Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 1: 16/22

(こと)

Should, Ought

Structure

Verb[る] + こと +
Verb[ない] + こと +

Details

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About ことだ

As a sentence ending particle, こと has two primary functions. These are as follows:
願望(がんぼう)(かる)命令(めいれい)(あらわ)す - Highlighting a desire or weak command.
感嘆(かんたん)疑問(ぎもん)(あらわ)す - Highlighting astonishment or doubt.
We will focus on the first meaning in this grammar point, as the 'astonishment' nuance is not as commonly used in modern Japanese, and is primarily used only by women.
At the end of a sentence, こと will be paired with the dictionary (or ない) form of a verb, to highlight a particular action that either should, or should not occur. It is usually grouped with the auxiliary verb , although this is not always the case. This construction is most often translated as 'should/should not (A)', or 'ought to/not (A)'.
  • 面倒(めんど)くさくても(あさ)(はん)()べることだ
    Even though it might be a pain, you should eat breakfast.
  • 明日(あした)(あさ)8()から試験(しけん)(はじ)まる。(なに)あっても時間(じかん)(どお)()ことだ。みんな、()かったか。
    The exams will begin tomorrow at 8 am. No matter what happens, you should come on time. Understood?
  • どんな(つか)れていても(あきら)めないことだ
    You should not give up, no matter how tired you are.
  • 怪我(けが)たら我慢(がまん)しないことだ。すぐ責任者(せきにんしゃ)報告(ほうこく)するように
    If you get hurt, you shouldn't just suffer in silence. Immediately call your supervisor.
Caution
This use of こと implies a certain level of 'authority', and is therefore regularly used in relation to set rules and expectations (can very frequently be seen on signs in shops/parks, etc). Due to this, it should not be used when giving 'general' advice, especially to people of higher status.
  • 先輩(せんぱい)後輩(こうはい)はもっと大切(たいせつ)にすることだ
    Senpai you should treat your kouhai with great care.

Examples

  • 明日(あした)大切(たいせつ)試合(しあい)があるから、練習(れんしゅう)することだ

    Because there is an important game tomorrow, you should practice.

  • 生徒(せいと)は、先生(せんせい)(したが)ことだ

    Students should obey their teachers.

  • 大事(だいじ)なのは医者(いしゃ)からもらった(くすり)()ことだ

    What is important, is that you should take the medicine the doctor gave you.

  • まずはやってみることだ改善点(かいぜんてん)()えてくるから。

    You ought to try it first because you'll find out what needs to be improved.

  • (おぼ)えたらすぐにしゃべってみることだ上達(じょうたつ)するから。

    As soon as you memorize something, you ought to say it out loud. If you do that, you will get better.

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ことだ – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (6 in total)

  • mrnoone

    mrnoone

    @Elibean
    To sum it up, べきだ usually expresses general obligation so it sounds more authorative, while ことだ usually expresses personal advice/warning.

    Cheers!

  • Yuna2020

    Yuna2020

    And what about the grammar in this form? I can’t find it in Bunpro

    Nは〜こと、〜ことだ

  • CursedKitsune

    CursedKitsune

    Why is the copula required in this lesson? Why isn’t just すること taught/accepted as an answer/bounced back?

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