Help me understand this iconic line from Metal Gear Solid 4


#1

I’ll start by saying that I’m at a very beginner level, knowing very little vocabulary and just starting to learn some grammar. I was learning about でしゅう and one of the examples that Bunpro uses is いいでしょう, and they translate it as “It’s good, isn’t it?” I guess at this point I should mention that I might be spoiling MGS4.

In the English version, Big Boss has a line at the end of the game were he says “This is good, isn’t it?” I wanted to see if the Japanese version was similar to what I just learned today, and instead, I got to learn about some new grammar. The line in Japanese is いいものだな, here’s a link to the scene: https://youtu.be/_fRVftmNanM?t=27851. I understood いい, learned about ものだ (I’m assuming it’s using the “obvious fact” meaning,) and don’t really understand what the な indicates. From what I can tell, な means something like “don’t do.” Can anyone help me understand what’s going on here? Thanks.


#2

な is used for emphasis/emotion when used at the end of a sentence like that (it’s a variant of ね, but な sounds more masculine)

So to break いいものだな down:
いい = good
もの = thing/stuff
だ = is
な = masculine emphasis

Altogether --> Good thing isn’t it?

More contextually --> This is good, isn’t it?

In this case you can think of だな as the masculine/more informal version of ですね in the sense of seeking confirmation/agreement/emphasis


#3

だ is an informal です. The な makes the だな function similar to でしょう in this case. だな sort of has the sense of “isn’t it?”, a question looking for agreement with a statement previously made. もの is “thing”. So as it turns out, this would end up meaning something along the lines of “It’s a good thing, isn’t it?” which is roughly the same as “It’s good, isn’t it?”.

Hopefully that made sense. If not, others will probably come along and explain better.


#4

@MissMisc has covered the translation in her post, but I’ll add this:

Negative Imperative (“Don’t do”) な is only used after dictionary-form verbs (e.g. 飲む). As far as I’m aware, it’s never used after the copula (だ/です), since that’s not a proper verb. So it’s generally easy to tell this difference between that and the "ね” version of な.

(Also the “ね” version of な is a lot more common, in my experience.)


#5

Oh neat, so this was actually a piece of grammar I already knew, just a variation I hadn’t encountered yet. Thanks for the help!