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Is 「Aのこと読んだ。」a correct sentence? I know that usually「Aについて読んだ。」is the correct way of saying "I read about A", but I've seen sentences like 「Aのこと考える」and just wondering if it's correct to substitute 考える with 読む.

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Yes, 「Aのこと読んだ。」 is correct, though informal and therefore potentially socially incorrect, Japanese, as is「Aのこと考える」.

What makes 「Aのこと読んだ。」 and 「Aのこと考える」 informal is the omission of a postposition that shows the relationship between the noun phrase「Aのこと」 and the verbs 「読んだ」 and 「考える」, and the precepts of Proper Japanese prescribe against such looseness.

In the case of 「Aのこと読んだ。」 one of the postpostions that can go into the empty slot is 「について」, so 「Aのことについて読んだ。」 would be a full and proper version of the sentence. (It could be the object marker 「を」 but 「Aのことを読んだ」would sound somewhat less natural.)

As for 「Aのこと考える」, the missing postposition can be 「について」, or it can be the object marker 「を」 as well. 「Aのことについて考える」 and 「Aのことを考える」 are equally fine and their meanings are more or less the same.


In case you think 「のこと」 is filling a role similar to that of 「について」, it is not.

「の + こと」 is a sequence made up of the genitive particle 「の」 plus the noun 「こと」, constituting a part of the noun phrase 「Aのこと」 (literally 'A's things' or 'things of A'). Or 「の」 can be a particle indicating apposition, in which case 「Aのこと」 (literally) means 'the thing that is you'. See What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ? for more on the semantics of the latter case of 「Xのこと」.

On the other hand, 「について」 is a compound postpostion heading the postpostional phrase 「Aについて」 ('about A').

  • So this is just a matter of choosing the right expression for the right social situation, right? When talking to friends and family 「Aのこと読んだ。」would sound just fine, whereas when talking to your boss it would sound totally out of place. – はるかぜ Mar 6 '18 at 14:02
  • Omission of case particles like を definitely represents a low tier in the formal(high)-informal(low) scale, but it's not much of an impoliteness factor, though I know (in)formality and (im)politeness go hand in hand a lot of the time. When talking to your boss (privately), saying "Aのことを読んだ。" (the particle retained, non-polite form of the verb) would be a lot worse than "Aのこと読みました。" (particle omitted, polite form of the verb) – goldbrick Mar 6 '18 at 23:32
  • The latter might, at worst, prompt him/her to chide you for occasion-inappropriate linguistic looseness ("Be a decent 社会人 and use proper Japanese at least in front of your boss, will you?") but he/she probably won't yell, "Omitting a case particle?! What insolence!", while the former is a clear and grave social offense under normal circumstances ("What insolence!" indeed). – goldbrick Mar 6 '18 at 23:32
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In any (even slightly) formal situations, 「~~のこと読{よ}んだ」 would surely be considered incorrect and rather sloppy. You would want to say:

・「~~について読んだ」 or

・「~~のことについて読んだ」

In extremely informal colloquial speech, however, one might hear 「~~のこと読んだ」. It would still be "incorrect" but it will certainly convey what one wants to say. It is not the kind of usage that I personally would recommend that Japanese-learners employ unless they are already on the native-speakers' level. (But then, if one were already at that level, one would know that the phrase in question would only be situationally acceptable.)

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No, 「Aのこと読んだ。」 is not a correct sentence. Just because you cannot read こと in Japanese. You can read about こと instead though.

Correct: 「Aのことについて読んだ。」

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