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I read in a grammar guide that

"っていう can be used at the end of a sentence in casual language when making a point about something, especially when saying that a result is different from what you'd expect."

An example they give is

だから「ありがとう」って言うと怒られちゃうっていう
(So he gets angry at me when I say "Thank you".)

I also came across this sentence in Cowboy Bebop

せっかくあんたが戻ってきたっていうのに―

The context is that the speaker is surprised that another character has come back to her town, because she thought he was dead. It seems to me that this is the same usage, but I was curious if it is or not, since here the っていう is followed by のに.

1 Answer 1

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Basically, っていう (or という) encloses the preceding part within a clause, or "quote". I assume you're already familiar with its basic usage like these and these. So ending a sentence with っていう means making the entire sentence one level deep, in a clause. In English, this may be similar to starting a sentence with "It's like ~".

People do this for various reasons, but overall, it doesn't add much to the sentence. It may be used to convey opinions or conclusions mildly, avoiding an assertive tone. It may be used to quote a proverb or emphasize a joke. It may be used to show disbelief to the content. For variations like っつう, a few people even use it almost meaninglessly, like a habit. In your first example, っていう indeed encloses an unexpected event (怒られちゃう) and makes it stand out, but its actual effect would depend on the context. Depending on whether it's said as a complaint, as a joke, or with a lack of confidence, the nuance of this っていう would vary significantly. In any case, っていう does not have a specific and explicit connotation like "a result is different from one's expectation".

I don't think it's a good idea to over-generalize this. というのに should be learned as a different construction.

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  • Okay, but then how should というのに actually be understood? Mar 1 at 14:55
  • @KarlKnechtel The sentence is almost the same as せっかく戻ってきたのに, and という works as a "wrapper" like "it's like ~", "it's the case that ~" or "it's true that ~". It emphasizes the content in some way, and it happens to add an extra regrettable feeling in combination with のに here. But this does not mean という carries a regrettable mood by itself.
    – naruto
    Mar 2 at 3:05

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