夜カフェ ☕ Chapter 5 (Beginner Book Club)

That is a funny expression if you flip it to ギリギリ遅刻 it really means you were a little late but like the text I copied from the dictionary says if you have 遅刻ギリギリ it means you were (barely) in time.

p50 you got it, so nothing to add :smiley:

I read it as the smile was so ackward (to that extent!) that it was followed by silence from both sides and gave her the feeling he is despirited


Broke this down ハナビに、出ていかないように言ってくれ This is the part the mother said to to the father probably after accepting to go to work. Please tell hanabi to don’t go” the please is the くれ.
ってことだったけど shows that what was just said was a quote but.
それなら仕事をことわればいいんだよ。This is him complaining that if she feels that way why didn’t she refuse to go to work…

I’m not too sure what your problem with this one is but you seem to know the meaning either way so I wont comment on that one.


I think I can answer a few of your questions on the pg 52 line from a purely grammatical standpoint (I still haven’t read the chapter yet)

It seems to be marking her as the indirect object of 言ってくれ, “tell (to) Hanabi”

だった is the past tense of だ, so it’s “was a thing” (or really, “was [nominalized phrase]” since I think the ってこと is ということ, nominalizing what came before it?)

It’s just where the conjunction goes in Japanese. In English we say “A, but B;” in Japanese, it’s “A but, B.”


I agree with @downtimes on p49 and p52.

I understood the p51 quote like this.

その笑顔とは似合わないくらい = so much so that that smile seemed unsuitable

うちの中はしーんとして = the inside of the house was deathly quiet

暗い気がした = it felt dark (as in gloomy)

So, putting it all together:
It was deathly quiet in the house, creating a gloomy feeling. So much so that his smile felt out of place.

…or something like that.

Page 54

I see it as [閉店時間ギリギリ] の [五時少しまえ]. A little before 5, which was just before closing time.


Oooh. Is flipping the ギリギリ position a general thing? And is it often behind something? I’ve mostly seen it used with verbs, i.e. ギリギリ悪くない, where it was (I think) always before the verb.

Well, I did have to consult DeepL, and even then I don’t exactly get how the parts play together.

Let’s have a more concrete question then: Why is the ギリギリ after the 閉店時間? Would the meaning be different if it was ギリギリ閉店時間? That would’ve made more sense to me because it feels more like an adjective - “barely (before) closing time” or “at the last moment (before) closing time”.

And I guess something like 閉店時間の五時 is a common pattern that means something like “the 5 o’clock closing time”? I guess it actually sorta works in English (“the closing time of 5 o’clock”), it’s just not a pattern I’ve seen often yet, so it feels out of place for me.


Heads up ギリギリ isn’t an adjective, it’s an adverb (so is barely), because it modifies the verb. And generally speaking, adverbs can come wherever in the sentence, as far as I know, they most commonly appear before the verb (this link says it a bit differently: Using Adverbs in Japanese - 80/20 Japanese)

Think of it like “It almost was lateness”, or “it was almost late”

If I say it like “The 5 o’ clock closing time”, it feels mostly natural to me, and の doesn’t always translate to of or 's


Technically ギリギリ can be a na-adjective, a noun on its own, an adverb, or a noun taking the genitive case particle の.

Since it is connected to 五時 with the の particle, I would say it’s a noun in the genitive case. I do agree that it is behaving like an adverb in this case. Either way, I just figure making that distinction might help @TobiasW work out why it’s placed where it is in the sentence. It’s placed before the 五時 in this instance because it’s technically a noun taking genitive case in this instance, I think.

I have seen ギリギリ all over in sentences. It is pretty versatile as a word. Interestingly, while it is listed as a な adjective, I’ve not yet seen it used that way yet.


Ah, I was looking at the wrong one, the one on 49, there’s it’s definitely an adverb, with the other one I agree with you


Yeah, the linked article’s explanations fit with how I know - no surprises here. But it doesn’t answer my actual question: Why do 遅刻ギリギリ and ギリギリ遅刻 mean different (opposite) things? Is that a common thing? Is there any grammar pattern behind this that also works in other cases, e.g. 閉店時間ギリギリ?

  • ギリギリ遅刻だった is “just barely late” = “late, but only a little”
  • 遅刻ギリギリだった is “just barely not late” = “not late, but almost” (=ギリギリ遅刻なかった, so the opposite)

“I was barely late” (which ギリギリ usually means, right?) has a completely different meaning to “I was almost late” (which would be something like ほとんど?).


Don’t know but like I said it was a special entry in the dictionary I was looking it up in. So I expect it to be some kind of exceptional case. I’m no expert on ギリギリ. If you are really interested you should ask a japanese native but I don’t think it matters much in the grand sheme of things.

If you immerse yourself long enough stuff like that will clear itself up fast enough and I don’t think you will come into a situation where it matters. In most cases context might also clean it up. At most, if you use it worng, it’s a slight misunderstanding and you will not forget afterwards. Don’t think it is conductive to learning to fret over such minor details for too long.


That’s fair! It’s sometimes hard where to see where to draw the line. Many times letting something go until it randomly clicked (or turned out not to be important after all) has helped, but many other times digging a bit deeper has paid off too.

And in this case I mostly wanted to know whether there is a pattern I should know, and a “I haven’t seen that anywhere else” from someone experienced like you also helps there. Thanks!


Think of an example in English … Why do “animal doctor” and “doctor animal” suggest different things? In each phrase the noun that is being modified is different (and similar to Japanese, it’s the noun that comes at the end of the phrase). I don’t know exactly how it is with ギリギリ and 遅刻, but I suspect the difference comes from that same principal.


That’s an interesting perspective! Ha, now I’m getting even more curious. I guess I’ll ask a native after all and see if they know and report back!

Also, last day of the reading week, and my last batch of questions for this chapter! Thanks as always for your patience with my many questions, and for all the answers. Ah, and the earlier discussion of the “Aiko-san talks about Yamato-kun” part has helped a lot to understand it more on the second read.

ebook page 54:

  • つかれたからかんたんな夕食にしようと、愛子さんが言ったわりには、ふわとろの卵たっぷりのオムライスに加えて、サラダとコーンスープまで作ってくれた。
    Is the second fragment something like “…, considering that Aiko-san said that, [she still made such a big meal]”?
  • やっぱり雑誌に紹介されるだけの味だと感心しながら食べていると、…
    Is the 紹介されるだけの味 part something like “a taste at least like presented in the magazine”? First time I’m seeing だけ used like this, so it might be completely off.

ebook page 56:

  • 「でも、ハナビはほんとに、そう思ってたんでしょ? どうしてあの子がここにいるんだろうって。」 愛子さんはニッコリする。
    I think I’m understanding this correctly (““But you really thought so, didn’t you? You said ‘Why is he here’”, Aiko-san said with a broad smile.”), but I’m not sure why Aiko-san is smiling so much here. It’s not a nice situation, and I feel like it’s partly her fault that it happened at all because Hanabi was clearly worried earlier, and she did nothing to explain the honestly weird situation of having a stranger with no explained connection to yourself in the house. Am I misinterpreting anything here?
  • その人も良くしてくれるんだけど、どうしても亡くなったお母さんがわすれられなくて、ついくらべてしまうからなのかなって言ってた
    I have some trouble with that last section. I get the ついくらべてしまう (“unintentionally compares [his current mother to the mother that died]”) and the って言ってた (“…he said”), but I have no idea what to make of the からなのかな hiragana salad in the middle.

ebook page 57:

  • ヤマト君ったら、自分がいないほうが家族がうまくいくんだなんて言うんですもの、ほっとけなかったの。」
    Is the なんて here the “such a thing as” なんて, and kind of replaces って the quotation particle that should be in front of the 言う? Like “Yamato-kun said such a thing as “My family gets along better without me being there”, and I couldn’t just leave him alone.”?

Hello there, it’s me again :smiley:

I translated it as “in spite of what Aiko-san said” second definition

I’m honestly also not too sure about that one and hope that someone else will chip in.

I don’t think you’re misinterpreting much. I interpreted the second sentence as “Your thinking “why is that kid here”” since the って has the verb omitted and she didn’t directly say that phrase. Though that doesn’t change the meaning much. I feel it is just Aiko’s personality. She is happy that hanabi spoke exactly how she felt and didn’t hold back her feelings. That’s something that aiko san would encourage. After that she does explain it in detail, to make hanabi understand, and there’s always time to apologize. I think she’s just happy hanabi is speaking her mind.

I think the kara na no kana refers back to the previous sentence to clarify why the relationship doesn’t work well between them. から for reason なの to give it an explanatory tone かな to make it into a hypothesis.

Yes. It has ads also a bit of a negative feeling to what it is attached to.


I think this one is だけ with the meaning of indicating an extent or amount, so something like “a flavor to the extent that it was introduced in a magazine.”


FInished up chapter 5 last night but forgot to post the last few questions I had:

  • How is the sentence 「つぶやくと、すぐさま一組にむかった」broken down, and what does it mean?
  • As I understand, When Hanabi found the bag, a group of girls came by and she asked them about the owner? That part I wasn’t sure of.
  • When Hanabi sees the picture of the “special waffle” in the magazine, she says that she wants some. 「くやしがるあたしに」comes after this. What does it mean? What I found on jisho doesn’t seem to make sense in this context.

つぶやく - to mutter
と- here it carries the “when” meaning.
すぐさま - immediately, at once
一組 - that would be Class 1, or Class A. She found out the girl is in that class from the tag on her gym clothes.
むかった - headed towards
Putting all together: “After muttering this, I immediately headed towards class 1.”

No group of girls. Hanabi is alone. All the quotes you see are her muttering to herself. She gets the name and class from reading the tag on the gym clothes.

I found the v+るだけのN construction in the Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns - it means that (the noun following) is sufficient to (what came before). So probably something like “a taste sufficient (good enough) to be featured in a magazine”.

Edit: Forgot to answer this:

It is in fact the meaning you linked to. This is the introduction to the next sentence, which is what Aiko says to Hanabi. It would mean something like (awkward translation in order to be close to the original) “To the apparently resentful me, (Aiko said),”


I also wasn’t sure about this one, but now that you mention it, I bet it’s a compliment. Like a flavor good enough to be featured in a magazine.

Ah, this has been cleared up already. Late to the party.


Ahh, so it was referring to Hanabi, not Aiko. That makes sense. Thanks!


But the way, I assume 一組 is pronounced “ikkumi” right?


As a counter word, meaning like “one set of”: ひとくみ

In this instance, marking a classroom group: いちくみ

It’s a weird one.