Doggy Detectives! Week 3 Discussion 🐶

Pages 18 - 22

Story 1: 消えたデミキン事件

Start Date: 20th April
Last Week: Case Part 2
Next Week: Case Part 4


わんわん探偵団 Home Thread

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Page 18

A few sentences on this page took me a while to make sense of – could someone please check if I’ve got the gist of these ones?


だが、外から - but from outside
棒かなにかを - post or something [object]
さしこんで、- put in
テーブルの上の金魚ばちを - goldfish bowl on the table [object]
たたきおとすことは - knocking off [topic]
できるだろう。 - seems possible

But it seems possible to shove in a post or something from outside, and knock the goldfish bowl off the table.

そこで、- so
その犬を - that dog [object]
つかって - use
鉄ごうしの下の土のにおいを - smell of the ground under the iron grill [object]
しらべ、ここに - investigate here [location]
犯人が - criminal [subject]
来なかった - did not come
かどうか、- whether or not
しらべてもらえんかね? - have (someone) investigate?

So should we have the dog use the the smell of the ground under the iron grill to investigate whether or not the criminal came here?

じつは - In reality
あやしい人物が、- suspicious person [subject]
ひとりいるんだ。- is alone

In reality there’s one suspicious person.
This feels wonky…

Thank you :blush:


Your first sentence looks pretty much perfect at a first glance. さしこむ has a meaning of “to insert; to thrust”, so I think the nuance is a little closer to inserting a pole between the bars (blocking the door), rather than the more brute-force ‘shove’. That’s pretty nitpicky though :grin:

I wouldn’t put these two together. しらべ is from しらべる, and is acting on the object that comes before it, 鉄ごうしの下の土のにおい. Using the verb stem like this is similar to て-form, where it means ‘verb and’ - connecting two clauses. It has a slightly more literary feel to it, apparently.

So it’s “investigate the smell of the ground under the iron grille and…” - no “here” involved in this clause.

Then we start the next clause - “whether or not the culprit came here”. This has it’s own しらべる acting on it, so it’s very much that the dog is being asked to study the smell of the ground and then investigate whether or not the culprit came to that spot..

Just one thing to notice - it’s もらえる, the potential form of もらう. So it’s saying “would it be possible to have that dog do … for us?”

This can just mean “there is one person” more directly.


Thank you so much!! I’m so used to just glossing over the bits I’m not 100% sure of (laziness on my part) – but this time it felt better to try and understand more precisely.


Usually my guessing is enough but here I am completely lost. Page 21:


My best guess

I wonder how can we stretch to get to that person’s house.


Look up 忍び込む(しのびこむ) and see if that impacts your translation =)

If you’re not familiar with the たり/だり ending for verbs, now’s a good time to read up on it.


(Just a reminder that we’re not supposed to be discussing p 20 for another 30 hours let alone p 21 - see OP, just below book cover image for timings)


Page 18

Thanks for this. I thought it was the noun しらべ (which didn’t make sense with the を preceding it), but have since looked this verb form up and added a hyperlink to the vocab sheet. It’s called the continuative form or 連用形(れんようけい).


I love this word! I just had the kanji 忍 on Wanikani. Wanikani calls it “endure” but it can also mean “sneak”.

It’s read as にん or しの - it’s the “nin” in ninja and the “shino” in shinobi.

So while Jisho defines 忍び込む as “to sneak in” - I will be reading this word as - “to enter like a ninja”!


Omg. I am breaking rules. Sorry. Thank you for pointing it out.


It’s okay :wink:

That was my immediate thought also on seeing ChristopherFritz’s post :grin:


This is probably nit-picking, but a small question from page 18:


Why would めんする (面する) be past tense here? If it’s a door that faces onto the garden / courtyard, wouldn’t it be めんする戸? Although even then I guess it would be めんしている :thinking: is it like it was installed facing the garden? It was faced towards the garden?

Also, a note for others reading which I don’t think has been mentioned yet?- あいてます is an example of something you will see everywhere in “real life” - あく has been conjugated to て-form and combined with いる to form the continuous, あいています (polite!), but then the い has been dropped. This い-dropping is super common, to the point of being the norm.


I don’t have an answer, but I checked the following out of curiosity:

Search Term Google Results
“面したガラス戸” 70,600
“面するガラス戸” 551
“面しているガラス戸” 826

One can also search for “面*ガラス戸” and see what results come up (if they were uncertain of which to use when writing it).



thanks for all the questions being asked and answered already!

I have a question for page 20:

Please help ^^

I roughly translated this as
As for who would do such a cruel thing, there is not only my neighbour Mr. Akita.
But this makes no sense?

My breakdown:
こんな - such
ひどいこと - cruel thing
を - particle (marking an object)
する - to do
の - possesive
は - particle (topic marker)
となりの秋田さん - my neighbour Mr. Akita
しか - only
いません - is not

So, why is it “いません”? Does or does she not suspect her neighbour?
Depending on the next sentence I thought she would suspect him, so why is “いる” negative?


The issue is with the grammar surrounding しか :slightly_smiling_face:

For some reason that I’ve never understood, it seems to be the done thing to teach しか as meaning ‘only’, and then tell people that it’s “used with a negative verb”.

I find it hugely more helpful to understand the meaning as ‘except for’, or ‘excepting’.

In that case, you could translate the sentence as: “As for who would do such a terrible thing, there is nobody but my neighbour Mr Akita.”

It does sound a little more natural to translate it as: “As for who would do such a terrible thing, there is only my neighbour Mr Akita.”, and probably puts the emphasis more in the right place. But I think it’s easier to understand the usage of しか this way, and you get less tied up in knots thinking “now if this is negative, does that mean this is positive?”.

Either way, the reason いる is negative is specifically that it’s being used with しか, and she does suspect him :+1:


Hi Atani,

If only my English were better, I would translate or break down the sentence to English. Unfortunately, I could only translate it to my native language. So, I won’t force myself to say it in English and take time for more than three days probably to formulate my breakdown thoughts in English. Besides, I saw radish8 senpai’s reply for you there above. So. Shrug.

I saw your post mentioning BunPro, so, I thought you might like this link about しかーない on BP.

There are two links to Tae Kim and Maggie Sensei and five references to books you might like from that BP link. HTH.


@Radish8 ah, that explains it.
Now that you mention this I feel like I’ve read something along those lines before. Did we come across this with the にゃんにゃんbooks (meaning: the parts of the books I already read… :see_no_evil:) before?

Thanks! If you know what to look for, it is much easier finding something :laughing:


Page 20

If it makes you feel slightly more comfortable with the しか…ない combo, Japanese is not the only language that pairs the concept of only with a negative - French does, too.


Unfortunately I don’t know a thing about French :see_no_evil: :sweat_smile:
I had Latin in school :grin:


Latin! Impressive. I wasn’t expecting you to know French, I just hoped you might possibly feel more comfortable with the notion of only + negative by knowing it happens in more than one language.