0

実のある話はしないことにしています。 I'm not going to tell you anything substantive.

I found this in a bio of an author. after finding the meaning with the help of an auto-translator I had a several questions,

  • I think 実のある話 is a set expression but does it make sense grammatically? my problem is specifically with 実のある. I remembered that the の particle can replace an unidentified noun after an adjective so that we can talk about a general noun in a sentence; like for example 白いのは好き。 is something similar happening here?

  • why is particles は used along the verb しない here? the use of は implies that there’s an action taken place that has to do with 実のある話. and that action should be talking, right? so why is しない used here instead of any other verb that conveys the meaning of talking; the first thing I can think of being 言う?

  • why did he chose to put it this way? this is the part that confuses me the most. why not just say for example:

    実のある話のことを言いません

    he used しないこと just so that he can later say しています which sounds extremely odd to me. does 実のある話はしないこと imply a more specific meaning?

6

That machine-translation is correct.


So let's break it down:

  • 実がある: "a fruit exists"

  • 実がある話: "a story where a fruit exists" → "something meaningful/substantial/useful/fruitful" (relative clause)

  • ある話: "something substantial" (ga-no conversion)

  • 実のある話する: "to say something substantial"

  • 実のある話する: "to say something substantial" (topicalized object)

    (More literally, "as for something substantial, I'll say")

  • 実のある話はしない: "not to say something substantial"

  • 実のある話はしないことにしています: "(I have decided that) I won't say anything substantial".

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