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Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by persipeta, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. persipeta New Member

    Catalan, Spanish (Spain)
    I am having trouble to find a grammatical explanation for とは in the following sentence:
    To me the とは or the は emphasizes the fact that you don't want to become a translator. So, instead of simply saying 通訳になろうと思っていません, since we have the previous sentence telling us that "I'm studying English", becoming a translator could be an expected intention. Here the は emphasizes that this is NOT the intention of the speaker.

    But I can't really find an explanation. I looked in my 日本語文型辞典 for とは and it talks about:
    1. Definition パソコンと、個人でつけkる小型のコンピュターのことだ。
    2. Quotation A:このお話、なかったことにしてください。B:「なかったことにする」とはどういうことですか。
    3. Surprise 一人で5種目も優勝とは、まったく驚いた。

    If I try to think about は instead of とは (since とis part of the ようと思っています) then it occurs to me that は marks the topic of the sentence, but I can't really find an explanation.

    Could you please help me out?
    Thank you in advance.
  2. Tonky Senior Member

    I do not know who started calling this は function as "to emphasize" but I'm afraid it is not the case. It can be emphasized as a result, though.
    In general, major は functions are listed as below;
    1) topic marking
    2) comparison
    3) negation scope
    (We have been discussing these on the recent threads, but these are the major ones usually listed in most grammatical books.)
    Your example is 3, (could be 2 depending on contexts or how you read it) 「通訳になろうと思います」the underlined part is negated by using は and ません here.

    FYI, とは that you quoted from 日本語文型辞典 are showing different ones from your example. They are the shortened version of というのは. (1 "what we/you call" 2 "what you said" 3 "what I heard/saw" or "what you said/showed" depending on contexts.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  3. persipeta New Member

    Catalan, Spanish (Spain)

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