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It is very hard to parse the following sentence as I don't know about との grammar. What does との mean and how to parse the following sentence?

自治会から、留学生数人との交流会があるとの連絡を受け、行ってみた。

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との combines the functions of the particles と and の. In your example, the first と is different from the second と. But in both cases, の is used to modify the following noun.

Here, と means "with".

留学生数人と = with some exchange students

留学生数人との交流会 = a meeting/gathering with some exchange students

The second と is the quoting particle. It indicates the contents of the 連絡.

留学生数人との交流会があるとの連絡 = a message saying that "留学生数人との交流会がある"

So putting everything together, we have:

自治会から、留学生数人との交流会があるとの連絡を受け = I received a message from the neighborhood council saying that there would be a meeting/gathering with some exchange students

行ってみた = so I went to check it out.

  • Why does 数人 come after 留学生? I think that 数人の留学生 is more common. What do you think? – Artificial Stupidity Jun 2 '16 at 13:46
  • @ogicu8abruok or anyone else, I would like to ask a question. Is it still grammatically correct and similar meaning if I omit 「の」as 「留学生数人と交流会」? If not, please tell me the difference. Thanks – George Jun 30 '16 at 7:39
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The usages of the first 「(留学生)との」 and the second 「(交流会がある)との」are quite different.

The first 「との」 means “with / together / jointly with” as in ”財界との関係 - relationship with the financial world,” “オバマ大統領との共同会見 – a joint interview with President Obama,” and the second 「との」means “telling sth, to the effect” as in “共同して問題の早期解決を図るとのメッセージ - a message telling (both parties) jointly try to solve the problem.” You need to judge the distinction based on the context of the message.

If you pick up 「との」only by sound, you cannot tell which of the usages of 「との」 fits “together” or “to the effect,” and also whether it’s 殿、都の、戸の, all of which sound the same.

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