「A に/としたところで B」 is really confusing me.

According to my textbook the difference seems to be that にしたところで is used with nouns while everything else takes としたところで。

According to this website, however, there is no such restriction but they do state that there is a small difference in meaning which unfortunately they do not explain. The found an answer on another website where the explanation went along the lines

にしたところで = even if A is the case, you shouldn't do be/B is not possible
としたところで ₌ however much you do A, B is not possible<

That sounds like a pretty big difference my book/websites should mention. Is it then correct?

Also on the first website mentioned above they state that there are exceptions where B doesn't express some kind of incompetence or meaninglessness. One sentence I think fits the description would be


Which I would translate with "Depending on who is listening even a single word can change the meaning". But if the translation is more or less correct, it would be quite different from the meaning above, wouldn't it?

  • 1
    Re: "it would be quite different from the meaning above, wouldn't it?", I think usage is actually quite similar, at least on a semantic level: even if A, you can't assume Beven if it's (just) a single word, you can't assume it won't (greatly) affect how the whole (story/context) is interpreted. +1 regarding your main question though. – Will Feb 1 at 23:31
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    I'm not confident enough to answer, but I think the difference lies in the difference between にしたら and としたら. としたら is more hypothetical than にしたら. So にしたところで is used for a current or highly plausible situation, whereas としたところで would be used for a more hypothetical situation 'even if we were to' sort of thing. – James Edwards Feb 2 at 3:42

First, native Japanese speakers hardly ever say "~に/としたところで", and often use "~にしても/~としても" alternatively, because the later conjunctions are shorter and more casual than the former.

Then let's think about "~にしても/~としても".

ex. 一つの言葉にしたって,聞く人によって意味は変わる。
Depending on who is listening even a single word can change the meaning.

In this sentence, we can substitute ~にしても for ~にしたって, but cannot do ~としても.

If you wanna use としても, you should modify"~だとしても"

Well then, see the usage of ~に/としたところで.

Compared with ~にしても/~としても, "~に/としたところで" differs a little in a relationship between the preceding and following sentences. When you write or read sentences which contains に/としたところで, the logical relationship between clauses would be important.

In order to better understanding ~に/としたところで, let's disassemble に/としたところで into にする/とする and ところで.

noun. /adj. + にする/とする : put into a certain state.
ex. 部屋を綺麗にする/make room clean

Clarkをリーダーとする空の民(Skaikru)/ Skaikru with Clark as a leader

verb. + (~しよう)とする : try to do.
ex. 寝ようとする/try to sleep

ところで : one of conjectives,it means paradox【逆説】 or converse【転換】.

【転換】: By the way.


【逆説】: The later section shows that the result is the opposite of what is expected from the previous section.

However,"ところで" alone doesn't make sense of【逆説】,we need to use in combine with "~する".

Thus, ~に/としたところで leads a paradoxical(逆説的な) sentence.

There is no unique translation,but I seem "No matter what" and "Even if" are suitable.

ex. ジュースを買おうとしたところで、財布を持っていないことに気づいた。
When I attempted to buy juice, I realized that I didn't have a wallet.

ex. 目隠しをしたところで、彼はすぐにルービックキューブを解けます。
Even if he blindfold himself, he can solve Rubik's Cube immediately.

To be blindfolded is a handicap or adversity to solving the cube, but he is so ingenious that he can solve it in that situation.

Like this when A has negative nuances, it can lead to a positive sentence.

By the way(ところで【転換】), the difference among ~に/と/を +したところで is something like case inflection or postpositional particles. There is no difference in meaning, but 目隠しとする or 目隠しにする seem a little strange.

For details, see this following bulletin board.

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