I think "と" is being used differently in both of these sentences. However, I'm not entirely sure if it is being used as a particle in either one. Can you please explain to me the purpose of "と" in these sentences and how it changes the meaning of the sentences?

  1. ふりむく、こどもたちが おおきな やまを つくっています。

  2. ぼく、トンネルを つくろうっ


1 Answer 1


「と」 is used as a particle in both cases.

1.「ふりむく、こどもたちが おおきな やまを つくっています。」

Here, the 「と」 is a conjunctive particle meaning "when" as in "When I did A, I saw B happening."

The sentence means "When I turned around, the kids were making a huge mountain."

The tense used in the original is the present, but it is the historical present, which is why I used the past tense in my translation.

2.「ぼく、トンネルを つくろうっと。」

The 「っと」 here is the quotative particle, believe it or not. The speaker is quoting himself, so to speak.

「Verb in volitional form + っと」 is a very common structure used in colloquial conversations. It is a way of making a light and casual declaration (more to oneself than to others). With this 「っと」, the speaker is often just thinking out loud.

"Alright, let's dig a tunnel here!" (Said more to oneself than to another.)

  • Can you use the "と" as a conjunctive particle to mean "when" after any verb at the beginning of a sentence like the first one? How were you able to tell that the first sentence was written in the "historical present"?
    – slyfin
    Oct 11, 2015 at 6:08

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