make a lot of money

You wanna try?

There is rumor that Maggie got married.

There is = ある(=aru)
There is B that is

Aという(toiu)B (=ga)ある(=aru)

AMaggie got married
B: a rumor

Maggie got married という(=toiu) ”a rumorがある(=ga aru)



(=Maggie wa kekkon shita toiu uwasa ga aru.)

There is rumor that Maggie got married.

Did you get it?
Keep trying!

I have received an email that says the meeting was canceled.

I have received 受け取った(=uketotta)

A という(=toiu) B(=wo) 受け取った。(=uketotta)

A : the meeting was canceled 会議が(or は)中止になった(=Kaigi ga/wa chuushi ni natta)
B: an email メール


会議が(or は)中止になったというメールを受け取った。

(=Kaigi ga/wa chuushi ni natta toiu meiru wo uketotta.)

*Basic Pattern 2 To make a nominal phrase:

〜というの(=~  toiu no) + は/が(wa/ga) {subject}+ subordinate sentence.


(=Aredake benkyou shita noni shiken ni shippai shita toiunowa shinjirarenai.)

I can’t believe (the fact) that I failed the exam after studying so much.

失敗したのは(=shippai shitanowa) *2 (*1 emphasizes more than *2)


(=Neko ga suki(da) toiu nowa hontou nano?)

= Is it true that you like cats?


(=Eigo ga kirai nanoni benkyou suru toiu nowa doushite?)

How come you study English if you hate it.

(=….Benkyou surunowa doushite?)

(7) When you repeat something,

*DというD(=D toiu D wa〜),

You can emphasize your quote or it can add a meaning of “all” or “everything”.


(=Kondo to iu kondo wa gaman dekinai.)

I can’t stand it this time.

(Emphasizing “this time!” )


(=Okane toiu okane wa subete kake ni tsugikonde shimatta.

I spent ALL my money gambling.


(=Hoteru toiu hoteru wa subete shirabeta ga dokomo manshitsu datta.)

I checked ALL the hotels but all of them were booked up.

(8) When it is ../ In case of ..  :  ~という時(=~ to iu toki)

さあという時 (=saa to iu toki) / いざという時 (=iza to iu toki) at a critical moment, in an emergency


(=Iza toiu toki wa denwa shitene.)
Call me when you are in trouble.


(=Saa toiu toki no tame ni okane wo sukoshi youi shite aru.)
I have put aside some money in case of emergency.


:qq: ということ(to iu koto) :

(1) When you determine something:


(=Fuyu ni hokkaidou ni itte mireba donnani samui ka to iu koto ga wakaru darou.)

If you go to Hokkaido in the winter, you will see how cold it is there.


(=….donnani samui ka ga wakaru darou.)

*Note : *1 emphasizes the cold weather more.


(=Kodomo ni aenai to iu koto ga doredake tsurai ka anataniwa wakarimasen.)

You have no idea how hard it is not to be able to see your own child.


(=Kodomo ni aenai koto ga doredake…)


(=Dekinai to wakatte itemo mazu yatte miru to iu koto ga taisetsu desu.)

Even if you know you can’t do it is important to at least try once.

..やってみることが… (=…yatte miru koto ga..)

(2) To summarize /boil down something, That means,:


(=Anata mo ryokou ni iku to iu kotowa ashita wa watashi hitori nandesu ne.)

You are also going traveling. That means I will be alone tomorrow.


(=Ookina taifuu ga chikazuite imasu.)

There is a big typhoon coming.


(=To iu koto wa ashita wa dare mo gakkou ni konai toiu koto desu ne.)

That means nobody is coming to the school tomorrow. Am I right?


(=Sou iu koto desu.)

That’s right. (That is what I meant.)


(=Anata niwa kono shigoto wa muzukashii kamo shiremasen ne.)

Maybe this job is too difficult for you.


(=To iu koto wa douiu koto deshouka?)

That means what? /What do you mean by that?

(3) What I know is, I’ve heard that, They say…:

ということだ/です (=~to iu koto da/desu)   * です(=desu) is more formal


(=Maggie sensei wa ima isogashii to iu koto nanode mata denaoshimasu.)

They say Maggie sensei is busy right now so I will come back again.


(=Asu ga tsugou ga warui to iu koto deshitara betsu no hi ni aimashou.)

If you say tomorrow is not convenient, let’s get together some other time.


:l: というと (=toiuto):

(1) When we speak/talk of something….,


(=Nihongo to iu to mazu nani wo omoiukabemasu ka?)

When you hear “Japanese”, what comes to your mind first?




(=Shigatsu to iu to wakareta kare no koto wo kangaete shimaimasu.)

April always makes me think of my ex-boyfiriend.(←When I hear “April”, I always think about my ex.)


(=Saikin no besuto seraa to iu to yahari Murakami Haruki no Ichi-Kyuu-Hachi-Yon da.)

The recent best seller is “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami. (←If you ask me what is the recent best seller novel, it is..)


(=Shippai no gen-in wa nanika to iu to sorewa benkyoubusoku dakara desu.)

The reason of the failure is because of lack of study. (←If you ask me, the reason (you/I/etc.) failed is because of lack of study.)

(2) Bring up something and continue something which always happens.:


(=Kono tokoro kyuujitu to iu to itsumo shigoto da.)

We always have to work on holidays.

Note : というと(=to iu to), といったら(=to ittara) and といえば(=to ieba) are very similar.
We bring up something and make a definitive statement.

といったら(=to ittara) emphasizes your opinion more and usually there is no other alternative.


(=Natsu to ittara biiru da.)

There is nothing better than beer in the summer!


(=Toukyou to ittara shibuya dane.)

When you think of Tokyo you think of Shibuya! (or You can’t mention Tokyo without immediately thinking of Shibuya.)


(=Onsen to ittara osake dane.)

There is nothing better than Sake in hot spring!


(=Kare no oshiekata to ittara.)

The way he teaches… (It could be negative or positive.)


(=Kare no dekiru kototo ittara sore gurai desu.)
That’s the all he can do. (belittle his ability)

(2) You can ask a question and answer yourself using というと(=to iu to) with interrogative words such as “why, when, what, which, how, etc.” and explain things.


(=Kare to doushite wakareta ka to iu to sorewa seikaku no fuicchi desu..)

The reason I broke up with him was because of a personality conflict.


(=Itsukara sonna fuu ni kanji hajimeta ka to iu to yoku wakaranai no desu..)

I don’t know when I started to feel that way.


(=Nazeka to iu to …/Doshite ka to iu to)

(If you ask me why…? If I have to explain the reason) the reason is…/It’s because…

いつかというと…(= Itsuka to iu to)+place

(If you ask me when it is, ) it is…

どちらかというと…(= Dochiraka to iu to)+which one

If I have to chose which one,

どういうことがあったかというと…(= Douiu koto ga attaka to iu to)+incident

If I have to explain what happened,/If you ask me what happened, it is…

(3) That means?  To confirm or summarize what other people has just told you.

「というと? (=to iu to?)

That means? You mean? Such as?

Note: It is similar to ということは(=to iukoto wa)

Ex. A: 「これからは全ての業務は5時までに終わらせることにしてください。」

= Korekara wa subete no gyoumu wa goji made ni owaraseru koto ni shite kudasai.

= Please finish all the work by five o’clock from now.

B: 「というと、残業はどうなりますか?」

= To iu to, zangyou wa dou narimasu ka?

= If that ‘s the case, what is going to happen to over time work?

:k: ~というもの(=to iu mono)

(1)What is called../something..:


(=Tenpura aisu to iu mono wo tabeta.)

I ate something called  “Tenpura Ice”


(=Koi to iu mono wa tsurai mono da.)

Love is a painful thing.

(2) To emphasize something :


(=Nihongo to iu mono ga konnani muzukashii mono dato omoimasen deshita.)

I didn’t expect Japanese would be this difficult.


!hana! というわけ/訳だ(=toiu wake da)

(1) When you explain the reason/cause.

Ex. Causeというわけ/訳で(to iu wake de)

Result : Because of ….., the thing is/ the idea is….


(=Kinou yoru osoku made shigoto wo shite nesugoshimashita. To iu wake de kyou wa chikoku shimashita.)

I was working late yesterday and I slept over in the morning. And….
(usually a long explanation)
That is why I was late today.

(2) When you explain how things work.


(=Ima shigoto wo katazukete shimaeba asu wa raku ga dekiru to iu wake desu.)

If I finish all the work now, I can have an easy day tomorrow.

(3) In negative sentence ~というわけ/訳ではない(=to iu wake dewa nai.)  It is not like…/It is not always…


(=Shokuba no mina ga tsumetai to iu wake dewa arimasen.)

It is not like everybody is cold at work.


(=Muri da to iu wake dewa nai.)

It is not like impossible. I am not saying it is impossible.

OK! Last one!!

:ii: というのに(=to iu noni)>

(1) Even, even if, although,despite

Note : In some cases you can replace というのに(=to iu noni) with のに(=noni) and the translation will be the exactly the same but というのに(=toiunoni) emphasizes the meaning more. Also というのに(=toiunoni) sounds more formal than なのに(=nanoni) so we see them.


(=Mada asa no yoji da to iu no ni shigoto ni ikanakereba naranai.)


(=Mada asa no yoji nanoni)

It is till 4:00 in the morning but I have to go work.


(=Ashita ga shiken da to iu noni nani mo benkyou shiteinai.)


(=Ashita ga shiken nanoni.)

Even though we have an exam tomorrow, I haven’t studied at all.


(=Kurisumasu da to iu noni daremo asonde kurenai.)


.(=Kurisumasu nanoni….)

Even though it’s Christmas, I’ve got no one to spend it with.


(=Yamero to iu noni muri ni yatta.)

Although I stopped you, you did it anyway.

:rrrr: Note : This case you can’t replace というのに(=to iu noni) with のに(=noni)

!to right! From the picture above:

:maggie-small: 「皆さん、今日は私の誕生日だというのにケーキもないのですか?」

(=Minasan kyou wa watashi no tanjoubi da to iu noni keiki mo naino desu ka?)

“It’s my birthday today, everyone! But you don’t even have a cake for me???”


(=Tanjoubi da to iu noni)

Even if it’s my birthday

Note : You can also say 誕生日なのに(=tanjoubi nanoni) but 誕生日だというのに(=Tanjoubi dato iu noni) emphasizes more.

:roll: 「先生、ケーキというケーキはさっきみんな食べたじゃないですか!」

(=Sensei, keiki to iu keiki wa sakki minna tabeta ja nai desu ka!)

“Miss, but you just ate all the cakes we had!”

ケーキというケーキ(=Keiko to iu keiki) all the cakes, the whole cake, lots of cakes

Whew!! For those who read all the way, お疲れ様でした!(=Otsukare sama deshita) Good job! /You must be tired!

maggie-senseiマギー先生より(=Maggie sensei yori) From Maggie sensei


(=Burogu to ittara Maggiesensei no burogu desu.)

The best blog of all  is the Maggie Sensei’s blog!

また来てね! (=Mata kite ne!) Please come back to this site!

!to right! Special note for French speakers.

Marianne translated this lesson in French. I posted on my Facebook page.  Click here.