Tsukanukoto (つかぬこと – By the Way)

  • Tsukanukoto


    When asking someone for something, especially when it has nothing to do with the topic so far, we say ‘tsukanukoto wo ukagai masuga‘ (つかぬことを伺いますが) or ‘tsukanukoto wo otazune shimasuga‘ (つかぬことをお尋ねしますが).

    Ukagau‘ (伺う) is a humble form of ‘kiku‘ (聞く – “ask/hear”), ‘tazuneru‘ (尋ねる) is a polite form of kiku, and both of which are used in daily conversation.

    On the other hand, ‘tsukanukoto‘ (つかぬこと) is usually used only in the above phrases.

    Tsuku‘ (つく) means “to attach,” ‘nu‘ (ぬ) is a negative suffix, and ‘koto‘ (こと) means “thing.”
    「つく」は “to attach,” 「ぬ」は否定を意味する接尾辞、「こと」は “thing” を意味します。

    That is to say, tsukanukoto means that the thing doesn’t attach, and it implies that the topic/question doesn’t related to the previous one.

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