Here's a question from N3文法スピードマスター。


This question is multiple-choice, so the other incorrect choices were: なんと、など、なんか just for your information.

Here's my question:

According to the book, it says that なんて is used to lighten or diminish the impact of the subject in question. Using that grammar point, my translation of the above question would be: Things like being able to do English and Chinese and Spanish is great.

However, that translation doesn't seem to fit into the grammar point of なんて being derogatory, so right now I'm quite confused. What's the purpose of なんて in this question?

  • 2
    – user1016
    Mar 25, 2013 at 15:39
  • Thanks! Other than there being a belittling effect, there is also the element of surprise then? I'll take note of it!
    – rikijin
    Mar 26, 2013 at 1:44
  • 1
    この場合は、褒めているので、belittling なニュアンスはないと思います。
    – user1016
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Wait, I'm a little confused on the question. The title says "What's the purpose of なんて?", but it really seems like you're asking "Why is なんて the correct answer?" Anyway, here's why I think it's the correct answer.

According to this answer on a similar question, なんか only goes before verbs, so that would be incorrect. など is a more formal/written(?) form of なんて, and this sentence is clearly be spoken in an informal (though polite) form. なんと would emphasize the 素晴らしいですねぇ, so the preceding would have to be something like ...できて or ...できるのは.

  • Thanks for the tip about the question - I've edited it to follow your suggestion. I think your answer somewhat answers the question, but I still don't understand why the first half of the question is belittled with なんて. Is it just the case of appropriate grammar before whether the question is actually logical or not?
    – rikijin
    Mar 25, 2013 at 15:08
  • 2
    Although it can be used for belittling/derogatory, it doesn't have to be. The definition you posted also says this. "To lighten or diminish the impact of the subject in question." See my answer at the above link also.
    – istrasci
    Mar 25, 2013 at 15:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .