Context: A class is telling scary stories to each other and one guy tells a story about a lion. Everyone in the class is scared but the teacher says:


I've seen the X ことは X が pattern before that means something like "It's true that X, but". However, in the dialogue above, there's a similar pattern but X こと is replaced with X って. Are these two patterns equivalent? Similarly, while looking for an answer to this question, I've seen XX が mentioned - is this the same thing as well?

Bonus question: In what sense is じゃない used here? It seems like it should be simple negation but doesn't ending a question with じゃない mean a sort of confirmation like ね?

  • "I've seen X に X が mentioned" -- do you mean XはXが here, as in your title? – broccoli facemask - cloth Jan 2 '18 at 9:53
  • X に X が should have been X には X が, as in 本を読むには読んだ. Now that I look at the title, it should really have been something like X {って・こと・に}は X – MisterM2402 Jan 2 '18 at 18:03

怖いっちゃ怖い is contraction from 怖いといえば怖い, which means "could be scary if you dare to claim that it is", in other words "not scary unless you say so".

On the other hand, 怖いことは怖い means that you have to admit that there's a part that makes you scared, if not entirely. So, they are similar but still different.

それは 恐怖じゃない{HLLLLH}? means "Isn't it fear (to nature)?", in other words, the speaker thinks so and is seeking agreement with his idea. (However you can't rephrase it using ね. In this context, それは恐怖だね↓ doesn't function as a tag question but self-contained affirmation, and それは恐怖だね? is a creepy rhetoric that implies you will never ever let the opponent say no.)

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  • I had no idea that was a possible contraction - thank you! However, I'm still unsure of the meaning of the sentences as a whole. Without the ? it sounds to me like "Sure, it's scary if you say so, but since it concerns nature, it's not 'horror' ", implying that only supernatural things can be classed as "horror". But since じゃない? is a tag question, that means she's saying it is horror, so I'm confused. – MisterM2402 Jan 2 '18 at 19:36

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