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
“Thank you for the other day.” “The pleasure was MINE.”
“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.
It is I, not you, who must apologise.
It is Emma who is suitable.
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.”
京都こそは着物の街です。(Today’s Question Sentence)
Kyoto is the city of kimono.
Emphasising a time phrase for a future
(I haven’t been able to finish it yet but) I’m going to finish my home work today!
(we have been having rainy days for a while but) I hope it will be sunny tomorrow (finally).
(I failed before but) I will really do it this time!
Emphasising a reason in the form of [plain form] + からこそ
I’m Japanese and for that very reason, there must be something that I can do.
Flowers are beautiful all the more because they die soon.
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
- お寺があります。There are temples.
- 着物の街です。It is a town of kimono.
- 新幹線がとまります。Shinkansen trains stop.
- 日本にあります。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.