A: ところで、はるって誰ですか
B: 誰とかではなくてですね...

I understand the overall meaning of the conversation but I don't really get why "とか" is used nor why the second sentence ends with ではなくて instead of ではない。

Thank you very much in advance :)

  • 2
    It would help in knowing how to target the answer if you told us what you think the 'overall meaning of the conversation' is. Dec 22, 2020 at 23:33
  • B is telling A about the things that will happen when spring (はる) comes, A misunderstands this and thinks (はる) is a person, so he asks the question "by the way, who is はる?" And B replies something like: (はる) is not "someone" Dec 22, 2020 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


It's not a question of who but rather ...

This とか means 'things such as' so 誰とか implies "(questions) such as who".

Xではなくて is literally 'not X and ...', but often translates rather more naturally as "rather than X ..."

As a non-native speaker I'm on thinner ground here. I don't know if adding です is grammatical but I think, rather than leaving the sentence hanging with the ..., it converts it into a statement, but I can't think of a natural way to put all those parts together into an English sentence, so I think I;ll stick with my translation above. Maybe someone else can do a more convincing job.

  • 1
    This です is grammatical. I guess this です(ね) is a politer version of this だ.
    – naruto
    Dec 23, 2020 at 11:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .