I've read today the sentence:


The part I understand says that even if she was screamed at or scolded by the mother, like a sheep...

Now, I can't find a translation for the rest of the sentence. I now the girl in the context listen to something but I couldn't find a translation for 黙って言うこと.

What does it mean?

1 Answer 1


黙っていうことを聞く means "acquiesce", so she acquiesced in what her mother said like a sheep.

This 黙って means 文句を言わずに(without complaining) and いうことを聞く means 従う(follow). It would be rephresed as "She followed what her mother said without complaining like a sheep".

  • Is 黙って working as an adverb? Like "listened silently to what was said"? I imagine not every verb can be used this way, but Is this a standard way to turn verbs into adverbs? Thank you.
    – NeonGabu
    Jan 29, 2019 at 0:33
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    I think this usage is close to "with". There are many cases like that. For example. 笑って話す, 目を閉じて音楽を聴く, 口を開けて笑う and so on. Jan 29, 2019 at 5:27
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    Thank you very much. It was very helpful. One more thing, if I may. Does 口を開けて笑う mean laughing with the mouth open or open the mouth and laugh? All these sentences but one have a noun, 笑って話す,so that's why I was wondering about the meaning. Once again thank you very much.
    – NeonGabu
    Jan 30, 2019 at 4:06
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    This is a good question. My examples can be interpreted as the both meanings. You can judge it by the context and its usage. 口を開けて笑う generally means "laughing with the mouth open", but it grammatically can mean "open the mouth and laugh".I think they mean almost the same thing. In addition, if you clearly want to mean "笑って話す" as "talk with laughing, you can say 笑いながら話す. And you can say 笑ってから話す as the meaning of "laugh and then talk". Moreover, 泣いて笑う means "cry and then laugh", not "laugh with crying". If you want to say "laugh with crying", you can say 泣きながら笑う. Jan 30, 2019 at 6:15
  • Minor grammar / logic point for the English -- "without complaining like a sheep" winds up with a different sense than the source text. The 「羊のように」 apples to 「言うことを聞く」, but in the English, the way you have it phrased, "like a sheep" applies to "without complaining" instead. :) Sep 30, 2022 at 6:19

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