493 - こととなると
When the subject turns to Japan, I suddenly become very interested.
It doesn't make any sense to me. Why Japan? What is it about this country that lured me in all those years ago?
Japanese people like to ask "Why did you come to Japan?" Sadly, I've never had a very good answer to the question. If I said "I don't know," they'd give me a suspicious look, probably thinking, "You probably just love anime, don't you?" I mean, that's the default reason these days, right?
But I was interested in Japan before I even knew that anime existed. That does not, however, excuse me from the otaku label. I was a ninja for the fifth, sixth, and seventh Halloweens of my life.
Back then, you could have said...
When it comes to ninja stuff, young Niko gets all worked up.
Anyway, I'm digressing.
JLPT N2: こととなると (when it comes to...; when the subject turns to...)
We use こととなると when we want to say that someone's attitude regarding a certain topic differs from the norm.
かのじょ は ファッション の こととなると、 きゅうに おしゃべり に なる。
When the subject turns to fashion, she suddenly becomes very talkative.
Literally: “she + は + fashion + の + こととなると, + suddenly + talkative + に + becomes.”
Here's how it's constructed:
NOUN + の + こととなると
Nice and simple, yeah? In this lesson, we have:
ファッション の こととなると
when the subject turns to fashion; when it comes to fashion
Literally: “fashion + の + こととなると”
おかね の こととなると
when the subject turns to money; when it comes to money
Literally: “money + の + こととなると”
まご の こととなると
when the subject turns to grandchildren; when it comes to grandchildren.
Literally: “grandchild + の + こととなると”
Ready for full example sentences?
Here we go...
おかね の こととなると、 むき に なる ひと が おおい。
A lot of people get all worked up when it comes to money.
Literally: “money + の + こととなると, + get worked up / become serious + person + が + many.”
ナンシー さん は まご の こととなると、 かどな しんぱいしょう に なる。
Nancy-san worries too much when it comes to her grandchildren.
Literally: “Nancy-san + は + grandchild + の + こととなると, + excessive + prone to worrying + に + becomes.”
So... earlier in the lesson, I sort of implied that こととなると can only come after "NOUN + の." But, well, that's not entirely true.
In most cases, it comes after "NOUN + の," but it is also possible (though less common), to put it after a VERB in dictionary form:
V る + こととなると
みか は たべる こととなると、 め を きらきら かがやかせる。
When the subject turns to eating, Mika always gets a sparkle in her eyes.
Literally: “Mika + は + eat + こととなると, + eye + を + glittering / sparkling + shines / sparkles.”
So what is the thing that puts a sparkle in your eyes?
[Something] のこととなると、what do you do?
You don't have to actually tell me, but it's fun to think about. ^^