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I've seen some titles like this, for example an episode of an anime series that was called 敵{てき}と味方{みかた}と, or a manga that was called エルフと少年{しょうねん}と. I'm curious, how does the second と affect those sentences, what would change if they were removed? Would it make any sense to translate them as "X and Y and..." or would that be nonsensical?

  • I might be wrong here but, Since in Japanese there are no prepositions, と refers to what comes before it. That means that is not X と Y= X and Y, but And X And Y. I do not know if it's like this or If you understood it but, I hope someone can clear this for me too. – Splikie Feb 5 '16 at 19:19
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    No, I don't think "And X and Y" is correct. Please see my answer for details. – Locksleyu Feb 6 '16 at 1:14
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    Possible duplicate of Why is there a と in front of 別? – Amani Kilumanga Mar 9 '16 at 7:30
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I've seen this usage once in awhile, and haven't felt any difference in the meaning, but I did a search in Japanese to see what I could find.

This (you may need to set EUC encoding to view this properly) is a pretty long treatment on the subject in Japanese, but the summary is that originally this final と was used, but at present this is omitted most of the time. There are some situations where it can be natural to leave it in, and others where it is best to remove it.

Near the end of the post, it is mentioned that in some cases the final と may possibly be used to give a feeling of both parties doing something together or doing something mutually. Though it is acknowledged this is the opinion the author of that post.

Also, there is talk about how sometimes it is better to add と when it helps avoid confusion, as in the phrase "私とあなたの父との関係". Without the last と、technically that can be viewed as "私" and "あなたの父の関係” as opposed to the relationship of "私” and "あなたの父”.

I'd be curious to hear the opinion of native speakers, but my feeling is that for people learning Japanese as a second language it's usually best to just omit the final と.

Because of the above interpretation, I would generally translate the pattern as just "X and Y". "X and Y and" would be incorrect.

Edit: I apologize for originally including the improper link. I just fixed it. On my browser (Safari), I had to manually select "EUC" encoding to be able to view it.

  • Your link doesn't appear to work. Did you accidentally paste the wrong text? By the way, you can find some literature on this topic by searching for "conjunction doubling", for example On the Nature of the Repetitive Coordinator To in Japanese. Also mentioned in Kuno 1973 (p.72 in the Japanese edition). – snailcar Feb 5 '16 at 19:15
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    It feels more authentic than the one that uses と only once. – user4092 Feb 5 '16 at 20:54
  • snailboat: thanks for pointing that out. I just fixed the link. Also thanks for the reference, will look at it in detail at a later point. – Locksleyu Feb 6 '16 at 1:12

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