So far, the word そうです is used to express "hearsay" sentences with I who is implicitly defined as the listener.

  • 彼女は結婚したそうです。I heard that the woman got married.
  • あなたは合格したそうです。I heard that you passed.

My questions:

How is the sentence below in Japanese? If I want to say, for example.

The woman heard that I passed the test.

  • Where is "heresay" in "The woman heard that I passed the test."? I think it would be translated as 「彼女は私が試験に合格したことを聞いた。」 Sep 5, 2015 at 22:03
  • "I passed the test" is a hearsay that the woman heard. It doesn't have to be true. Would the following convey this difference in meaning 「彼女は私が試験に合格したということを聞いた」?
    – macraf
    Sep 7, 2015 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


If you did pass the test:

If you did not pass the test, or there was not even a test:

The usage of こと reflects the presupposition of truth on passing the test from the speaker's point of view.

*denotes unacceptability

  • 1
    I think it's very insightful of you to distinguish whether it really happened or not, but the "false" case has to be ~と聞いた, then it'll deserve +1. Sep 8, 2015 at 16:53
  • @broccoliforest can ~と聞いた take on " ~ true" ? or is "false" definite?
    – Flaw
    Sep 9, 2015 at 2:09
  • <100% confidence. If you think you definitely passed, then you can't use it. Sep 9, 2015 at 3:31
  • @broccoliforest how about という? the lifting of truth presupposition is not necessarily true right?
    – Flaw
    Sep 9, 2015 at 3:52
  • という only connects to nominals, and if you attach こと, it'll become true. Sep 9, 2015 at 3:59

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