This is a general question about what to place after nominals when connecting them to constructs like こと.

Lately I've realized I've either forgotten or never knew when I should be using だということ over であること or ということ, etc., with 名詞・形容動詞 (and now I'm wondering about な too), at least in the spoken language. From my understanding, だということ・であること are preferable in 文語, and I found this answer discussing that a little bit, so I'd rather focus on the spoken language here.

I've scoured my resources, as well as stackexchange and some of the Japanese web for hours and come up short, though. I found this question that describes the grammar of these constructions and says that they're all fine, but I don't know their 使い分け. This has become problematic for me lately (at least mentally) when communicating at work and with friends in Japan.

I'd appreciate an answer specifically pointing out the following:

  1. Which constructions from the linked question can be used with friends, coworkers (either above or below you), your boss, strangers on a bus, kids, etc. Some kind of politeness or formality ranking might be helpful for me here.

  2. How one would choose a construction in the case where more than one is appropriate or the case where it's fine to use any of them.

  3. If there is really 0 difference whatsoever between some of these, such that it would be fine to literally just choose your favorite and only use that one (or else to 適当にどれでも選ぶ), pointing that out specifically as well/which ones are identical would be appreciated.

I've listed the constructions below, with my own guesses about their usage/formality (ordered by my guess from most to least formal):

  • であるということ (in presentations, on the news, to a special guest)
  • であること (in presentations, on the news, to a special guest)
  • だということ (to anyone except friends/family)
  • なこと・のこと (to anyone, perhaps depending on usage)
  • なの (to anyone, perhaps depending on usage)
  • だと (to friends/family/lower-ranking people)
  • だって (to friends/family/lower-ranking people)

I'd like more information about usage depending on grammar or the specific situation, as well as the 意味合い of these constructs.

I've included example sentences below for everything. Everything below here is ripped from the linked question. Credit to @Chocolate


  • 連体形(attributive form) + こと
  • 終止形(predicative/terminal form) + ということ

So grammatically speaking you can use...

  • 有名な+こと (有名な is the attributive form)
  • 有名である+こと (ある is the attributive form)
  • 有名だ+ということ (有名だ is the terminal form)
  • 有名である+ということ (ある is the terminal form)

as in:


As an aside, you could also say:
(or この漫画、有名だって知ってる? in colloquial speech)


(By request from the OP, I've un-deleted the section of my original answer regarding registers of formality in Japanese speech.)

Your first question is regarding which construction can be used with people of what relation to you in speech.

In order to fully understand this, it would be pertinent to take a look at Japanese societal structure.

Within the context of Japanese society there is a common concept called 内と外 (sometimes written ウチとソト). ウチ refers to those people with whom you have a close relationship, and ソト refers to everyone else. In this 2008 paper, the author argues that modern Japanese society actually has a third class of relationship which, while part of ウチ, tows the line between it and ソト (内外集団).

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内内集団 (ウチ) would be people like close friends and family.

内外集団 (ウチ) would be people you aren't necessarily close to, but who belong to the same organization/company/department you do. The degree to which someone is ウチ or ソト to you varies within this class on a continuum. For example, going from more ウチ to more ソト, you have within a company people on the same team as you → people in your department → people in other departments.

ソト would be "strangers, 'others', and outsiders" to the other two groups.

The experience/age relationship of the speakers also plays a role in the level of politeness that is to be used, with casual speech being much more acceptable in conversation from a 年上 to a 年下 or a 目上 to a 目下 in the 内外集団 group, even if closer toward the ソト side, such as a company president to a regular employee in a non-formal setting.

So, dividing by relationship class, we have:

自分 → ウチ

〜だってこと/の (this sounds more casual/rough)
〜だって (this sounds more casual/rough)

自分 → 内外集団の内の方

〜だってこと/の (目上→目下、語尾が敬語になっていれば目下→目上も可能)
〜だって (目上→目下、語尾が敬語になっていれば限り目下→目上も可能)

自分 → 内外集団の外の方、ソト

〜だってこと/の (目上→目下 in a more casual setting)
〜だって (目上→目下 in a more casual setting)

I feel that this mostly answers your first question.

(I'm still thinking about your second and third questions)

  • Big thanks for the answer! I'm still reading it, but in the first example sentence, you also say 僕が, which to me also sort of sounds like you noticed the fact that YOU are a flower. Is there a reason not to use は here? Or does using のこと instead of だということ make it unambiguous? – weirdalsuperfan Oct 14 at 13:42

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