4

複数の新聞を読むことで初めて、立体的かつ冷静に分析が出来ることもある。

I'm not sure about how I should interpret it, is this で needed after こと because of the ~て初めて grammar and because you can't add the て form on 読む ? It would be something like :

"There are times when only after reading multiple newspapers, you can analyze calmly in three dimensions"

Is this correct ?

2

This で is a method marker ("by ~", "by means of ~", "with ~"). As long as こと is used, this で is also required.

  • 複数の新聞を読む read multiple newspapers
  • 複数の新聞を読むこと reading multiple newspapers
  • 複数の新聞を読むこと by reading multiple newspapers

Therefore ~ことで初めて~できる literally means "You can ~ firstly by ~ing." More natural ways to translate it would be "You can ~ only after ~", "You can ~ only by ~" or "You cannot ~ until ~".

複数の新聞を読むことで初めて、立体的かつ冷静に分析が出来ることもある。
There are times when you can analyze things sterically and soberly only after reading multiple newspapers.

This sentence can be rephrased without using こと.

複数の新聞を読んで初めて、立体的かつ冷静に分析が出来ることもある。

This で after 読ん is of course part of the te-form of 読む. Is this what you mean by "the ~て初めて grammar?"

  • Yes. In fact, I'm not sure if my "theory" is correct ? We say 読んで初めて and 読むこと but we do not say 読むこと初めて, right ? Therefore, I suspect this -て form of the verb lacking is replaced by で after こと. So in short, で in ことで is the replacement of (verbて)+初めて. I'm a bit confused about its grammatical function. I've learned that "Only after.." = ~て初めて but in this case "読むこと" you can't add the ~て so I wonder if the grammatical explanation is that this ~て is in fact the で after こと ? – Ushiromiya May 30 '17 at 19:04
  • Simply said, I suspect that it goes like this : 読むこと(~で初めて). It would make sense to me, but I may be wrong ? – Ushiromiya May 30 '17 at 19:17
  • @Ushiromiya 読むこと初めて is ungrammatical. And don't try to oddly mix two different grammatical constructions. So do you understand the particle で, as in "ペンで字を書く"? That has nothing to do with the te-form of a verb. Almost the same thing can be said both with the te-form + 初めて and dictionary-form + こと + で + 初めて. Neither is the short for the other; they are just two different grammar. – naruto May 31 '17 at 5:10
  • The grammar rule stipulates that you must add て form before 初めて, right ? Then, where is this "て" ? We could have said 読んで初めて, and I can clearly see the regular pattern ~て初めて in this one, but I don't see it in 読むことで初めて, except if で acts as the ~て. – Ushiromiya May 31 '17 at 5:41
  • In other words, my question would be : how can the grammar ~て初めて be effective without ~て ? Because, if I understand you correctly, then 初めて is by itself (cf "dictionary-form + こと + で + 初めて") – Ushiromiya May 31 '17 at 5:45

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