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あなたにとって仕事【しごと】とはなんでしょうか

What is the purpose of とは above?
Would using alone have been any different?

If とは is a grammatical construct, I would appreciate additional examples clarifying its significance.

4

“とは” introduces a definition.

“AとはBである” = “The definition of A is B”

In your example: “あなたにとって仕事 とは なんですか” = “How do you define jobs?” where “What do you work for?” is implied.

“あなたにとって仕事 なんですか” sounds awkward and is interpreted as “あなたの仕事はなんですか” (= “What is your job?”).

  • Would using ことは or のは be inappropriate here? – IUnknown Oct 29 '14 at 17:22
  • @IUnknown “仕事{ことは|のは}なんですか”? They sound strange. – a user Oct 29 '14 at 23:18

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