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What is the difference between Verb + ことが○○です and verb + 〇〇です? And when are you supposed to use one over the other?

For example I wrote

映画を観ることが時間です。
It's time to watch a movie.

But I was corrected to

映画を観る時間です。

But I don't really understand why. I thought こと is used to signify some kind of event. In this 時間です (It's time) and the event is 映画を観る (watch/watching a movie)

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  • If so, where the が comes from, and what is it supposed to do? Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 8:57

1 Answer 1

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I usually don't like to draw analogies between Japanese and other languages, but here it's almost a 100% fit with English.

映画を観る

To watch a movie (dictionary form)

時間です。

It is time.

Combine both together and you get:

映画を観る時間です。

It is time to watch a movie.

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    Alternatively, "It is movie-watching time." Conversely, 映画を観ること is "the act of watching a movie", or simply "watching a movie", and using が after it pretty much dictates that's where the "is" should go. If これはペンです is "This is a pen", then 映画を見ることが時間です means "Watching a movie is time". Which doesn't make a lot of sense. Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 10:00
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    (The use of が instead of は makes it even slightly more odd, as it kind of implies that someone was wondering what time is, and you answered with "Watching a movie, that's time.) Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 10:03

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