I found out this sentence:


and I don't understand と sentence in here. I know と is related to "and" and "with". But what's its role on this sentence?


2 Answers 2


と has quite a few meanings. To name a few...

The case particle (格助詞) と can mean "and" or "with". It attaches to 体言, such as nouns and pronouns. eg:

  • 「りんごとみかん」(apples and oranges)
  • 「わたしと一緒に」(together with me)

The case particle と can also be used as a quotative particle. It attaches to almost anything, eg:

  • 「おいしいと思う」(I think it's tasty)
  • 「買うと言った」(I said I would buy it)
  • 「今日の晩ご飯はトンカツ(だ)と聞いた」(I heard today's dinner is tonkatsu)

The と in your example is a conjunctive particle (接続助詞) meaning "When~" or "If~". It attaches to 用言, such as verbs, adjectives, auxiliaries. eg:

  • 「食べると太る。」(If you eat, you'll gain weight.)
  • 「暗いと見えない。」(If/When it's dark, I can't see.)

So your sentence それは触ると柔らかい means "It feels soft when/if you touch it."


According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", page 480:

と: a subordinate conjunction which marks a condition that brings about an uncontrollable event or state. It can be translated as "if" or "when".

If you go to New York there are many interesting shops.

I understood immediately when I asked the teacher.

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