This is the context:


I know the expression ように言う, but why is there a と in ~ように言われました?

  • 1
    This is a perfectly ordinary quotative と (and the fact that it's followed by a conjugation of 言う is a dead giveaway), so there should be any number of duplicates already... ? Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 20:52

3 Answers 3


It's a matter of punctuation.



If you break it down like that, it should make sense. The confusing part (for the latin-based language speakers) is that it is fine to omit the quotes, it is a form of narrative that is frequently used. It's akin to "I've been told to take meds and see how it goes." vs "I have been told, 'Take meds, and see how it goes.'"

  • To add, the "と" here is like, 面白いと思います。( I think that's interesting. ) せっかく料理したのに、まずいと言われてしまいました。 ( I put in some effort cooking this, but I've been told it just doesn't taste good. )
    – Jun Sato
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 11:07
  • Thanks! I'm not so sure that "ように" can end a sentence, but I notice that it does in "「薬を飲んで、様子を見るように!」". Is that because "してくたさい" has been omitted after "ように"? Just like @N. Hunt said?
    – Theseus
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 8:21
  • 1
    Yes, exactly so. It is also seen in this workplace notice. "The last person out must lock the windows and doors." 最後の人は戸締りを忘れないように peragami.com/?p=9081
    – Jun Sato
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:37
  • 1
    Another one for you: グラフィックボードの取り付け。補助電源を忘れないように "Installing the graphics board: Do not forget to connect the supplemental power supply." shikaolog.com/pc-selfmade-11
    – Jun Sato
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 13:40
  • 1
    It should be also noted, that these uses of ending with ように are spoken from position of authority, like the workplace telling employee what to do, doctor telling patients what to do, PC builder's guide telling noobs what not to do. So, overuse it and you might come across arrogant.
    – Jun Sato
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 14:03

After ように you can assume してくたさい has been omitted, thus ようにと is the way one indicates a command indirectly, i.e., 'I was told to [see to/make sure] I watch [his/her/its] condition'. More simply, 'I was told "Watch his/her/its condition"'.


To add to the previous answers, ように can be used to make a request in combination with と, but you don't necessarily have to use the verb 言う. Other verbs that add different nuances work with ように[と] too:

彼女に許すようにと願う。To beg her to forgive [you].

田中さんにレポートを作るようにと頼む。To request Tanaka to write a report.

太郎にテーブルを食卓の用意するようにと言う。To tell Tarou to set the dinning table.

Also note that と is optional here. You can also say ように願う, ように頼む or ように言う and it means the same.

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