Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 2: 13/22


I heard that, Rumor has it that, It is said that, It means that

Can be rephrased to とのことだ if expresses hearsay.


Phrase + いうこと +


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About ということだ

Like ということ, an expression used for nominalizing a phrase in the fashion of 'the ~ that ~', ということだ makes use of the auxiliary verb (or です), and stresses that the nominalized phrase 'is' the case. This phrase is often translated as 'I heard that', or 'it is said that', but literally, it is closer to 'it is that it's ~'. The is what gives this expression a high degree of certainty, therefore implying that the speaker has heard the statement elsewhere, and is sure of its validity.
ということだ can be added to the end of any phrase that the speaker wants to highlight as being something that is known.
  • この井戸(いど)(みず)汚染(おせん)されているということだ
    It is said that this well is contaminated.
  • この(さかな)(まった)(くさ)ないまだ新鮮(しんせん)()(こと)
    This fish doesn't smell at all. It means that it's fresh.
ということだ is regularly paired with other expressions that show the 'source' of information, such as によると, or によれば.
  • 先生(せんせい)によるとこの病気(びょうき)(くすり)では(なお)せないということだ
    According to the doctor, (it is said that) this sickness cannot be cured with medicine.
  • 大阪(おおさか)府警(ふけい)によれば犯人(はんにん)まだ()げているということだ
    It is said that the criminal is still on the run, according to the Osaka prefectural police.
When ということだ is being used to express hearsay (statements that cannot easily be proven), it can be be rephrased as とのことだ. The literal difference between these two phrases is as follows:
ということだ - It can be explained that (A) is ~ (more emphasis on the information)
とのことだ - The statement of (A) has been applied to ~ (more emphasis on the source that 'applied' the information)
  • 地域(ちいき)によってルール(ちが)ということだ
    It means that the rules differ depending on the area.
  • 地域(ちいき)によってルール(ちが)とのことだ
    It is said that the rules differ depending on the area.
ということだ is considered to be more formal than そうだwhen reporting information that has been heard from another source. This is primarily due to ということだ expressing something that is thought to be a fact, while そうだ retains the nuance of being something that is a speculation/guess.
  • (かれ)家族(かぞく)内緒(ないしょ)旅行(りょこう)()ったそうだ。
    I heard that he went on a trip without telling his family.
  • (かれ)家族(かぞく)内緒(ないしょ)旅行(りょこう)()ったということだ
    It is said that he went on a trip without telling his family.




    It is said that dolphins are the smartest of all animals.


    It is said that Tanaka-san and Yamada-san are dating in secret. (rumor has it)


    It is said that different people have different ways of thinking.


    That means that their cultures are different. (it is said)


    According to professor Nintai, (it is said that) the cure for cancer has been finally discovered.

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ということだ – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (18 in total)

  • Fuga


    Hey @ShinobiTay !

    ということだ is typically used when you have a high degree of certainty.
    この魚は全く臭くない。まだ新鮮と言う事だ。In this sentence the speaker is certain that the fish is fresh because it does not smell bad.

    とか is used when you have a low degree of certainty.
    彼は最近彼女と別れたとか。In this sentence, the speaker is not too sure if this info is accurate.

    Due to this, とか and 知らないけど, are used together very often to let the listener know that they are not sure if the information they are spreading is accurate or not ( this is done so that the speaker doesn’t have to take responsibility when it comes out that the information they gave was false) .

    明日は日本中で雪が降るとか、知らんけど。‘Apparently it is going to snow all over Japan tomorrow, but who knows (don’t blame me if it doesn’t actually snow)’

    Hope that helps!

  • ShinobiTay


    Thank you that helps a lot!

  • bokudake


    Is using ということなのだ at the end of the sentence wrong instead of this grammar point? After all it only adds more emphasis.

    I failed this time, however, it means I challenged myself with new things.

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