Let's take this example from wasabi-jpn: 田中さんが女優であることは言わない. What is the difference if we were to use ということ or even simply ってこと instead. Is the difference perhaps simply that it's less formal and more natural in casual speech? Would とは work too in this context? I guess it would be interesting to include too.

This question closely relates to When choose の/こと or というの/ということ and the answer proposes that they're equivalent. Is that true?

In other words, what is the difference between these three sentences:




  • 1
    nominalizing a noun ← How do you nominalize a noun?
    – user4032
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 17:30
  • @l'électeur I guess "sentence ending with noun" would be more accurate.
    – Simon
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


The first two sentences can be considered as contracted versions of

  • 田中さんが女優であるということは言わない,

and mean the same: I do not disclose the fact that Ms. Tanaka is an actress.

It is rather that である or という can be omitted in this case than であること and ということ are interchangeable.

For example, if the verb inside the clause is not である, obviously ということ cannot be replaced by であること while omitting という is possible.

  • 私が新宿に行くということは言わない (or ...行くことは...)
  • ×私が新宿に行くであることは言わない

The third sentence can mean the same as the first two, but it sounds more like a version of

  • 田中さんを女優とは言わない I wouldn’t call Ms. Tanaka an actress (but something else).

Note that it is not always the case that という can be omitted in ということ (whose usage is rather broad). Just one example:

  • 田中さんは女優だったということだ. They say Ms. Tanaka was an actress.
  • ×田中さんは女優だったことだ.

A contraction is だったとことだ.

  • By that same logic, this means that when using こと as a nominalizer, we're basically omitting という from ということ?
    – Simon
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 7:56
  • 1
    I think mostly yes when ということ simply nominalize a sentence. E.g. 私の趣味は走ることです cannot have という inserted. 走ることは私の趣味です can be 走るということは私の趣味です, but the latter sounds too strained. Also regarding 'simply': 明日雨が降るということは花火は中止だということだ - both という cannot be omitted.
    – sundowner
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 8:55

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