Reported Speech, Part I

This was somewhat explained back in our lesson on using と思う (とおもう // I think that), but the particle と is used to mark quotes.

と is used both when directly quoting what someone said and when paraphrasing what someone said.

For example, when taking a Japanese class, chances are high that you'll come across a very stiff-sounding sentence like this:

こばやし せんせい は 「ラーメン が すき です」 と いいました。
Kobayashi-sensei said, "I like ramen."
Literally: "Kobayashi-sensei + は + ramen + が + liked + です + と + said."

↑ That is what we would label a direct quote. It's a direct quote because (1) it is exactly what Kobayashi-sense said and (2) it appears in quotation marks.

Compare that with the following, which is an indirect quote:

こばやし せんせい は ラーメン が すき だ と いいました。
Kobayashi-sensei said that he likes ramen.
Literally: "Kobayashi-sensei + は + ramen + が + liked + だ + と + said."

I'm making a list of people who care about whether a direct or indirect quote is being marked by と. So far, I've got zero names, not even my own.

Let's get away from the stiff-sounding stuff and look at some natural-sounding casual language.


Do you know what the casual equivalent of と is (when marking quoted content)?

It's って!

For example, remember how I was on the phone with our mutual friend, and you said the following to me?

あした これる か きいて みて。
Ask if she can come tomorrow.
Literally: "tomorrow + can come + か + ask (and) + look (and)."

Having already asked our mutual friend, and finding out that she is indeed joining us tomorrow, I can tell you:

これる って。
She said she can come.
Literally: "can come + って."

Isn't the Japanese so much simpler than the English? I love it when that happens.


I don't really want to get too much into the rules about what types of words, parts of speech, etc., can appear beside other types of words and whatnot, as it's something we'll cover gradually throughout our many lessons. However, I will make an exception here.

In our previous example, we saw that って can come directly after a plain-form verb, yeah?

これる って。
She said she can come.
Literally: "can come + って."
Note: This is the plain form of the possibility tense with the ら removed from the ~られる ending because it is spoken Japanese.

って can also come right after an i-adjective, as so:

はつおん むずかしい って。
She said pronunciation's difficult.
Literally: "pronunciation + difficult + って."

However, generally speaking, when quoting content of some kind in a situation where you want to put a NOUN before って, you would slip a in there, too:

あした しごと だ って。
She said she has work tomorrow.
Literally: "tomorrow + work / job + だ + って."

I wanted to point this out because we've seen だって before, when talking about the ~たって ending:

そんな の だれだって しってる よ。
Everyone knows that (kind of thing).
Literally: "that kind of + の + anyone + is knowing + よ.

...and we're going to see a completely different usage of だって a couple of lessons from now. Something to keep in mind.

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