What is と doing in this sentence?

One of the example sentences for 羨ましい is as follows:


I’m jealous of people who can speak Japanese fluently.

The ぺらぺらと話せる section threw me a bit for a loop. This might be a symptom of me trying to match it to the translation too closely. Could someone help me understand how this phrase works, and maybe provide one or two other examples? Thanks!


Some adverbs need to (or can) have と after them to allow them to modify what follows. Here’s an example sentence from Goo.


Based on this, it looks like と is optional for ぺらぺら.


ペラペラ fluently (speaking a foreign language)​
Adverb, Adverb taking the ‘to’ particle, Na-adjective

build it up

fluently able to speak

person able to speak fluently

person able to speak Japanese fluently

…envy. (I have it)

the two がs in the same sentence throw me off too, figuring out what goes to what


That’s pleasantly straightforward. Thanks!



I just read about onomatopoeia in the “Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar”.
Page 50, it says that onomatopoeia are considered as quotes, and are marked as such by the “to” particle.

It is quite an insighful section of the dictionary, actually. In Japanese, onomatopia are not fully random words, or childish words, but there are fully part of the language. The phonemes in the onomatopia gives out some information about its meaning and the state of mind of the speaker.

Here the ら pattern relates to the notion of fluidity, smoothness.

And ペ* relates to explosiveness, strength.
ぺらぺら is part of the example illustrating strengh-related onomatopia.

This grammar dictionary is a bit dry, but I am planning to continue reading it from cover to back. The fact it only contains “basic Japanese grammar” means that I would certainly need such level of details at some point.


This is an interesting bit of insight!! I’ll have to look at that dictionary for reference.

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