The phrase "話し手も相手も共通に知っている場合" was translated in this board as "When both the speaker and listener know the subject"

I dont understand 2 things about this sentence. What's the use of ni in this phrase. It doesnt seem to match with any of the uses of "ni" I know. Isnt 話し手も相手も共通 the topic of the sentence and should be marked with "は". And why "the subject" isnt before the 知っている verb and it isnt marked with を ?

2 Answers 2


I understand "共通に" can be correspoond to "both."

"話し手も相手も共通に話題を知っている場合" = "When(場合) both(共通に) the speaker(話し手) and(も) listener(相手) know(知っている) the subject(話題(を))"

"話し手も相手も共通に知っている場合" = "When both the speaker and listener know the subject"

"話し手も相手も知っている場合" = "When the speaker and listener know the subject"

The nuance of difference is quite week.


共通に is an adverb modifying 知っている. It is added for emphasis. 話し手も相手も知っている場合 is also a valid expression differing only by nuance.

  • if they have different nuances, could you make a literal translation of both phrases for the nuances to be more clear or the literal translation of both nuances is the same? I appreciate the info in your answer and the time you took to answer but I dont quite get it
    – Pablo
    Feb 12, 2017 at 23:42
  • Sunny's "both" is perfect. Feb 13, 2017 at 15:12

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