Question about 一気

I love the context sentences! Sometimes the link to the given meaning is obvious, but often it’s like a riddle. This one for 一気 “one breath, one go, one sitting” has me stumped. Help me solve this riddle!

元気そうな父のかおを見たら、一気に気がぬけました。

It was such a relief to see my father, who looked well.

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Probably either to be exhausted or to be spent (in one breath). :stuck_out_tongue:

The other part, in case there’s doubt about that:

When I saw the face of my father (who looked healthy), I was relieved (all at once).

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The use of 気が抜ける seems odd to me.

Would it not be better to say 気が済みました?

I don’t know who wrote that sentence, but maybe our native speakers @mamimumason or @TofuguKanae can give us some input here?

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I think it’s just so that it sounds better in English.
Being relieved in a way that you lose all your energy because you’re no longer worried about something.

Like, the father was in the hospital, and the son didn’t know how serious it was, or something.

The translation isn’t so literal, so maybe that’s what’s confusing… I will talk to Kristen about it when she’s back from her time-off.

If this helps, a bit more literal translation would be something like:
I got immediately relieved once I saw my father looking well.

In addition to “one breath, one go, one sitting,” 一気 can be used for a transition/change emphasizing how fast it happened. In this case, 一気 is used as an adverb with the particle に, modifying the later part 気が抜ける. The speaker got relieved all at once when they saw his father doing well. And this emotional change happened rapidly, not slowly.

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Also, for 気が抜ける…

The nuance of 気 in this usage is similar to “tension.”
抜ける is often used as “coming out” for 空気 (air) of bike tires or balloons.
So picture someone with the tension of worrying about their father being sick/not well, when they see their father’s face and know he is doing well, the tension goes away at all once!

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I’m a little confused by this sentence because the expression 気がぬける, by all accounts I can find on the internet, doesn’t mean “to be relieved.” Unless this is some really unusual usage that I can’t find any details on, it’s supposed to mean, “to feel disheartened.” From what I can see then the meaning is “When I saw the face of father, who looked energetic, I got disheartened all at once.” It sounds like maybe a story about a son competing against his father in some kind of physical competition. Now, I’m not a native speaker so I could be wrong, but I think WaniKani got this one wrong.

Wow. Such interesting replies. Language is so weird… Sometimes the words say one thing but clearly mean another. I mean, we have expressions like “This deal is the shit!” meaning very good or very bad, depending on context and intonation.

And relief is an interesting emotion, because it can be the release of tension coinciding with a wave of a very different emotion. So an ambiguous metaphor is kinda cool.

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A native I asked thought the sentence was fine as is, agreeing with Kanae (who also is a native by the way).

From what I can tell, as she said, it’s like “all the tension dissipated,” which could be translated numerous ways depending on the context.

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“When the bird and the book disagree, always believe the bird.” -James Audubon

“This deal is the shit” is and can not be interpreted as anything but “this deal is good”.

“This deal is shit”, on the other hand, is definitely negative.

No, it means many more things than that. To quote Jisho:

  1. to lose heart; to lose interest; to lose motivation; to be discouraged​
  2. to become stale (i.e. of a carbonated beverage); to go flat; to lose flavor; to lose flavour; to be exhausted; to feel spent​

https://jisho.org/word/気が抜ける

‘To feel spent’ seems to be a perfect description of what happens after the release of built-up tension. You will be relieved but usually emotionally and/or physically spent.

This deal is bananas b-a-n-a-n-a-sorry.

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