Yep, you got it.
I have a follow up question about this:
I read this part as “yearning for things that aren’t realised (yet)”, how do I know it’s more of a definitive “this won’t happen”?
according to jisho, 叶う means
to come true (of a wish, prayer, etc.); to be realized; to be fulfilled.
I’m going to flip this around and ask
- given the definition above, why would it not be definitive?
- how would that work within the context of a robot that’s trying to hide that she’s a robot, but has already been outed
English isn’t my first language, so maybe that’s where the misunderstanding is coming from, because even with the definition above I’d still intuitively say that the present negative wouldn’t exclude any future possibilities of the thing coming true. (Though I also think that using the present negative to express that in English would sound a bit odd.)
Yeah I see your point. I was too focused on the next panel because I had to reread it a few times, so I kept thinking about her implied crush on 笹原先輩 but in the original context my version doesn’t make much sense. Thank you!
I think I see what you’re misunderstanding here.
japanese doesn’t have a grammatical present tense. verbs in the 〜う or 〜ない forms are non-past or imperfective.
without going into too much detail, they tend to express things that are generally true (such as habitual actions), or actions that will happen in the future e.g.
- 買い物する could be “I shop” (habitual action) or “I will shop” (future action)
- 買い物しない could be “I don’t shop” or “I will not shop”
you can generally tell which one someone means based on the surrounding context.
the other thing to note is that you can’t use it to express something that is currently happening (if you wanted to say that you’re currently shopping you’d have to use 買い物している).
when you put all that together, 叶わないもの becomes either “wishes that don’t come true” or “wishes that won’t come true”.
does that make sense? I think this is one of the most confusing (and possibly poorly taught) concepts in japanese grammar if you’re coming from a western language, but you’ll get the hang of it with practice
Speaking of tenses. What a scam it was seeing the past tense in the very first panel, where it’s very clear it’s not about the past (今日日直でした).
With text books like “「だった」 is the past,” this is the reason you can’t trust humanity.
(Tofugu though covers it in だった for the non-past)
(Though I might already forgot if it was covered somewhere in Genki, but humanity is still not to be trusted)
I remembered that point while writing my last reply but thank you for the summary - I definitely needed the refresher!
Wow that was weird. I really love Shinonome though. What a day she had haha
I’ll spare you the rant on how the 〜た form isn’t the past tense (although it’s close enough that it’s usually the same thing)
if you look out for it, you’ll notice it crop up occassionaly in other non-past usages as well
Fun fact: the author is あらゐ (arawi) けいいち (keiichi). I first misread it as あらる.
あらゐけいいち, the creator of 日常にちじょう, spells his name in hiragana only, a rare practice among Japanese. The old surname matching あらゐ (新井) is now pronounced あらい, and that name is fairly common.
(from ゐ, ゑ, ヰ, ヱ)
I didn’t really look into what this book was about before I started reading, so it was much more surreal than I expected.
It seems like it’s going to be a fun read!
Hi, I guess I’m a little late joining in on the discussion. I’m having a difficult time finding the word モノ in my dictionary. “かなわないモノへの” on page 14 is giving me some trouble.
叶わない to come true (of a wish)
へ to (direction particle)
の possessive particle.
kind of hard to parse without knowing the モノ part.
Thanks ahead for the help!
Yeah when I bought it in Japan I was with a Japanese friend and I saw the cover not knowing much Japanese at all and I think she thought it would be ok for me because it was called 日常 but it’s really not 日常 at all
And my Japanese language partner told me that it’s like reading Shakespeare
Ah, that one went over my head lol. Why did they write it in katakana though?
I think that might be because its modifying 叶わない. So, you cant use kanji there if I understand correctly.
According to this Japanese page:
Which roughly translates as:
The kanji form is used to describe concrete things, and the hiragana form is used to describe abstract things.
So that gets us part of the way there. That lets us know why kanji was not used.
But why katakana? Based on my experience reading manga (especially Sailormoon, where katakana is used heavily), I think it’s just to make the word stand out more than if it were written as もの.
Edit: I should also mention that you may see もの for concrete things. It’s not a completely hard and fast rule that 物 would be used.
Slight note: The modification is the other way around. The modifier is the word that becomes before, and the modified is the word that comes after. Here, 叶わない modifies モノ.
Thanks for the detailed explanation! I can tell this book club is going to be a ton of fun
Well, page 14 took me a few tries to understand, but otherwise it was pretty manageable! I like the story. I feel bad for Shinonome, but it’s very sweet all her classmates are keeping her secret