かというと (ka to iu to) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Because

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'かというと (ka to iu to) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Because'

Anna Baffa Volpe

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かというと (ka to iu to) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Because

How かというと is formed

The expression かというと is formed:

  • by the interrogative particle
  • by the particle with the meaning of so
  • by the verb say ()
  • by the particle with conditional value if
Phrase 1+かというと+Phrase 2

The interrogative particle introduces a question and the expression can be translated as:

⇨ If I have to answer the question, if I have to explain the thing (in Sentence 1), then I say that ... (Sentence 2).

かというと to refute something

かというと joins 2 sentences in which the first expresses a concept and the second goes to refute and overturn what was said in the first.

Phrase 1+かというと+Phrase 2 that overturns what is stated in Sentence 1


It is not true that Japan is safe.

⇨ If you say that Japan is a safe place, it's not really so.


It is not as if he is overworking.

⇨ (If you ask me) if he is overworked, (I answer that) actually he is not.

かというと to describe something

In this case, the second sentence contains explanations or descriptions referring to the first sentence and the whole proposition ends with からだ.

Phrase 1+かというと+Phrase 2 describing Phrase 1+からだ


The reason for which restaurants want to recommend drinks is because the profit margin is high.

Literally: If I have to explain the reason why restaurants want to promote drinks, it is because the profit margin is high.

We have seen in another post dealing with the verb want, the usage of たい and たがる.


As for how hard it was every day, I averaged about three hours of sleep.

かと()えば synonym of かと()うと

かと()えば is used as a synonym of かと()うと.

()えば is the conditional form of the verb ()say: if I were to say



Which do you prefer, udon or soba?



I like both, but if I had to choose, I would say udon.

どうしてかというと: the reason is

The question どうして why? is used in conjunction with the expression かというと and is placed at the beginning of the second sentence describing the reasons of the first.

Phrase 1 Affirmation.+どうしてかというと+Phrase 2 Description.


She speaks fluently English . It is because she had studied in the USA.

どうしてかと言えば and なぜかと言うと are synonyms of どうしてかと言うと


I don't like her very much, because she is very pessimistic.

Short dialogue between (せん)(せい) teacher and (がく)(せい) student:



Why are you studying Japanese?



Because I love Japanese comics.

The complete phrase of the student's answer is:


The reason I study Japanese is because I love Japanese comics.

Synonyms of どうしてかというと

This expression has several synonyms commonly used in Japanese:

  • 何故(なぜ)かと()うと expression with naze why? / because: naze ka to iu to
  • 何故(なぜ)ならば naze naraba
  • 何故(なぜ)なら naze nara; naraba and nara are conditional auxiliaries meaning if: If (I have to say) why
  • その()(ゆう)riyū means reason, motive: that reasonthe reason why... is ...
  • ()うのは with the verb say ()う: this means; because; that is to say...


I read books every day. It's because I love books..

It's because you will be my friend.
ぼくの(なか)(): member of my group


It's because you will be my friend.


I like this place, because I have many memories.


5 May, the Children's Day is the day to celebrate the healthy development of children.


どちら is an interrogative of the Kosoado series, the Japanese demonstratives and means which one? or which side? and as expression of Keigo, the honorific language, it also has the meaning of who?.

To ask for the person's name:


May I ask your name?

どちらかというと is used at the beginning of the sentence and expresses the choice between different options.

The various translations:

  • If anything
  • If I had to choose, I would pick ...
  • I would prefer
  • Relatively speaking


If anything, I don't want to go there.

The translation is adapted according to the context. What the expression implies is that it is always a choice between different options, in this case between going and not going to a certain place. どちら is replaced at a less formal level by どっち


I prefer swimming rather than tennis.


I am rather cautious when driving.

Examples of かというと


The job is very hard, but I don't want to quit.


I'm more of a forward-thinking person.


This product sold very well, because it met the needs of the customers.