I came across the dialog and was puzzling over the sentence "したことのないことばかり"








I think I understand bold part, but is it possible that 大和 replies this sentence instead?


Is there any change in meaning compared to the original sentence?

(The reason why I ask such question is because I think the original sentence uses two "こと", won't that be a little bit redundant?)

  • 「空に絵を書いたり」って...?
    – chocolate
    Dec 4, 2017 at 1:54
  • Oops, that's a typo.
    – chika
    Dec 4, 2017 at 7:21

2 Answers 2


I will start by briefly explaining what 「お見合{みあ}い」 is for those unfamiliar with the custom and/or the term. It is a formal kind of meeting for a man and woman with a view to marriage. The conversation above is taking place at such a meeting.

From the convo, 中野{なかの} is the man and 大和{やまと}, the woman. As anyone would expect, "hobbies" is a common topic at お見合い and that is exactly what is being talked about here.

As seen in the convo, however, the two people might not share a favorite pastime. So, the woman says:


= "I have no experience in doing any of those things."

This is said upon finding out what the man's hobbies are.

The first こと means "experience" (~ことがある/~ことがない) and the second こと means "things". Thus, using こと twice is not at all redundant. The sentence is perfectly correct and natural-sounding.

Finally, could 大和 have instead said:


No, no chance at all. Why not?

The two are discussing their hobbies. They are not discussing the actions they performed on a particular occasion in the past. They are talking about what they like to do habitually. This is why you cannot use the past tense 「した」 or 「しなかった」. Hope you are following this logic.

Let us suppose that you went to Hawaii last year and I went there just recently and we are talking about what we did while in Hawaii. You did activities A, B, C and D and I did X, Y and Z.

Upon finding out about what I did, you might say:


= "I didn't do any of those things." Or more literally, "All of those are the things that I didn't do."

That will be a very natural reply.


The meaning is quite different. Roughly:

私がしたことのないことばかりです - Those are things I've never tried doing.


私がしなかったことばかりです - Those are things I never did.

The second sentence leaves the impression that the speaker wanted or was supposed to do those things at some point.

The first sentence is just saying that the speaker have never done those things in his life.

Two こと are not redundant, as they refer to different verbs (したこと and ないこと).

  • If possible, could you please give me an example that the reply "私がしなかったことばかりです" is correct and possible?
    – chika
    Dec 2, 2017 at 14:50

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