ちょっとは空気を読んでください

I’m having trouble with the sentence above. I think I’ve grasped the overall meaning, I looked for other threads and read them, but still can’t get the whole picture.

  1. I think ちょっと here is used to “soften what you want to say”, so I can’t translate it with a specific word. hence my second doubt…

  2. I can’t understand why there is the particle は between ちょっと and 空気.

I am trying to study some grammar with Genki, I thought I understood the use of は, but now I’m having doubts…

Thank you!

3 Likes

Was this possibly said in a situation where someone was being a bit sarcastic or biting in saying it?

I get a vibe of like “Could you, even just a little, take a hint?”

As you said, without the は it would be just a literal “a little” or a softener, something like “Hey, could you be a bit more tactful?” but emphasizing ちょっと with は, the person sounds kind of intense.

If it’s what I’m imagining, that would classify it as the “contrastive” は. Where the person is saying basically “I realize you couldn’t 空気を読む to an extent that is more than a little, but how about just a little?”

Particles can be powerful.

4 Likes

a-ha! so it is the example in this picture? I didn’t really get when I first read it, but now I think I do…
So is it a matter of voice intonation?

:open_mouth: definitely

1 Like

Sure, it would have a different intonation to it.

In those other examples the stress is more important to determine that it’s a contrastive は, but in this ちょっと sentence it seems easier to discern because は really wouldn’t follow ちょっと for other reasons typically.

In writing, context overall also usually makes it clear what is being meant.

Leebo, thank you very much for your help!

These example sentences are great, help me drive my grammar study, thanks WK :smile:

1 Like

And just like that, I learn another useful phrase by accident! I like that one. Similar to “read the room”, literally “read the air”.

Thanks for asking this question!

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 4 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.