I'm trying to figure out what "こと” is referring to in this idiom/grammar point.

In the following example sentence:


What does koto refer to here?

Additionally, is this perfectly interchangeable with だけあって

Compare the following 2 sentences


Are these different? If so, why?


2 Answers 2


I think こと just refers to the general situation, and does not refer to some particular thing. A close English analogue may be the case as in It is the case that he was living in Japan. Your two sentences with and without こと are interchangeable.


It doesn't refer to anything. Again, it's just two grammar points:

  • だけのことはある is surely because ~; not surprising that ~; It was worth ~

  • だけあって because, as expected (used for positive things)



As expected after a while of daily training, he improved a lot.


He's not called an idiot for no reason indeed !

  • I'm not sure how helpful of an explanation "they're grammar points" is... I'm sure there is an explanation for this expression aside from tautology.
    – rintaun
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 3:23
  • Well, I mean that there is no use in trying to do a fine grain analysis of each word, considering the meaning comes from taking groups of words. A bit like wondering what "far" is to understand the difference between "as I understand it" and "as far as I understand it". Also, it's a tautology for you know that they are two points, but it seems to me that phirru did not.
    – Axioplase
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 4:41

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