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~こそ

~こそ

Today’s Question

京都きょうとこそは________________。

  1. てらがあります。
  2. 着物きものまちです。
  3. 新幹線しんかんせんがとまります。
  4. 日本にほんにあります。

Today’s Grammar Point: ~こそ

~こそ is an expression for emphasis. It emphasises someone/something by selecting him/her/it over others. こそ is often used:

in a set expression

  • こちらこそ – me, too / そちらこそ – you, too
    • 「先日はありがとうございました。」「いいえ、こちらこそ
      “Thank you for the other day.” “The pleasure was MINE.”
    • 「このあいだ大変たいへんだったでしょう。」「いいえ、そちらこそ
      “It must have been hectic the other day.” “I bet you were too.”
  • それでこそ – That’s why (… is called) ….
    • それでこそ、エマさんだ。That’s just like Emma. (That’s why Emma is called Emma.)
    • それでこそプロだ。 That’s why he is called a professional.

Emphasising the topic/subject of the sentence

The topic/subject of the sentence is usually marked by the particles は or が and こそ often replaces them but if the emphasis is strong こそ can be used before は or が.

わたしこそあやまらなければなりません。
It is I, not you, who must apologise.

エマさんこそ適任てきにんです。
It is Emma who is suitable.

音楽おんがくくことこそ一番いちばんのストレス解消法かいしょうほうです。
It is listening to music that relieves my stress in the best way.
If you want to bring an action before こそ, you need to use “[dictionary form verb] + こと.”

京都きょうとこそ着物きものまちです。(Today’s Question Sentence)
Kyoto is the city of kimono.

Emphasising a time phrase for a future

今日きょうこそ宿題しゅくだいわらせる!
(I haven’t been able to finish it yet but) I’m going to finish my home work today!

あしたこそれますように。
(we have been having rainy days for a while but) I hope it will be sunny tomorrow (finally).

今度こんどこそはうまくやります。
(I failed before but) I will really do it this time!

Emphasising a reason in the form of [plain form] + からこそ

わたし日本人にほんじんです。だからこそ、できることがあるはずです。
I’m Japanese and for that very reason, there must be something that I can do.

はなるからこそうつくしいんだよ.
Flowers are beautiful all the more because they die soon.

祖母そぼつくってくれたからこそ、おいしかったんだ。
It was delicious all the more because my grandmother made it for me.

こそ can be used with a てform or ばform verb but those usages are a bit more advanced. I will leave mentioning them to a later time.

Answer to Today’s Question: 2

  1. てらがあります。There are temples.
  2. 着物きものまちです。It is a town of kimono.
  3. 新幹線しんかんせんがとまります。Shinkansen trains stop.
  4. 日本にほんにあります。It is in Japan.

~こそ emphasises someone/something by selecting him/her/it over others. So whatever follows こそ needs to something very unique to whatever is being emphasised. There are other cities with temples where shinkansen trains stop in Japan but there are not many cities where kimono means so much to them. So, 2 is the most unique description.

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