I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told that this grammar is incorrect, as だと can only be used after nouns - so what is going on here?

An example from a manga/anime called Prince of Tennis: Character realises he is about to get beaten up by another character - in a bid to stop it happening he says: なんでもします! To which the other character replies (angrily) なんでもするだと!?


1 Answer 1


Your confusion appears to come from the fact that there are two completely different 「だと」's.

1) When 「だと」 is used as the colloquial form of 「であると」, only nouns can directly precede it. Here, the na-adjective stems are naturally included as well.

「[花子]{はなこ}さんはとてもきれいだと[聞]{き}いている。」 = "I hear that Hanako is very pretty."

「[日本]{にほん}で[最]{もっと}も[住]{す}みやすい[町]{まち}は[横浜]{よこはま}だと[思]{おも}う。」 = "I think the town that is easiest to live in in Japan would be Yokohama."

2) 「だと」 as an exclamatory quotative sentence-ender. With this, you quote basically the exact words that were said to you that you find surprising, unexpected, etc. Since what someone says can end in any part of speech, all kinds of words can directly precede the 「だと」. The best "translation" that I could think of for this 「だと」 would be "?!" without any words.

A:「なんでもします。[許]{ゆる}してください!」 = I'll do anything; Please forgive me! 

B:「なんでもするだと? なら[小指]{こゆび}よこせっ!」 = You'll do anything?! Gimme your pinky, then!


  • 6
    I think the translation "you say!?" is also appropriate for meaning (2). For example, "You say you'll do anything!?" or "You'll do anything, you say!?"
    – AHelps
    Mar 26, 2014 at 19:04

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