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Grammar detail: nominalization with こと

nominalization with こと - create nouns from other parts of speech
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It is common in Japanese to convert phrases into nouns that can then be used as building blocks for more complex sentences. Conversion of a phrase into a noun is known as 'nominalization' (or 'nominalisation' depending on where you learned your English). Several words can be used as nominalizers, including こと, の and もの, and the situations in which they can be used vary slightly. The most common is こと (thing, object).
verb phrase using verb dictionary form
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こと
nominalizes the verb phrase. For example:
  • る run ➜ ること (the act of) running
  • む read a book ➜ むこと(the act of) reading a book
  • ごす spend time ➜ ごすこと (the act of) spending time
Here are some examples of the usage of こと in more complex sentences:
はなみ
花見
とは
はな
ながらたのしくすごすことです
Cherry blossom viewing is about viewing the flowers and having a good time.
かれ
しゅみ
趣味
えが
ことです
His hobby is painting pictures.
ブログ
こと
です
I like reading blogs.
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See also:
  • particle の - noun replacement

Kanji used in this grammar

ソウ   はし run   
2
ホン   book   もと origin   
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1
ドク   トク   トウ   よ to read   
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1
ジ   とき time, occasion   
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1
カン   ケン   あいだ interval, between   ま space, room   
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1
カ   あやま mistake   あやま to slip up   すぎる to overdo, be more than   すごす to pass, spend   
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3
カ   はな flower   
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2
ケン   み to see   みえる to be seen; to appear   みせる to show   
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1
ヒ   かれ he   
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3
シュ   おもむき gist, purport; appearance   
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5
ミ   あじ taste   あじわう to taste   
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2
カイ   エ   picture
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3
ビョウ   か    えが to draw, depict, portray   
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5
コウ   この    す to like   
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3
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