These two sentences don't seem to fit to the grammar rules on と that I've been able to dig up so far:


This form seems to fit と as an 'if/when' conjunction, however the grammar book I'm using states that と must be a natural consequence of the verb clause the precedes it [lit: "a subordinate conjunction which marks a condition that brings about an noncontrollable event or clause"]. Surely, the speaker turning her head couldn't have caused the sun to have "risen a long time ago" (this doesn't make any sense to me, at least)?

What else is it, then?

From the context it seems to be "when I turn my head, I see the sun's already risen" but I this is pure conjecture on my part. How does と work here?

The next sentence seems to fit another familiar structure, と used as a particle to list things:


So ~空気と、~欲求と少しだけ格闘した would make sense from pure grammar standpoint but it doesn't make sense when I translate it as "I [slightly] grapple with the temptation to roll up in my sheets and (???) the air that is quite warm considering it's winter". Fighting a temptation makes perfect sense but fighting air? Is it just a creative quirk on the author's part (and I'm completely fine with that if it's the case here) or am I completely misunderstanding something from the grammar standpoint?


  • For the second sentence, does this make sense given the context? "The air is unusually warm for a winter. I want to roll up in my sheets because they're cozy. But because it's so warm I get sweaty etc. So I'm fighting against a temptation to cuddle up in my sheats; and against the warm air." – blutorange Mar 19 '15 at 0:22
  • Looks like the comma which the author used for a good, valid reason ended up confusing at least a couple of Japanese learners. It does not say "fight air" at all. – l'électeur Mar 19 '15 at 0:34


The と is like "when I ~~, (I found) ~~".


The first と means "and", connecting 空気 and シーツ; you want to roll up in the warm air and the sheets.

The second と is "against"; you fight against your desire, or resist the temptation (=欲求と格闘). 

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In both sentences, the usage of と seems to be the same to me. I think you're interpreting the grammar book a little too strictly. AとB does not necessarily mean that A causes B, just that a (possibly coincidental) outcome of A is B. (This is also more consistent with the use of N1とN2 to mean "and" when connecting 2 nouns.) Don't confuse causation and correlation. Often it is used in a context where one thing happens right after the other, even if there is no causal relation.

If it is helpful for you to think of it this way, this page tells you to think of it as meaning when A happens, B happens and not to think of it as meaning if. (Logically, "when" and "if" mean the same thing, but I suppose "if" is more associated with causation.) For instance, Example 3 on that page is

[病院]{びょういん}に行くと藤原さんがいました。 When I went to the hospital, Mr. Fujiwara was there.

It is not you going to the hospital that causes Fujiwara to be there. Here B is not a natural consequence of A, but because B happens to be true (Fujiwara being at the hospital independent of you), if/when A happens, B will still be true. This is basically what is going on with your first sentence--something is happening outside (sun going up) and you just happen to notice it.

The second sentence is the same usage of A happening, then B happening, but one can infer a more causal effect. "The air was warm for winter, and I had to fight off a desire a little to wrap myself in sheets." (Presumably because it was 気持ちいい, like a nap in the sun, not because the speaker was cold.)

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  • Upvoted because I had not been able to find purely correlative "grammar book" examples (where lack of causation is obvious) myself. – cirno Mar 19 '15 at 11:19

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