895 - ということだ (in other words)

JLPT N3: ということだ (in other words; in short; which is to say)

In an earlier lesson, we saw that ということだ can be used as a "hearsay marker" (i.e. used when quoting information gotten from a third party): 

幻の光、グリーンフラッシュを見た人には、幸運が訪れるということだ
まぼろし の ひかり、 グリーンフラッシュ を みた ひと に は、 こううん が おとずれる ということだ。
They say that good fortune will befall any person that witnesses that legendary flash of light, the green flash.
Literally: “phantom / illusion / dream + の + light, + green flash + を + saw + person + に + は, + luck / good fortune + が + visit + ということだ.”
Note: This is referring to the green flash that can be seen at sunset... if you're lucky.


↑ I think that the above usage of ということだ is a little bit more difficult to use naturally than the usage we're looking at in this lesson, which I also happen to encounter more often:

Using ということだ to summarize or interpret information, or to confirm the meaning of what someone has said.

 

Here's an example:

来週の月曜日は祝日です。つまり、3連休ということです
らいしゅう の げつようび は しゅくじつ です。 つまり、 さんれんきゅう ということです。
Next Monday is a holiday. Which is to say, it is a 3-day weekend.
Literally: “next week + の + Monday + は + public holiday + です. + in summary / in short, + 3 consecutive days off + ということ + です.”
Note: It is fairly common to see つまり and ということだ used in the same sentence, as we see here.


As you can see in the above example, the second sentence is essentially just summarizing the implications of the first sentence: Since Monday is a holiday, it is a three day weekend.

I went with this translation:
Next Monday is a holiday. Which is to say, it is a 3-day weekend.

But I think something like this would have been fine, too;
Next Monday is a holiday. In other words, it is a 3-day weekend.

 

In spoken language, ということだ can be changed to ってことだ.

Also, depending on the sentence, ということ/ってこと won't necessarily be followed by or です. For example, in our next sentence, it is followed by , which makes it sound like the speaker is talking to himself/herself:

スプラッシュ・マウンテンの身長制限は90センチ以上か。じゃあ、圭太は乗れないってことか。
スプラッシュ・マウンテン の しんちょう せいげん は きゅうじゅっ センチ いじょう か。 じゃあ、 けいた は のれない ってこと か。
The minimum height to ride Splash Mountain is 90 centimeters. I guess that means Keita can't go on it.
Literally: “Splash Mountain + の + height + limit / restriction + は + 90 + centimeters + not less than + か. + then, + Keita + は + can't ride + ってこと + か.”

 

It is also possible to use ということだ when inferring the implicit meaning of what someone said, as person B does in the following dialogue...

 A: 
明日から来なくていいよ。
あした から こなくて いい よ。
You don't need to come in anymore after today.
Literally: “tomorrow + from + even if (you) don't come + good + よ.”

 B: 
つまり私は首ということですね。
つまり わたし は くび ということです ね。
So, what you're saying is, I'm fired, right?
Literally: “in summary / in short + I + は + fired (=neck) + ということ + です + ね.”

 

Just one dialogue left to look at...

 A: 
現金不可だって。
げんきん ふか だ って。
It says cash isn't accepted.
Literally: “cash + not possible + だ + って.”

 B: 
ってことは、クレジットカードで払えってこと
ってことは、 クレジットカード で はらえ ってこと?
So, they're saying to pay with credit card?
Literally: “ってこと は, + credit card + で + pay (=[command]) + ってこと?”
Note: This first ってことは, which you'll also see as ということは, is like a set phrase, meaning something like "in other words," "in short, "etc. It's a bit like つまり.


By the way, note that the って in person A's sentence is a hearsay marker, which is covered in an N4 lesson (and also in Bunkai Beast).

 

Hey, what about the construction rules for ということだ

Yeah, about that...

Generally speaking, it comes right after plain-form words. However, it is possible to come after all sorts of different word types (e.g. after a command-form verb in our last example), so we didn't include any color coding for this lesson.

 

That's all. You're done!

You've learned another N3 grammar point ということです.
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