Hi! I have a grammatical question about the sentence: 彼女に会えて嬉しかったです
If です counts as the verb in the sentence, does 会えて also count as a verb? that means there are two verbs in this sentence?
I thought about adding のは to the sentence to make it into 彼女に会えてのは嬉しかったです, this makes sense to me because 彼女に会えての becomes a noun, therefore, です would be the only verb in this sentence.
But 彼女に会えて嬉しかったです is in fact correct and my brain can’t understand why two words can both function as the verbs of the sentence without any extra particles.
So the problem is that you’re going about the wrong way of thinking about it. You’re saying “going out/meeting up with my girlfriend is (a) happy (thing)” whereas what this is actually saying is closer to “I met up with my girlfriend and I was happy”.
A similar thing is happening to if you replaced the 嬉しかったです with 食べた. It’s just listing off events. The part where you probably tripped up is that you’re used to thinking of adjectives and verbs as completely different things, whereas in Japanese often they are functionally the same.
The です actually serves no grammatical function and is moreso there as a ‘politeness tag’. This is why all the tense information is contained within the adjective, instead of using でした. This is also why, if you replaced 嬉しかった with 食べた, you would still be able to add the です on the end and it would serve the same purpose without changing the meaning.
It seems like your main question has already been answered, but to address this: It’s not at all unusual for Japanese sentences to have multiple verbs. Typically there will be one verb (or adjective) that acts as the “main verb” that comes at the very end of the sentence. In this case, the い adjective at the end （うれしい）is essentially acting as the predicate of the sentence. In English we would say “was happy” as in, “Because I was able to meet her, I was happy.” English requires an auxiliary verb to make an adjective into a predicate. な adjectives in Japanese also function this way, but い adjectives have verb-like conjugations and thus don’t require an auxiliary verb. In this case, です is included just for politeness as someone else already mentioned.
Verbs in the て form act as conjunctions that express a sequential and loose casual (casual as in cause-related) relationship between two parts of a sentence, in this case giving a meaning similar to “because/since” in English.
Yes, in the plain form. In the polite form, of course, it’s です.
Actually, you can sort of do this by saying 彼女に会えて は 嬉しかったです. However, that doesn’t change anything into a noun. It just adds emphasis to the first half and turns the act of ‘being able to meet her’ into the topic of discussion. The て form usually can be translated as ‘and’ or ‘-ing’, with ‘and’ being predominant, I think. It’s really just a verb-joining form. As @Arzar33 said,
It can also do this for sentences with something else in the main clause, like ‘mobile phones exist in the modern world, so communication is very convenient.’ The て-form is the weakest way of expressing causation in Japanese.
Finally, just a side note about the use of の with verbs as a nominaliser (i.e. something that turns another thing into a noun or noun phrase): you can only do that with the dictionary form of the verb i.e. the form that ends in an う sound. You may have seen ての before, but that’s an example of the attributive usage of の, which is the usage that assigns a characteristic to something. For example, 見ての通り would mean ‘as you can see’; it’s not a case of noun formation.