I was looking up the usage of と particle from a dictionary and I stumbled upon this entry:

⑤ 比況の意を表す。「…のように」の意。「手足―頼む助手」

I don't understand what the example sentence 手足と頼む助手 means exactly. "A helper who relies on hands and feet" or something?

  • 比況の意を表す。「…のように」の意。 -- Do you know what 比況 means? How about replacing と with のように, as in 「手足のように頼む助手」?
    – chocolate
    Commented May 1 at 8:11
  • @chocolate it now means "a person who I rely on for mobility..."? Commented May 1 at 8:48
  • うーむ... How about breaking it into: 手足のように like hand and foot, 頼む whom I rely on, 助手 an assistant ?
    – chocolate
    Commented May 1 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


This 手足と means the same thing as 手足のように, or "like hands and feet". 手足と頼む助手 means "an assistant [you] rely on like [your] hands and feet". Note that 助手 is the object, not the subject, of 頼む.

This type of と seems to be explained in various ways depending on the dictionary. 精選版日本国語大辞典 suggests that this is fundamentally the same と as in ゆっくりと and きらきらと. When this type of と directly takes a noun, it happens to work similarly to "like".

(ハ) 体言を承けてそれを状態性概念とし、また、擬態語を承けて状態性副詞を構成し、動作概念を修飾する。体言を承けた場合、比喩的修飾となることがある。

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