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What does "こと" mean in this sentence?

So far, I know that "こと" can be used for verbs, but how it's used for nouns is still very confusing and mysterious to me. If someone knows of a good guide for this sort of thing, that would be very much appreciated.

Here is the example sentence:

"うちではちちのことを「おやじさん」と言います。"

I don't think I understand... Is it saying, "We call the idea of our father 'Ojisan' at home"?

For learning: Japanese
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    The sentence means "

    At home (/in our family) we call our father "oyaji-san."

    When you add "koto" to a noun, you are just emphasizing that you are talking about *that* person/thing, and often "noun-no-koto" is just translated without "no koto" into English:

    Girl: 本当に私のことが好き? (Do you really like me?)
    Boy: お前のことが大好きだよ。(I like you a lot!)

     

    こと is the substantive form which has few meaning. But actually by using this form, you can avoid some grammatical misunderstandings.
    ex)
    if you say '彼女が好き'. This sentence will be understood in two ways.
    1) I like her. (わたしは彼女が好き) Becuase Japanese can omite Subject.
    2) She likes it. ( 彼女はit

     

    こと is the substantive form which has few meaning. But actually by using this form, you can avoid some grammatical misunderstandings.
    ex)
    if you say '彼女が好き'. This sentence will be understood in two ways.
    1) I like her. (わたしは彼女が好き) Becuase Japanese can omite Subject.
    2) She likes it. ( 彼女はitを好き). Because Japanese can omite Object according to the situation.
    To avoid these kind of misunderstading, you can use こと.
    彼女のことが好き never can meaning of sentence 2. The sentence is always meaning of sentence 1.

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