I know "と" sometimes connects two sentences, implying consecutive actions, reasoning or conditions. But none of these meanings fits here. My best guess of its meaning is "I won't call you because I promised so."

But what does "と" actually imply here? What's the difference between:


2 Answers 2


と has a lot of uses.

As far as I know, と can be uses to point to:

  • a member of a complete list (X と Y と Z => noun X AND noun Y AND noun Z)
  • a cause of a natural consequence (condition A と natural consequence B => ALWAYS WHEN condition A THEN consequence B)
  • a partner also doing the action (person A と action Z => to do action Z TOGETHER WITH person A)
  • with certain type of adverbs (the so called "adverbs taking the 'to' particle"), for example しっかり、だんだん etc.
  • a quote (X と [person A は] said => "X" said [person A])

The と used here is a quotation particle:

~と言う => to say that ~

~と約束する => to promise that ~

  • I know the quotative , but this case is especially confusing to me because it has から as well. Or this から isn't connecting 貴方を... and 約束する..., but connecting this whole sentence and an implicit sentence, like 貴方を呼ばないと約束するから、(私は呼ばない)? Apr 1, 2019 at 18:03
  • @LaiYu-Hsuan It helps me to remember that in Japanese the particles sort of "point to" the thing before them. Then, I see understanding a sentence not as connecting words in a line, but more as stacking them on top of each other, one by one - when someone speaks, it's not as if you understand what they're saying only after they finish. 貴方を[<=direct object]呼ばないと[<=quote: next is a verb of speech]約束するから[<=source:reason/cause]. から points to the "source" of an action: space (the starting location), time (when something began) or cause/reason. Here it isn't a place nor time, hence: cause/reason.
    – Arie
    Apr 2, 2019 at 7:05
  • @LaiYu-Hsuan you are right about the omitted sentence. Or there may be sentence before it that this one tries to explain a reason for as Kulu suggested.
    – Arie
    Apr 2, 2019 at 7:09

The first suggestion


doesn't work because you need to separate 貴方を呼ばない from 約束する. Otherwise it looks like 呼ばない works as an adjective (?) describing 約束 (which doesn't make much sense).

貴方を呼ばないと約束するから I would translate this as "(Because) I promise you that I won't call you".

The から implies to me that there should be a preceding (imperative) sentence that needs explanation; e.g. 心配しないで or 呼んで.

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