Today’s Question

If I say to Suzuki-san, “鈴木すずきさん、田中たなかさんというひとから電話でんわがありましたよ。”
Do Suzuki-san, Tanaka-san and I know one another very well?

Today’s Grammar Point: ~という…


[noun ~] という [noun …]
[clause] という [noun …]


[noun ~] という [noun …]: [noun …] called [noun ~]
This implies that the speaker is unfamiliar with the [noun ~] and/or that the speaker doesn’t think the hearer(s) is/are familiar with the [noun ~]

[clause] という [noun …]: a/the [noun …] that [clause ~]
With this the [clause] explains the content of the [noun …]

Examples of [noun ~] という [noun …]: [noun …] called [noun ~]

  1. 田中たなかさんというひとから電話でんわがありました。
    There was a call from a person called Mr. Tanaka called.
    (implies that I don’t really know Mr. Tanaka or that I don’t think Mr. Suzuki knows Mr. Tanaka.)
    • Cf. 田中たなかさんから電話でんわがありましたよ。
      There was a call from Mr. Tanaka.
      (implies that we both know Mr. Tanaka.)
  2. クグロフというケーキをべてみたい。
    I want to try a cake called a gugelhupf.
    (implies that the speaker thinks the hearer may not know what gugelhupf is.)
  3. 源氏物語げんじものがたりという日本の古典こてんんだことがありますか。
    Have you read a Japanese classic called the Tale of Genji?
    (implies that the speaker thinks the hearer may not know what Genji Monogatari is.)

Examples of [clause] という [noun …]: a/the [noun …] that [clause ~]

  1. 昨日きのう東京とうきょう地震じしんがあったというニュースがはいってきました。
    The news has just come in that there was an earthquake in Tokyo.
  2. 源氏物語げんじものがたり冒頭部分ぼうとうぶぶん暗唱あんしょうするという宿題しゅくだいた。
    A homework has been set that I have to recite the beginning part of The Tale of Genji from memory.
  3. はは危篤きとくだというらせがた。
    The news came in that my mother is in a critical condition.
  4. きなひと一緒いっしょらせるというしあわせはなににもえられない。
    Nothing can replace the happiness that I can live with a person I love.
  5. ちち毎日まいにち五キロあるくという日課にっかいまつづけている。
    My father is still following his daily work of walking 5 km every day.

Answer to Today’s Question:

The phrase ~という suggests that Mr. Tanaka is unfamiliar to me and/or Mr. Suzuki.

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