I am sorry in advance, as this is likely a duplicate, but after digging through the particle definitions and other similar questions, I can't identify what と particle is doing here:


This is from the prologue of この大空に、翼をひろげて, the protagonist is vaguely describing an accident that happened to him. He goes on to describe his experience further by using more verbs in quotations. I believe I understand most of the sentence ("Suddenly, without any kind of warning, it was taken away from me"), but I don't understand the と at the end of the sentence, and how it affects the sentence.

My best guess: From this previous question, it sounds like it could be a quotative particle for something like "と思います". If that's the case, would it add uncertainty to the feeling that he is describing?

Thank you in advance for any answers and corrections.

  • 2
    It is a quotative particle. What is omitted depends on the preceding sentences.
    – sundowner
    Commented Apr 15 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


Thank you for adding the previus phrase! It is not about somebody else speaking but about a topical inversion: と is linking the phrase to 想像さえできないことだった。


"Back in those days, when I didn't have much life experience, it was something I wouldn't even been able to imagine: that something may be taken away from you abruptly, without any kind of warning."

So there the と is exactly as you pointed out initially. This kind of topical inversion makes phrases easier to translate to English and also is good for introducing a longer subject.

  • Is this "topical inversion" still considered a quotative と particle? Commented Apr 18 at 2:18
  • 1
    Yes, it is a quotative particle. Actually the inverted use that you pointed out is a very old pattern, arguably relevant to Chinese work transcriptions into Japanese (kanbun). Commented Apr 20 at 17:36

This と is used to end a quoted phrase (or group of phrases). The protagonist is talking about somebody who explained to him how things might have happened. The phrase could be translated as:

They say that sometimes (that thing) may be taken from you abruptly, without any kind of warning.

If you look in the previous phrases, there must be some person that is quoted, and the quote ends with と.

  • 1
    The first line of the scene is this (the line in the question is the second): > まださしたる人生経験もないあの頃の俺には、想像さえできないことだった I believe this is roughly > Back then (in those days), I didn't have much life experience; if only I could have expected (imagined) this. Does that mean the と in the line that follows is kind of like "と想像しなかった"? Something like, "I should have expected/imagined that sometimes (that thing) may be taken away from you abruptly, without any kind of warning."? Commented Apr 16 at 6:02

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