Doggy Detectives! Week 20 Discussion 🐶

Pages 138 - 145

Story 3: 忠犬タチ公 事件

Start Date: 31st August
Last Week: Solution Part 1


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I’ll post some polls about the book as a whole in the home thread, once we reach the end of this week - so hold onto your horses :wink:


It was a fun end to the book. Again, a perhaps surprising motive for a kids book - debts from betting on the horses.

I don’t remember seeing the grammar - volitional form plus とする - before reading this book. It’s meant “about to happen” or “trying to” and it’s come up a few times. We had one last example on page 138 - 逃げようとした.

As usual the “Spitz’s Illustrated Field Guide” page is much more challenging to read and made the vocab list significantly longer! Worth reading though to find out a bit more about Alan’s history.

I am wondering what is going on with かんがえられない on page 142. I guess what the sentence means is:

The sort of thief who eyes up a cram school’s answer papers, can only be thought of as an acquaintance.

But then I’ve got both passive and potential in my translation, while I am pretty sure it can only be either…?

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Glad that the book/Sprtiz agreed it was pretty obvious who the culprit was.


Yes. It’s unthinkable, what kind of criminal would eye down a cram school answer sheet, only an acquaintance would.

There’s actually a definition for that form, so I guess it’s sort of a set phrase.

That sentence is a doozy though. Leaned heavily on to help parse it, but then also had to re-read the context as well. It’s Spritz talking, right?


Ah, I guess that also explains the comma between しか and かんがえられない.

I read this as the negative potential form, rather than a set phrase. Used in the negative form as part of the しか + negative form we’ve seen a few times in this book (and a lot in the first chapter of レンタルおにいちゃん).

Yes. Such a criminal (who has his eye on the cram school’s answer papers), I can only think/conclude/suspect an acquaintance.

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That’d actually make a lot of sense. I thought it matched the しか~ない construction but was doubting it because of the comma placement. I should know better than to trust any comma.