Consider these two sentences:

 (1) 母はついてくるようにアリスに合図した (Mother signaled to Alice to follow her)

 (2) 父は手で私に部屋を出ていくように合図した。 (Father gestured to me to go out of the room)

And another sentence which I suspect has the same use of と as (2) but I cannot exactly say what it does:

(3) この本は子供を対象した本です。(Unnatural: This book is a book that is done in order for children to be targets) (Natural: This is a book for children)

Now I deconstruct the use of AをBとC in (3) to mean "Do verb C to achieve state B in direct object A"

(Question) How would I understand the use of in (2)? Since (1) does not require yet has a similar structure involving ように. But XようにY means "to do Y so that X can happen". What happens when is added to the mix as in (2)?

(Example sentences taken from WWWJDIC)

  • Is this a question about 「と」+verb? Aug 16, 2011 at 6:15
  • @Ignacio yes, and also about the apparent lack of difference when と is not used in the comparison of (1) and (2).
    – Flaw
    Aug 16, 2011 at 6:25

2 Answers 2


Francis Drohan's A handbook of Japanese usage has four whole pages on the usages of と, so I don't think a comprehensive answer is appropriate here. But a few key points:

  • There are two kinds of と: one is a case particle (格助詞), and another is a conjunctive particle (接続助詞). In both your examples, と is being used as a case particle.

  • According to Drohan, there are 7 main uses for the case particle と: Listing, accompaniment, target of comparison, result of change, adverbialisation, quotation, and simile.

  • と in your example (2) is being used to denote quotation. ‘Father signalled to me with his hand, “get out of the room.”’

  • と in your example (3) is being used to denote the result of change. (In fact, Drohan gives the following example: 学生を対象とする。 It is meant for students.) The construction 〜とする here has the connotation of a decision being made: the target audience was set to be students.

    Drohan gives some other examples of this usage:

    塵も積もれば山となる。 Many a little makes a mickle.

    夜となく昼となく働く。 They work morning, noon and night.

  • However, the collocation 〜とする also has other uses, e.g. 学生として ‘as a student’, なかったとしたら ‘supposing there were none’, etc.

  • You are assuming that (at least) 部屋を出てくように is a unit (constituent) because you are saying that it is a quotation (which part I do not agree), and that the following it is a case particle. Doesn't that mean that 部屋を出てくように is a noun?
    – user458
    Aug 16, 2011 at 13:18
  • @sawa: Not my analysis. But Daijisen agrees with Drohan, see sense 2 under heading 1: 「(文や句をそのまま受けて)動作・作用・状態の内容を表す。引用の「と」。」
    – Zhen Lin
    Aug 16, 2011 at 16:25

The in (1, 2) is the same as used in quoting. It leads a subordinate clause. Unlike predicates like 言う 'say', which can take direct or indirect quotation, predicates like 合図する 'signal' cannot take quotation. It expresses an accompanied message. Without , it is ambiguous. It may be a purposive clause or a clause expressing the accompanied message.

'Mother signaled Alice to follow her'
'Mother signaled Alice so that she will follow her'

With , it is unambiguously a clause expressing the accompanied message.

'Mother signaled Alice to follow her'

The in (3) is completely different. Note that the in (3) is attached to a noun rather than a clause. In this sentence, the noun is the main predicate. When a noun is a predicate, it takes either or .

Nominal predicate

対象である [Underlyingly にてある]

  • As much as I like etymology, I wouldn't go so far as to say that で is underlyingly にて, especially here where it cannot be substituted without raising eyebrows.
    – Zhen Lin
    Aug 16, 2011 at 7:30
  • @Zhen As far as you assume that contraction from にて to で is obligatory, there is no wonder that it cannot be substituted. There are obligatory operations, and you do not deny them just because you cannot substitute the output with the input.
    – user458
    Aug 16, 2011 at 13:12
  • 1
    My point is that にて still exists in its own right, as a literary substitute for locational uses of で. ‘Obligatory’ contraction sounds like a hack to me.
    – Zhen Lin
    Aug 16, 2011 at 16:22
  • @Zhen I see. That is a good point.
    – user458
    Aug 16, 2011 at 17:03

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