1

私は誰に言うともなくつぶやいた。

I came across this sentence over at yourei.jp and I'm not sure whether I understood this sentence correctly.

My translation is:

I muttered "to whom will you tell"

The reason for my confusion is that I've never seen a sentence that has a verb+adverb+verb construction. Maybe I just didn't parse it correctly?

I was also wondering if there are more cases like this.

marked as duplicate by Chocolate, macraf, snailboat Jan 15 '18 at 11:24

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2

とも無く is a 'phrase used to express the uncertainty or lack of intent in what precedes it.' The と is not indicating speech prior to its placement in the sentence. A closer translation would be 'I muttered to nobody in particular' or 'I mumbled into the void'.

This construction is not so unusual. For example: 私は田中さんに向かって大声で述べた。'I told Mr. Tanaka loudly'. (I stated in a loud voice in the direction of Mr. Tanaka).

  • I see. Thanks! Also, I know of the set phrase 誰にともなく, but what does the 言う here do? – marc Jan 15 '18 at 18:13
  • Not speaking (言う) to anyone in particular, I muttered. – BJCUAI Jan 15 '18 at 20:34
  • Thanks! It took me a while but I get it now. – marc Jan 16 '18 at 16:31
  • ヤッタ━━━ヾ(≧∀≦)ノ━━━!!! – BJCUAI Jan 16 '18 at 18:36

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