I've recently been reading Tobira and there was a sentence that I was really having trouble finding exactly what was going on in it.


I think I figured out the meaning which I would interpret as

"Not saying the 「い」 in 「どこに住んでるの?」 and saying 「どこ、住んでるの?」 while dropping the 「に」 gives a more relaxed impression."

But my issue is specifically with そして、「どこに住んでるの?」と「い」を言わなかったり,

Normally, from my interpretation when a phrase marked with と followed by the verb 言う in this manner it would be quoting what was said/will be said. However, what's being said in this case seems to be marked with the を? Intuitively, I initially thought 「どこに住んでるの?」と「い」を言わなかったり carried the meaning of "Not saying 「どこに住んでるの?」 and 「い」".

My logic behind this being that the 言わなかったり is of course in the negative form. If someone could breakdown the grammar for this example (especially regarding using both particles in a single sentence with 言う) I would be super appreciative!

I've seen the particle を with 言う a lot recently but haven't considered the differences between と and を with 言う until now. What exactly is the difference between using を or と with 言う and what are some cases one would be chosen over the other?


Note: The question this was claimed to be a duplicate of does not have an answer that addresses the concurrent use of both particles within a single sentence.


2 Answers 2


◯◯を △△と 言う stands for "to call ◯◯ △△" or "to express ◯◯ as △△ by utterance".

In the case of 「どこに住んでるの?」と「い」を言わなかったり, you can regard it as "she saved saying い like どこに住んでるの".

  • Is it really using the usual ◯◯を△△と言う construction? I thought it'd be more something like と(言って) getting omitted. Does something like 「どこに住んでるの?」と「い」を落としたり work? It's weird that the scope of the と is outside the ない if it's the construction you mentioned. Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 23:28
  • 1
    I don't sense anything is omitted from phrases like つかめと手を伸ばす、山と積まれた、アヘンの煙が雲とたなびく etc. To be honest, I don't really like how it's explained that 言って・思って are omitted in that と usage. When you can say "You kindly didn't say it" instead of "You didn't kindly say it", 「どこに住んでるの?」と「い」を言わなかったり is not weird.
    – user4092
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 23:52
  • Hmm. Thanks for the response. I do agree with the omission theory being pretty unsatisfactory, but I still think this is a different sort of construction than the usual ◯◯を△△と言う one. Another point is that 「どこに住んでるの?」と「い」を言わなかったり doesn't feel scrambled to me (and the opposite order is almost unintelligable), while 「パパ」とお父さんを言う。 does sound scrambled (and the opposite order sounds like the natural order). Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 23:59
  • When I think about it more, it really is probably the same と, it's just that it's not a scrambling of the [○=WO [○=TO iw]]-u construction, but rather simply ○=TO [[○=WO iw]-u] (I think maybe it's not even possible to scramble this sort of thing). Thanks for always writing answers which make me think! Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 0:17
  • (Whoops, that was suppose to be 呼ぶ in my earlier example.) Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 0:36

Here is my attempt on this question (made possible thanks to user4092's answer and comments):

〇〇と〜 can pretty much attach onto any predicate it wants to, and (literally speaking) means "do ~ with the sound of 〇〇". (Or even more relaxed maybe, like "do ~ with a resemblance to 〇〇.")

It can even attach all the way outside of the negation (like in your sentence) assuming that there isn't something which needs to attach below the negation like an object to its left.

When you say 彼の名を太郎と言う, the syntax is like

<[kare=NO na]=WO [tarou=TO iw]>-u
"I say his name like 'tarou'."

so if you negate it you get

<[kare=NO na]=WO [tarou=TO iw]>-anai
"I don't say his name like 'tarou'."

But when you say a sentence like yours,

doko ni sunderu no=TO [[i=WO iw]-anai]
"[not say 'i'] like 'doko ni sunderu no'"

(I speculate that this is in fact the same と as the one you generally find with onomatopoeia such as ゆっくりと.)

  • I wonder if it's possible to stack とs. 本当に信じられないと、仕方なく「わたしの息子でございます」と言った。 Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 1:00
  • I admit that it's ambiguous when negation is involved. And multiple とs can be piled up as long as it makes sense.
    – user4092
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 2:43

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