Thursday, February 28, 2019

ii koto いいこと

In Japanese, ii koto いいこと means literally a "good thing," but it's also used, in female speech, as an interjection to call somebody's attention before telling them something.

It's also spelled ii koto いい事, 良いこと, 良い事, 好いこと, or 好い事. A variant is yoi koto よいこと, よい事.

いいこと? 戦うためには力が要るのよ でもドール単体では器にすぎない
Manga: Rozen Maiden, ローゼンメイデン (Chapter 9)

Normal Usage

The phrase ii-koto いいこと is the i-adjective ii いい, "good," plus the nominalizer koto こと, also spelled koto 事, "thing." It normally means, as you'd expect, "good thing."

  • kore wa ii koto da
    This is a good thing.

It can be used, for example, to talk about good things happening (or not):

  • nanka ii koto nai kana?
    Like, is there nothing good?
    • Why nothing good happens?
  • ii koto ippai
    Lots of good things.
  • ii koto ga okoru
    Good things happen.
  • nanika ii koto demo atta no ka?
    Has something good happened [or something]?
    • Is that why you're so happy?
のどかなお正月だなあ 今年はいいことがありそうだ。
Manga: Doraemon ドラえもん (Chapter 1)
  • nodoka na
    oshougatsu da naa

    [It's such a] peaceful New Year, [isn't it?]
  • kotoshi wa
    ii koto ga
    arisou da.

    This year it seems good things will happen.
    • This year it seems something good will happen.
    • Narrator: this year good things wouldn't, in fact, happen.

It can also be used when you do something good:

  • ii koto wo shita
    [I] did a good thing.
    [I] did something good.

Or when you say or hear something good. In the latter case, generally something you wanted to hear, something interesting.

  • ii koto iu ne
    [You] say a good thing.
    [You] say something good.
    (habitual sentence.)
    • Well said!
  • tama niwa ii koto iu-n-da
    Occasionally, [you] say something good.
    • Once in a while you say something good. (implying usually they say nonsense.)
  • ii koto kiita
    [I] heard a good thing.
    [I] heard something good.
    [I] heard something [interesting].
    • I see, I see, very interesting. Very interesting, I say!
一ついいことおせえてやるよ。 こんなもんはな、撃てて当たりゃいいんだよ。
Manga: Black Lagoon (Chapter 8)
  • Context: Two-Hands succinctly elaborates her argument against the notion of which the appearance and/or background history pertaining to a firearm is of any importance.
  • hitotsu ii koto oseete yaru yo.
    [I'll] teach one good thing.
  • konna mon wa na,
    This sorta thing, [you see],
  • utete atarya ii-n-da yo.
    [If you] shoot and [it] hits, [it's] good.
    • That's enough.
    • atarya - contraction.
    • utete atareba ii
      Good if shoot and hit.

Usage in Female Speech

Sometimes, ii koto いいこと appears at the start of sentences and is used to call somebody's attention before saying something, similar to how ano ne あのね would be used.

This usage is female speech, or "female language," joseigo 女性語, so it's likely you'll only ever see female characters using ii koto like this.

いいこと? 戦うためには力が要るのよ でもドール単体では器にすぎない
Manga: Rozen Maiden, ローゼンメイデン (Chapter 9)
  • Context: Shinku 真紅 explains how proxy battle-based anime plots work to a main character who just got himself into a proxy battle-based anime plot via magic contract.
  • ii koto?
    • Just pretend it means "let me tell you something good," or "do you want to hear something good?" or "do you know what's good?" Or something like that, except it's not used before telling someone something good, it's just used to call their attention.
  • {tatakau} tame niwa
    chikara ga iru no yo

    In order {to fight}, power is necessary.
    (double subject construction.)
    • To fight, I need power. (no. wai.)
  • demo
    dooru tantai dewa
    utsuwa ni suginai

    But a doll alone doesn't exceed a vessel.
    • However, a doll is but a vessel.
    • I'm nothing more than a vessel.
  • (insert some half-baked anime logic required to shoehorn a middle school kid protagonist into a violent poltergeistic killer doll battle royale here.)

Warui Koto 悪いこと

The phrase warui koto 悪いこと means "bad thing," it's the antonym of ii koto, having warui 悪い, "bad," as the adjective instead.

  • kore wa warui koto da
    This is a bad thing.
  • warui koto wo shita
    [I] did a bad thing.
    [I] did something bad.
  • warui koto wo shite wa ikenai
    Doing bad things is no go. (literally.)
    Doing bad things is bad.
    [You] shouldn't do bad things.
  • warui koto shicha ikenai
    (same meaning, contraction.)

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