Every-so-often Grammar/Phrase/Word

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ように言う (you ni iu)

ように言う (you ni iu)
Basic meanings: say/tell ~; say ~ in such a way that
Comments: Tell someone in such a way that he will do something
Key sentence:

sensei wa seito ni syukudai o suru you ni itta.
The teacher told his students to do homework.

Formation: (dictionary-form verb) ように {言う, 頼む, 命じる, etc}

kuru you ni iu

Additional examples:
  1. 田中さんは山本さんにすぐ来るように言た。
    tanaka-san wa yamamoto-san ni sugu kuru you ni itta.
    Mr. Tanaka told Mr. Yamamoto to come right away.
  2. 坂本さんは雪江に図書館の前で待っているように言た。
    sakamoto-san wa yukie ni tosyokan no mae de matte iru you ni itta.
    Mr. Sakamoto told Yukie to be waiting in front of the library.
  3. スミスさんに明日朝九時に来るように言て下さい。
    sumisu-san ni asita asa kuji ni kuru you ni itte kudasai.
    Please tell Mr. Smith to be here at 9:00 tomorrow morning.
Usage notes:

This form is an alternative to the direct quotation form (と{言う, 頼む, 命じる, etc}). Just like in English, where you can say "John told Steve 'Come to my office.'" and "John told Steve to go to his office." (the first using a direct quotation and the second not), it's more natural to use an indirect quotation in many situations. See the following sentences:

  • Direct quotation:
    tanaka-san wa yamamoto-san ni "sugu kinasai" to itta.
    Mr. Tanaka told Mr. Yamamoto "come right away".

    Indirect quotation:
    tanaka-san wa yamamoto-san ni sugu kuru you ni itta.
    Mr. Tanaka told Mr. Yamamoto to come right away.
  • Direct quotation:
    jon-san wa "watasi mo iku" to itta.
    Jon said "I'll go too."

    Indirect quotation:
    jon-san mo iku to itta.
    Jon said he's going too.
  • Direct quotation (said by Mr. Ogawa):
    yamada-san ni "ogawa no jimusyo ni dekiru dake hayaku ikinasai" to itte kudasai.
    Please tell Mr. Yamada "Go to Ogawa's office as soon as possible."

    Indirect quotation (said by Mr. Ogawa):
    yamada-san ni watasi no jimusyo ni dekiru dake hayaku kuru you ni itte kudasai.
    Please tell Mr. Yamada to come to my office as soon as possible.


Great! 2012-02-02 02:02AM
Hey, this is great. I don't know if this is your original material or what but it really sorted out this issue which I was having trouble with until now.
Arigtou ne!
an anonymous Ru
RE: Great! 2012-03-19 08:16PM
I had planned to post an article every week, but sadly, I was too unmotivated to write more. :-( But I'm glad it helped!
2013-10-16 01:27PM
In all of these examples use of “ように言う” seem to be limited to commands. Is this coincidental or is it only grammatically correct to use it this way?
an anonymous andrew
RE: 2013-10-29 02:52PM
Hi, Andrew. It's been a long time since I've studied Japanese, so I can't give you a definitive answer, but I believe that ように言う is only used to ask people to do things. Take care!
2015-08-17 05:45PM
Can you abbreviate "you ni" to "you"? For example: 彼は彼女に公園で待つように言った。 "Kare ha kanojo ni kouen de matsu you ni itta." (He told her to wait in the park.) can you say 彼は彼女に公園で待つよう言った。 "Kare ha kanojo ni kouen de matsu you itta."?
Is it the same thing or is "you" different from "you ni" in this context?
Thank you for your time and excuse me if there are mistakes or something is not grammatically correct, English is not my first language.
an anonymous Umi
RE: 2015-08-18 11:40AM
Hi, Umi. I'm sorry, but I haven't studied Japanese for more than 10 years, and I've forgotten most of it. That said, I haven't heard of people abbreviating "you ni" to "you", so I'd recommend against it. But I can't say for sure...
usage you ni iu 2022-04-28 04:32AM
'you ni iu' is only used to convey inirect commands or requests. In english that would be 'He told Lisa that she has to come to work tomorrow.' or Mr. Little told Charlotte to hand in the paper tomorrow.'.
For requests you can use 頼める instead of 言う. This verb is also aten used in combination with ~てくれる. 私は友達にノートを見せてくれるようにと飲まれた。"I asked my friend to show his/her notes/notebook."
an anonymous Rina

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