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Context:

今日は午前中に引っ越し業者がくる予定だったけど、前が遅れているとのことで午後から荷物を受け取ることになりました。荷物は比較的少なかったので引っ越し自体は30分で終わり、ただ荷解きに2時間かかりました。

I don't quite understand what "前が遅れているとのことで" means. May I ask two questions about this phrase?

  1. What does "前" refer to? The previous task of the movers or something else?

  2. What exactly does "とのことで" mean? I guess it basically means "because"? Is "と" used to nominalize "前が遅れている"?

1 Answer 1

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  1. Yes, this 前 refers to the mover's prior moving engagement of the day.
  2. It's とのことだ, but it's in its te-form (for reason).

前が遅れているとのことで...

since they said their previous job was running late, ...

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  • Thanks for the explanation and the useful links. But may I ask, why "とのことだ" here doesn't mean "conclusion"? If it means "hearsay", as you said, it implies that the author contacted the movers before they arrived, and if it means "conclusion", I think it simply describes the results that the movers were late. Is it because this is "te-form"?
    – Theseus
    Jul 19, 2023 at 9:17
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    @Theseus The sentence means that the mover called the author and told they'd be late. And I don't know when とのことだ can express "conclusion" in the first place...
    – naruto
    Jul 19, 2023 at 11:20
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    @Theseus By "in the first place", I was trying to say this :)
    – naruto
    Jul 20, 2023 at 2:25
  • Thanks again for pointing out my misunderstanding! And may I ask, what place does "the first place" refer to? (I just mistakenly deleted the part of comment) Does it need a basis or an evidence when "とのことだ" express "conclusion"?
    – Theseus
    Jul 20, 2023 at 2:37
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    @Theseus I don't know, "in the first place" is an English idiom, not Japanese.
    – naruto
    Jul 20, 2023 at 2:51

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