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There are three variations on this phrase that I can find in Google, and I'm not sure whether all three are really used, or how frequently. But I am confused about the differences between them.

大したことではない

I believe this means "(It's) not a big deal." Ok, I understand.

大したことない

Isn't this different from the first sentence? It seems to mean "There aren't any particularly big problems."

大したことない

This one could go either way.

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Your understanding of the first two variations is correct. The sound quite formal, maybe something like:

  1. "This is nothing important, really"
  2. "There is nothing important, really"

Last variation is more colloquial, maybe something like:

  1. "No big deal"
  • But I'm wondering about the last variation, is it like が (or は) is omitted before ない, meaning 大した is the subject of ない? Or could it be that では is omitted (although I don't think this is allowed), meaning 大した is the predicate? – ignorantFid Feb 19 at 5:39
  • It is like が or は is omitted before ない. "ない" is the short, informal version of "ありません". On the other hand, the informal version of "ではありません" / "ではない" would be "じゃない" (or even a more rough sounding "じゃねえ"). "大したことじゃねえんだから気にすんなよ!" – wip Feb 19 at 13:38

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