I was reading an article on NHK easy news about whooping cough and I came across this sentence, 去年1年でこの病気になった人と同じぐらいです。I've seen this usage of "time duration" before but I never understood why just saying 去年で wouldn't be sufficient/proper (or perhaps it is. I'm not sure).

My question is what purpose is this for? If 去年 is already there, wouldn't the reader know that the writer was referring to the people who got sick last year?

Somewhat of a side question too, but is と's usage here used for comparing and contrasting? This year vs last year. I don't believe its usage is for a conditional and it isn't for connecting two nouns.

As always, thanks for any help that comes my way. I'm truly grateful.

  • 1
    Hint: What period of time is discussed in the previous sentence? Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 18:56
  • @user3856370 this year, January through August 4th.So are they saying that the number in all of last year for the duration of the whole year is as much as this year up until August 4th? Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 19:18

2 Answers 2



The only reason that 「去年一年」is used instead of just 「去年」 is that the comparison here is being made between a 12-month period (all of year 2018) and a 7-month period (Jan. thru July, 2019).

Had the comparison been made between two 12-month periods, the author would have just used 「去年」 (or "year XXXX").

The point of the sentence, as I am sure that you know by now, is to inform the readers that the whooping cough is more widely-spread this year than last.

  • Thank you. That was what I was assuming after @user3856370 pointed out in comments but I wasn't 100% certain. Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 21:56

I'd rather think it's like saying "with a total case of [integer] of whooping cough reported in last year", where 'total' is sorta redundant.

去年 or 昨年 themselves don't necessarily refer to a whole calendar year, especially for describing whooping cough, a seasonal epidemic. For example the usage seen in "患者数は昨年末1週で44.6万人" in this news is similar to something like "summer last year", "last year Christmas". Again, you could think it as an extra, and a tradeoff between precision and succinct that exists in many languages.

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to JLSE. We do our best to have answers not only answer the question being asked, but also be a potential resource for other questions that may be asked in the future. I do not think that this answer will be helpful to other learners. Would you mind expanding this answer to teach the basic principles of how you got to this answer?
    – ajsmart
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 19:32
  • @ajsmart hi, i'll try expand it a bit. Meant to throw a comment and leave but i'm lacking reputations here
    – Nriuam
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 19:36
  • I think my comment in response to @user3856370 may be correct. Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 19:40

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