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All About Japanese Particles: とか (toka)

[Serie: All About Japanese Particles]

1. Joins nouns, verbs (clauses), or adjectives to indicate several representative items from a much larger possible listing: “among other things, such things as.”

Note: When used with nouns, to ka has the same meaning as ya (#8, no. 1), but is more informal. See also ka (#11, II-4).

Kinō depāto de, sētā to ka kutsu to ka o katta.
Yesterday I bought a sweater, shoes, and some other things at the department store.

Yasumi ni wa jogingu o suru to ka, tenisu o suru to ka shite imasu.
When I’m off work, I do things like jogging and playing tennis.

*2. Used after pairs of words of opposite meaning, indicating uncertainty.

Kawaguchi-san wa, ano ginkō ni tsutomeru to ka tsutomenai to ka itte imashita ga, dō narimashita ka.
Kawaguchi was saying that he’d work for that bank and then that he wouldn’t. Whatever happened?

Ano hito wa sono toki ni yotte, shigoto ga omoshiroi to ka omoshiroku nai to ka iu no de, dochira na no ka wakarimasen.
Depending on which day it is, she says she likes her work or she doesn’t like it, so I don’t know whether she does or not.

– Source: All about particles – A handbook of Japanese function words


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