I was learning about how we can use 「という」to describe things and I saw the following example:

  • 日本人{にほんじん}はお酒{さけ}に弱{よわ}いというのは本当{ほんとう}?

And my question is, what is the use of 「という」when used to describe this type of things? Wouldn't this phrase be equal to: 日本人{にほんじん}はお酒{さけ}に弱{よわ}いことは本当{ほんとう}? If so whats the benefit of using 「という」? I also saw the following example:

  • リブートというのは、パソコンを再起動{さいきどう}するということです。

And in this phrase, in the end, 「という」 is used with 「こと」. why is 「こと」there? Wouldn't the sentence be correct like this: リブートというのは、パソコンを再起動{さいきどう}するというです.?

1 Answer 1


One important note is that while you can use という to name things (e.g.,「ドラえもん」という漫画【まんが】を見【み】る。), you can also use it to literally mean that something is said:

  • その漫画【まんが】が好【す】きじゃないというのは本当【ほんとう】じゃないです。

In the phrase というの, there are three components. The particle と here marks a quotation; the verb 言【い】う, often just written in kana, means "to say"; and the particle の nominalizes a preceding verb. (In other words, it turns a verb into a gerund.) So the above sentence would translate as "To say that I don't like that manga would not be true."

You can also define things using というのは, as in your second example, which can be translated as "To 'reboot' is to restart a computer".

Incidentally, ということです is also a set phrase in some situations. It's a bit like the phrase "as it's said"; you can usually replace it with です, but it gives a softer tone to whatever you're saying. (Weblio translates it as "The thing is, ...") It can also mark something one has heard. Similarly, ということで can be translated as "that is to say" or "in other words".

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