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Friday, February 15, 2008

2級 Grammar 16-20

This is the last of the grammar that I've already learned. After today, it'll come slower, and it'll be newer to me, so it'll probably make less sense.

16) かけだ ・ かけの ・ けける

Used to talk about something that has been begun, but not yet completed. A 食べかけの bento is one that someone has started to eat, but not yet finished.

Ex: 明日の予定は忘れかけていた。

17) がたい
hard to...
difficult to...
cannot be...

This is attached most often in the following ways: 理解しがたい、想像しがたい、信じがたい、表しがたい、耐えがたい、許しがたい、得がたい, so you can see that it's used mostly for abstract concepts and not like, "Man, tying my shoe is really difficult when I have gloves on." It's more like, "It's really difficult for me to understand why you've been trying to tie your shoes with gloves on for the last ten minutes."

Ex: あの二人はいつも喧嘩しているから、なんでつきあっているか理解しがたい。

18) がちだ ・ がちの
is always...
is often...
tends to...

Make a note about my translation as "is always..." I don't mean it in the literal sense, but rather in the hyperbolic, "That dude is ALWAYS getting sick," sense because... that's what がちだ means. Again, as is so often the case with Japanese constructions or Yo-ji-juku-go, even, it's mainly intended for negative usage.

Ex: 日本に始めて来て、日本語で喋ろうとしたけど、間違えがちだった。

19) かと思うと ・ かと思ったら ・ と思うと ・ と思ったら
before you know it...
at almost exactly the same time...
あっという間に。。。(although, I'm getting some flack from Yuri over this definition. She says they're like the same meaning, but you wouldn't replace one with another. Except that when we looked at the examples in my book, she agrees that all of the と思ったらs could be restated using あっという間に. I'm still posting it 'cause it helps me understand the construction conceptually... but be warned: Japanese girlfriends may balk.)

This one is used when saying "As soon as A happens, along comes B," and it expresses the speaker's surprise over the fact that B comes. It's most often appropriate when A and B are opposites.
It had just started raining when the clouds went away and the sun came out, とか。。。

Ex: 彼女が僕に怒ったかと思うと、すぐ許してくれた。

QUESTION FOR THE NIRAV: Why and how do you know when to use か at the beginning?

20) か~かないかのうちに
as soon as...
right after...

This one is also defined as "at almost exactly the same time" but it doesn't express any subjective suprise. It's just objective order. As soon as the light turned green, I hit the gas.

Ex: 私は、早起きがすごい苦手です。毎朝、アラームがなっても、ずっとずっと、ふとんの中にいます。お兄さんは逆です。目が覚めるか覚めないかのうちに立ち上がります。


Nirav said...


Your friendly neighborhood (global neighborhood) Nirav-man checking in.

When I first read this question, I didn't really have a good answer for it. I'm still not sure if what I've come up with is correct, but I think one of the main things it has to do with is tense.

Let's consider your example sentence, which, by the way, I would change a little bit to:


"I thought I'd in trouble with my girlfriend, but she let it go with a smile."

I feel like the passive voice flows better as Japanese (since you can take out that clumsy 僕に,
and it also expresses the concept that you don't like being in trouble with your girlfriend).

Back to the main point. I think with か, I think that it implies uncertainty about whether you will get in trouble or not. It also may express a gap between the time that you do what you'd be in trouble for (like wrecking her car) and her finding out about it.

I will think on it and discuss with my sources, and then get back to you.

AzzidisRidden said...

The problem, as I'm experiencing it, is that と思うと、 doesn't always translate literally as "I thought..." something.

Like, in the sentence ”雨が降った(か)と思うと、晴れた。”

You didn't just THINK it was going to rain and then it was sunny. It literally was raining, but then, before you knew it, the sun came out.
So if my girlfriend got super-pissed off at me(past tense, not, I thought she was going to), but two seconds later she forgave me (outwardly, while secretly harboring deep, permanent resentment inwardly).

In talking to Japanese people, this seems to be a part of the mystery that surrounds the use of か。When you include か、the meaning seems to shift towards what you think/feel about what is happening, and what actually is happening.
This requires further investigation.

AzzidisRidden said...

Okay. I broke down and consulted a kokugo sensei at the middle school, which I hate doing, because... they talk to me like I'm retarded, but here it goes (She had to find the answer by looking up か in a dictionary!):

When you include か, you're using it like you would say かな~、and thereby shifting the emphasis of the sentence slightly to how surprised you are by whatever you're discussing.

Look at the three example sentences my book gave:

The speaker is registering surprise at how quickly time seems to pass in relation to Tanaka-san.

In this case, it's not surprising that rain would fall when the sky is dark, but the speaker is still surprised by how quickly the weather went from (conceivably) non-threatening, to dark, to down-pour.


The baby was crying one second, and now it's laughing. But then... that's the thing about babies. People expect them to act like that, so it's not so surprising as much as it is cute. The emphasis is on the quick transition, but NOT the surprise of the speaker.

Claytonian said...

I knew the answer, but you only asked Nirabu-chan (;_;)
(btw, can you drop the word verification? there are no spammers on blogger anymore)

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