レンタルおにいちゃん - Week 4 Discussion (Absolute Beginners Book Club)

レンタルおにいちゃん Week Four: Pages 35-46

Start Date: 29th August

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*Created by @nfive. Contains list of grammar points for the week with links to Bunpro explanations.


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7 Likes

I want to keep reading. :smiley:

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Pg. 37

-I tried to break down 書けることなんてあるわけないじゃん.

書けること= act of writing
なんて = something like
ある = exist
わけない = DeepL says “there is no way,” Jisho suggests it’s the negative of “separate.” I’m going with DeepL.
じゃん = right?
There is no way something to write exists, right?
She doesn’t have anything to write about, does she?

Is わけない just an phrase to be memorized or can anyone offer any insight into it?

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Pg. 37

だった参観に来てくれる家族もいないのなにさあ。

来てくれる So I looked it up and this means something like “do us a favor by coming.” That English translation sounds a little sarcastic. Is this just a default polite way of speaking in Japanese?

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I too was super confused until I found definition 2 here: https://jisho.org/word/訳無い

At which point everything clicked so I think your translation is correct.

Well I mean it is Sae-chan so sarcastic fits the bill… But in general I do think this sentence is mostly neutral, the 来てくれる can be translated in this case from Kanami’s perspective as “will come (for her/because she asked/for her sake/etc.)”

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Page 39

これ この間ママに買ってもらったの

Why does Sae use この間ママ here? What does the あいだ here add? Emphasizing the relationship? To rub that fact that she has a mother in Kanami’s face?

Little monster…

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書ける is the potential form (can write).

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My mom bought this for me the other day.
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I feel really dumb now :laughing:

Thanks.

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Page 37 (and a bit of Page 36)

As @tomwamt mentioned, this わけない is likely short for わけがない. If you think of わけ as referring to a “reasonable conclusion”, 「わけ が ある」 is “there is a reason”, 「わけ が ない」 would be “there is no reason”. If there is no reason for something, then that something cannot be, thus the dictionary translation “there is no way that…”

For those who are very new to grammar, here's how the pieces fit together.

The sentence begins with 「()ける」. The verb 「書く」 means “to write”. Changing the last letter from the う row of the hiragana chart to the え row and adding る gives us the potential form 「()ける」 (can write).

In a Japanese sentence, a verb comes at the end (aside from any sentence-ending particles). Here, however, it’s followed by a noun. That means this verb is modifying that noun.

The noun is こと. This is like the word “thing” in English. However, in English, “thing” can refer to something tangible (“What is that thing?” “It’s my rental pet!”) or something intangible (“The thing is, I don’t think rental pets are such a good idea.”) In Japanese, こと is used for intangible things, concepts. (For tangible things, もの is used.)

What kind of intangible thing, concept is this こと referring to? After all こと, can refer to pretty much any intangible thing, or concept. In order to narrow it down to the specific meaning, there needs to be a modifier before it.

「書けること」

The intangible “thing” (concept) is “being able to write”, or perhaps more loosely “having a thing to write about”.

We can see this back on page 36 as well:

「叶実ちゃんって 書けること あるのかなー」

“Speaking of Kanami-chan, I wonder if there is anything to write about.”

こと here (thanks to the verb modifying it) is the concept of something to write about.

Back to the line on page 37:

「書けることなんて」

The concept of something to write about is modifying なんて. You’ll find this in dictionaries as “things like; something like; someone like; such a thing as”, and that’s pretty accurate.

Such a thing as anything to write about.”

This is all modifying the verb ある, which indicates existence. ある can refer to any kind of existence, but since Sae-chan is talking about a specific existence, it’s modified by the words that come before it to narrow down what she’s referring to:

「書けることなんてある」

Existence of such a thing as anything to write about.”

As this point, the sentence probably sounds incomplete. That’s because at this point, the sentence is just 「ある, and the words that modify it」.

ある is itself a modifier, for わけ (a reasonable conclusion):

「書けることなんてあるわけ」

There are all kinds of reasonable conclusions one can make. What reasonable conclusion is being made with this わけ? You know by what’s modifying it:

“A reasonable conclusion there is something to write about.”

It’s still not a complete sentence yet, but we’re about to get there, as what comes after わけ is the subject-marking が. Or, it would be, except (as noted), わけがない often becomes わけない, due to being such a common expression.

What is this subject doing? After the subject is ない, which is “not exist”. The subject doesn’t exist. There is no “reasonable conclusion there is something to write about.”

“There’s no reasonable conclusion there is something to write about.”

Or in more smooth English: “She can’t possibly have anything to write about” (based on the reasoning that she doesn’t have a family).

Page 37

Use of 「verb + くれる」 is fairly common. Expect to see it several times in this volume!

The politeness level is based on the verb at the end of the sentence. Since this sentence is left unfinished, as it ends in のに, there’s no identifying the politeness of the sentence.

15 Likes

LOL Thanks for the chuckle :slight_smile:

I think it should be noted that the sentence is actually

だって参観に来てくれる家族もいないのにさあ

I read it as After all, she has no family to come visit.

When put together with the previous sentence, I interpreted it as something like She’s got nothing to write about, right? After all, she doesn’t even have a family that can visit.

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I’d say your interpretation is spot on, especially when in context the next line is someone recalling hearing that Kanami has a brother.

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So I realised that 嘘 has multiple meanings; I’m hoping I understood these sentences right. Help! :sweat_smile:

Page 37:
叶実ちゃんの嘘なんじゃない?

You sure she didn’t lie? (about having an older brother)

Page 42:
叶実ちゃんの嘘なんじゃない?

Am I being silly?

Edit: Wait… I think I figured it out. Because she’s thinking to herself, is she recalling the girl wondering out loud if Kanami was a liar?

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Correct. The thick, loosely drawn word balloons here show that she’s “hearing” what was said in class before. If this were an anime, you’d hear the actual voices of the kids from class reciting their prior lines in a lower “internal monologue”-sounding voice.

In this manga (as is typical in manga), actual internal monologue would either have rectangular word boxes, or no containing balloon around them.

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Regarding the very beginning (page 36).
皆わかってると思うけど
Is the teacher saying and implying “I think everyone has understood this, but … (I’ll repeat again just to be sure)”

Also, on the same page.
作文は当日発表
I don’t fully understand this connection. I read it as “The essay is the day of the presentation”, but that of course doesn’t really work.
My guess is that 当日発表 works as a unit, meaning something like “the day where people will need to presentations” and then the complete translation perhaps turns into “the essay will be evaluated by/on the day where we present it/do presentations”.
But It feels like I’m over-complicating this now and getting something wrong.

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That’s right:

皆 - everyone
わかってる - is understanding
と思う - I think
けど - but

Page 36

作文は当日発表だからちゃんと書いてきてね

I read this as:

作文は - regarding the essay
当日 - the day in question
発表 - presenting
だから - therefore
ちゃんと - properly
書いてきて - write *
ね - sentence ender (adding emphasis)

The essay will be presented on the day in question, so please write it well.

(*) 書いてきて is 書く(to write) in て form followed by くる (also in て form). て form of a verb plus くる can have a number of meanings which are driven by the context. I tend to think of it loosely as “come X-ing”, in this case “come writing”, or “come having written (it) (properly)”. In this context I felt in English it could just be expressed as “write”.

書いてきて felt like there was an implied ください at the end - 書いてきてください - please write it.

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The Absolute Beginner Book Club is NOW VOTING on what book we’ll read after this one. Click here to go to the poll.

There are eight options so have a look through the summaries for each book, have a look at the sample pages, and then cast your vote! The poll will stay open for a few days.

(For those who want to carry on reading the other volumes of レンタルおにいちゃん there will likely be a spin off club for continuing this series - assuming there is an interest in this)

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Page 36

One area people will encounter this a lot, especially if they’re reading manga, or watching anime or other television shows that show a family at home, is when someone is leaving the house. In this situation, the person says ()って()ます. This is a combination of “to go” and “to come” (with ます to make it polite).

Here are a couple of manga examples.

i-027x

Here, ()って()ます means “go and come”, with the understand of “I’m going away, and then later I will come back”.

Back to Page 36, when saying ()いてきて, it is “to write” and “to come”. There is a sense that one will “write and then come back”, which implies they will be writing it somewhere else than at school. In context, it’s clear that the students will go home, write their essay, and then come back (a following day) to present it.

And, as @Micki said, there’s essentially an implied ください at the end. The difference is that when て+ください is used, it’s a request. When て alone is used, it’s a command.

Further reading:

When a verb and 来る/来ます are joined like this, the latter is typically written without kanji. This is why the teacher’s dialogue is written as 書いてきて, and not 書いて来て. (I wrote it with kanji to more clearly reflect what the second verb means.)

In other sentences, we’ve seen how modifiers are used (such as adjectives placed before noun), which can make a sentence look more complicated than it is. Here, we see another way that sentences can look more complicated: combining sentences. This is where two sentences are joined together.

Here, we have two sentences, joined by から:

  • 作文は当日発表だ
  • ちゃんと書いてきてね

から has a few uses depending on context. When it’s joining two sentences, its usage says the first sentence is the cause of the second sentence. “Do Sentence2 because of Sentence1.” “Because Sentence1, do Sentence2.”

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That makes me happy to hear, I’d love to see how the story continues!

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Edit: In regards to the manga example Christopher posted earlier -

My brain is itching to understand why one girl is using 参る instead of 行く but would that take the discussion too far off topic? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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