This sentence here (which in context of where I found it is referring to two people, as shown in the brackets):

(私たちのことが認めてもらえるまで。) それまではこうしていることは内緒です

I vaguely understand it to mean something along the lines of "until then/that time (それまでは), what we are doing/doing this is (こうしていることは) a secret (内緒です)"

I understand that こう means "like this", and according to jisho.org, paired with する it means "to do like this", and こと refers to a state of affairs, but i'm just struggling to understand how each of them fully affect this sentence, assuming that my shoddy interpretation of it is at least in the ballpark.

Additionally, I would also be curious to know how the sentence including 私たちのことが changes when こと is omitted (私たちのことが vs 私たちが), although I assume it'd be something like "until our situation is accepted" vs "until we are accepted" ?

Many thanks, apologies if this is a dumb question, I always seem to be full of them when learning something new.

1 Answer 1


You are correct about the basic meaning of こうしている, and one of the functions of the word こと is as a nominalizer for actions, when it is attached to a verb, causing the meaning to change from

"doing like this"


"this thing we are doing"

or more fluidly:

"what we're doing (here/now)"

As for the difference between

「私たちのことが認めてもらえるまで。」 vs 「私たちが認めてもらえるまで。」,

Both, in essence mean "Until we are accepted/acknowledged/allowed."

However the use of のこと deepens the meaning, to encompass more than just acceptance of the people, but more fully, acceptance of everything related to those people, or possibly, some SPECIFIC aspect of those people that is being left unsaid (for example, their relationship, or their beliefs, or their actions...) Context would make clear which specific "thing" about them is being referenced.

So, for example, while

「私たちが認めてもらえるまで。」 only means "until they accept us."

「私たちのことが認めてもらえるまで。」 can mean

"until they accept us and our relationship." or
"until they accept our presence." or
"until they accept what we're doing/ we've done."

Or it could be all-encompassing:

"Until they accept everything about us."

(though that language is a little "over the top" for most English speakers.)

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