I'm going through ekubo basic Japanese lessons and there's a recurring use of the word こと I don't understand, like in this sentence:


Translated in the video as

People usually sell something outside

My intuition would be that it is used to turn うっている into a noun (something like selling-activity)...


2 Answers 2


The こと means [場合]{ばあい}, "case, circumstance, occasion, instance" (See definition #②-6-㋑ in デジタル大辞泉).

You can use 「~ことが多い(です)」 to mean 「~場合が多い(です)」, "It is often the case that..." "in many cases..." "often..." "tend to..." etc.

So, your example sentence can be rephrased this way:

≂ 外で物を売っている[場合]{ばあい}が多いです。
(lit.) Cases where (people) are selling things outside are many.
→ It is often the case that they sell things outdoors.

Examples of ~ことが多いです:

Kids often dislike green pepper.
Trains are often crowded in the morning and evening.
Carelessness tends to result in accidents.

Similar use of this こと:

Prices may change without prior notice.
Buses are sometimes late.


It's called nominalization, and yes, it is used to turn verbs (and verb clauses into nouns).

Verb clauses as nouns

All we need to treat verb clauses as a noun is by attaching a generic noun to the clause: 「こと」(事)

「の」 can also be used as a noun replacement. The difference is 「こと」 is a more general statement while 「の」 is specific to the context of the sentence.

Further reading:

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