Itta koto-wa itta-kedo, hotondo oboete-inai-no. (I’ve been there, but I don’t remember much about it.)

Situation 1: Ms. Gray asks her colleague about Nikko.

グレイ: ねえ、日光に行ったことがある? とても立派な神社があるんでしょう?

田町: 修学旅行で行ったことは行ったけど、中学生だったから、ほとんど覚えていないの。

Gray: Nē, Nikkō-ni itta koto-ga aru? Totemo rippana jinja-ga aru-n-deshō?

Tamachi: Shū gaku-ryokō-de itta koto-wa itta-kedo, chū gakusei-datta-kara, hotondo oboete-inai-no.

Gray: Hey, have you ever been to Nikko? It has a very sacred shrine, doesn’t it?

Tamachi: I went there for a school trip, but I was a junior-high-school student and I don’t remember much about it.

Today, we will introduce the proper use of the pattern XことはXけど、Y, which is used to mean that X may be true, but Y. The speaker confirms X, but he or she wants to say Y in opposition. The first X is a verb in a noun-modifying form, and the second X is a verb in plain form. Xけど can be replaced by Xが or Xけれども. Example: 青木(あおき)さんのことを知(し)っていることは知(し)っているけれども、もう何年(なんねん)も会(あ)っていないんだ。 (I know Mr. Aoki, but I haven’t seen him for many years.) When X is a suru-verb, the nominal part of the second X verb can be omitted, as in 彼(かれ)に説明(せつめい)したことはしたんだけど、彼はちゃんと聞(き)いていなかったらしい。 (I explained it, but they didn’t seem to listen very well.)

Situation 2: Mr. Sere asks his colleague about a restaurant.

セレ: 「ほそかわ」っていう日本料理店、おいしいんだって?

三田: あの店はおいしいことはおいしいけど、値段がすごく高いから、なかなか行けないよ。

Sere: “Hosokawa”-tte-iu Nihon-ryōri-ten, oishii-n-datte?

Mita: Ano mise-wa oishii koto-wa oishii-kedo, nedan-ga sugoku takai-kara, nakanaka ikenai-yo.

Sere: Mita, I heard that the Japanese restaurant “Hosokawa” is good, right?

Mita: That restaurant is good, but the price is very expensive and I just can’t afford to go there.

X can also be an i-adjective or na-adjective in plain form. In this pattern, the speaker does not deny X, but he or she has something more to say. Example: ネットショッピングは便利(べんり)なことは便利だけど、個人情報(こじんじょうほう)が漏(も)れないか心配(しんぱい)だ。 (I admit Internet shopping is convenient, but I’m anxious about my personal information being leaked.) X can also be a noun, and the pattern XであることはXけどY is usually used in this case, as in この本(ほん)は名作(めいさく)であることは名作だが、読(よ)んだことがある人は少ないだろう。 (Yes, this book is a masterpiece, but not many people have ever read it.)

Bonus Dialogue: Mrs. Okubo is asking her son about studying.

母: この前(まえ)の模擬試験(もぎしけん)の成績(せいせき)、ひどかったじゃないの。ちゃんと勉強(べんきょう)しているの?

光男: やっていることはやっているけど、まだ効果(こうか)が出(で)ていないんだ。

母: 勉強のやりかたがよくないんじゃない? また塾(じゅく)に行(い)ってみたら?

光男: そうだなあ。塾もいいことはいいんだけど、ぼくには合(あ)わないと思う。自分(じぶん)で答(こた)えを見(み)つけるほうがやる気(き)がでるんだ。

母: そういう気持(きも)ちは大事(だいじ)にしなければならないと思っているのよ。でも、受験(じゅけん)までもう時間(じかん)がないでしょう。これじゃ、第一志望(だいいちしぼう)の合格(ごうかく)は無理(むり)じゃないの。

光男: 難(むずか)しいことは難しいけど、まだ希望(きぼう)はあると思うよ。

母: じゃ、早(はや)く実行(じっこう)しなさい!

光男: はいはい。[自分(じぶん)の部屋(へや)に行く]

母: 光男(みつお)はいつも返事ばかり調子(ちょうし)いいけど、いつになったら本当(ほんとう)にやるのかなあ。

Mother: The result of your last mock exam was terrible, right? Have you been studying properly?

Mitsuo: I’ve been studying, but I haven’t got good results yet.

Mother: Your study method isn’t good, perhaps? Why don’t you attend cram school again?

Mitsuo: Well, yes, going to cram school is good, but it doesn’t suit my personality. I’m more motivated when I find the answers by myself.

Mother: Feeling motivated like that is good. But, you don’t have much time until the university entrance exam. At this speed, it’ll be impossible for you to be accepted to your first choice.

Mitsuo: It might be difficult, but I think there’s still hope.

Mother: Then, put it into practice right away!

Mitsuo: Yeah, I know. [goes to his room]

Mother: He’s always a real smooth talker, but when will he do what he says?

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