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It is important to distinguish between whether a sentence is grammatical and whether it is meaningful or comprehensible in a given context. sono otoko is a grammatical phrase, but without any context at all, it tells us little if nothing at all by itself. Consider the examples given by the dictionary entry (デジタル大辞泉) for sono. ...


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This その is closest to the definition #2, 「聞き手が当面している事柄や場面をさす。今の」. So 'present', 'current', or 'immediate' could be the possible translation. And here その事 is used instead of この事, because the author of the dictionary is objectively describing 耳を澄ます as if someone else were doing that in front of the author. Besides, at least in the following idioms, I think ...



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