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I've come across a sentence in a story and although I understand the meaning, I still find that という for me is a construction that I often struggle with a little bit.

On this occasion I'm wondering why という was used over に:

悟はカップを受け取って、何の気なしという様子で尋ねた。

It probably doesn't change the meaning a great deal at all, but I was wondering what nuance the author was trying to convey (if any) using という here.

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    You might want to add the alternate sentence with に in your question. Did you mean 何の気なしに尋ねた? As Cerceis says, 何の気なしに様子で尋ねた makes no sense.
    – aguijonazo
    Jun 17, 2021 at 0:31

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「何の気なし様子で尋ねた」 does not makes sense to me at all and it is weird to read. Another meaning you can decipher from という is のような/のように。 In this particular sentence, it means as if, which does not have the similar meaning here.

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