Home Forums The Japanese Language Question about mini-lesson two.

This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Joel 6 years ago.

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  • #49768

    trunklayer
    Member

    The sentence is とても空気が澄んだ三月の朝。
    In the official answer from コウイチ先生 it is translated in the past tense.
    The question is can it be also translated in the present tense? And if not, what exactly indicates that it’s in past tense?

    #49772

    Joel
    Member

    澄んだ is past tense. =)

    #49773

    trunklayer
    Member

    澄んだ is past tense. =)

    Yes, but it I thought this past tense was about the sky clearing, not about the whole sentence. I mean, can’t I say とても空気が澄んだ三月の朝です – “It’s very clear March morning” (The sky has cleared previously, but the morning is now)? Or would that be incorrect?

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  trunklayer.
    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  trunklayer.
    #49776

    Joel
    Member

    Sneaky trick with Japanese: subordinate clauses and the main clause can have different tenses.

    The verb 澄む means “to clear up”, which is to say, the past tense 澄んだ means the sky cleared up in the past. It’s probably safe to say that it’s still clear, but either way, it’s still the morning in March (the main clause 三月の朝 is in non-past tense).

    #49777

    trunklayer
    Member

    So in other words, did I understand you correctly that both
    とても空気が澄んだ三月の朝です。(The sky has cleared in the past and it’s morning in the March now)
    and
    とても空気が澄んだ三月の朝でした。(It was a clear morning in the March)
    are correct?
    And that without ending, the sentence 「とても空気が澄んだ三月の朝」 can be interpreted as either present or past depending on the context?

    #49778

    Joel
    Member

    They’re both correct, but they don’t quite mean the same thing. The second sentence means that it’s no longer the morning in March any more.

    Come to think of it, if the context is that this line immediately follows the one in the Good Life #1 thread, then, yeah, it’s probably meant to be past tense. “I remember the day I was born. It was a very clear morning in March.” Japanese is an extremely contextual language, but you’re not typically required to infer the tense of the sentence from context.

    Looks like these are the very first lines of the first episode. Might have to see if I can find the original Japanese script. Or listen to the episode for myself…

    #49779

    trunklayer
    Member

    As expected, you were right!
    Heh, it turns out, コウイチ先生 answered this question in the next lesson when he explained why he had translated 「よく晴れた日」 in the past tense:

    You might also notice that the sentence is past tense (“was a really clear day”) even though there’s nothing saying it’s past tense (the only bit of past tense going on was 晴れた日, but that only has to do with the day’s status).

    But, we know the day in question was in the past, just because of the previous conversations (where he said he remembered the day he was born… which is obviously in the past) so even though he’s omitting the だった or でした at the end we know it’s a past tense sentence.

    Sorry, if I saw it yesteday, I wouldn’t have bothered you with this question, but I didn’t want to go to the next lesson before I understand the previous…

    Anyway, thanks for the help!

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  trunklayer.
    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  trunklayer.
    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  trunklayer.
    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  trunklayer.
    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by  trunklayer.
    #49787

    Joel
    Member

    Like I’m pretty sure I’ve said before, I’m not bothered. Ask away. =D

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