I'd like to know if 「だ」(or maybe even 「です」, though I somehow doubt it) should/shouldn't or can/cannot be used in a sentence I met in one textbook. The phrase was:

  • 東京大学は日本で一番大きい大学と言われている。

that translates into something like "They say Todai is the biggest university in Japan", no problems here. But by some reason I feel like the phrase lacks 「だ」 between 「大学」 and 「と」, so it would look like:

  • 東京大学は日本で一番大きい大学と言われている。

Am I right or not? Or maybe both variations are possible? Is there any difference? Is the variant with 「です」 possible (I think not, but still... would like to be confident)? Thanks!

  • I am 99% sure you are right, but the remaining 1% is self-conscious of the fact that I'm non-native and not confident enough to authoritatively say the textbook is definitely wrong and not just using an idiom I don't know yet.
    – Nick O.
    Jul 21, 2016 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


I think in cases like [noun]+と言われてる the ”だ” before the と is optional, however to me including it sounds a little more natural and complete.

However, saying ”〜大学ですと言われてる" would be pretty awkward in this type of context, regardless of whether you were speaking polite language (と言われています) or not.

です could be used in a case where you want to emphasize someone used polite language when you directly are quoting them, i.e.


In the original sentence, the part before the と isn't really a direct quote from anyone. It's like saying in English "This school is said to be very expensive", where no one person specifically said that phrase.

  • 2
    Thanks a lot! I also asked this at "hinative", if you are interested in seeing what Japanese (presumably at least :D) answered me here's link: hinative.com/ru/questions/754512
    – Niko
    Jul 21, 2016 at 19:22

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