合う&間 - Two simple yet complicated words?

Hey all I’m back to finally ask about these two words… They have been troubling me since… Well I “learnt” them lol.

So I know 合う is “to suit” but I’ve seen it being used in what I consider more “abstract” ways.
間(ま/あいだ) has just been a lost cause for me since day 1. I don’t really understand it at all. My tutor had described it to me as a meaning of “between”. But when I see this on its own out in the wild I just can not comprehend it…

This time, I have come loaded with two example sentences which may hopefully help with the cases in which these words are making me confused :slight_smile:
1 : イベントまでに間に合っていれば出してるはず
^My interpretation : If it is matching between by the event, (it) should be going out.
2 : 私が悪いんです スピードを出しすぎた、ブレーキが間に合わなかった
^My interpretation : I am bad… I was making speed come out too much, the brakes did not suit in between

Sorry for the weirder translation, I try to think more literally (I find it helps me think more ‘in Japanese’) but nonetheless my translations are probably outright wrong in the parts with those two words… I hope it sort of helps to show where I am struggling though!

Any eye opening advice? :sweat_smile:

Thanks again!

(Edit : までに mistake, changed to “by” as in a due date sense, instead of “until”)

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You might want to look into the set phrase, 間に合う :slight_smile:

I would consider it a separate word from the two pieces individually, and it means to be in time for something. Like, to make it in time for a flight or event, etc.

So in this case, they’ll need to leave if they want to make it to the event on time, and in the second sentence I didn’t brake in time.

I think you’re having the same kind of trouble you’d have in English if you tried to break down the phrase “to make it in time” by looking at the meaning of “make” and “time.”

Since it’s such a specific meeting for the combination, it might be better to think of it as a compound and not break it down too much. Since the meaning isn’t really fully literally derived from the individual pieces, and it would be hard to derive a correct meaning from just one specific sense. If you want to dig down though, I figure in an abstract way it’s like the 間 is like the interval of time you have before something bad happens, and the 合 is the getting there successfully, so in that sense if you 間に合う you make it on time.

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To add to what @rodan wrote:

You were soooo close to a happy surprise. 間に合う comes up in wanikani level 14!

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Yeah, if you don’t understand a verb phrase, try looking it up as a set. There’s a chance it’s an expression.

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It’s my fault. I was going too fast, I couldn’t brake in time.

スピードを出す – to speed, drive fast

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Thanks for the explanation, so perhaps I’m really just struggling with 間に合う. To be honest it didn’t even hit me that both my examples were using that lol :slight_smile:

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It… Does?

Can’t remember it at all

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Here, have a secret extra-review:

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The Crabigator shall never know… :eyes:

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