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confusing grammar!

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confusing grammar!

Postby OlgaD » Fri 07.05.2013 11:11 am

皆さん、こんにちは!

I have been trying to understand the meaning of these two sentences, but the grammatical structure is really tough for me.

1) おみやげに、何かいいものないかなあ。
I think it means - what would be a good/nice souvenir? the ないかなあ ending is confusing though. why ない ?

2) こんなところをまちがえるなんて。
I have a trouble with this one too. Does it mean "I mistook such place"? that does not make much sense....

3) 病気で旅行に行けなくなってがっかりして。
I know it means : due to the illness I was not able to go on a trip and I was disappointed. my question is: why 行けなくなって and not 行けなかって ?
I'd be grateful for any kind of help! :)
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Re: confusing grammar!

Postby Danylo_Lyczar » Fri 07.05.2013 3:21 pm

こんにちは!

These sentences do seem a bit tricky, but here's how I think they work out:

1: I think this sentence is saying " I wonder if there are any good souvenirs here."
The speaker is looking for something good (何かいいもの) and uses the sentence ending かな as a way of saying "I wonder". I think the ない you are asking about means that the speaker is expecting a negative answer.

2: I'm not too sure about this one. I think you got the translation write, the speaker is saying "I've come to the wrong place" and uses なんて as an exclamatory to emphasise this. However this is difficult to say without the context.

3: The difference between 行けなくなって and 行けなかって is this :
行けなくなって implies that the person BECAME unable to go (the なって comes from the verb なる to become), as in "the illness made me too weak to go".
行けなかった 行けなかった is simply the past negative, that is, "I did not go".

I hope this helps you. This is only my own interpretation and I'm sure there are people here that would be able to give a better answer than me!
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Re: confusing grammar!

Postby OlgaD » Sat 07.06.2013 5:56 am

Thank You for help!

About the 2nd question - there was no context to this sentence. It's taken out of the N4 preparatory book and it was the only sentence given in one of the exercises.

Thanks again! :)

Can anyone help me with no 2?
Also, according to question no 1 - if ない can mean that someone awaits a negative response, are there any other meanings? Maybe something like ISN'T THERE ANYTHING NICE AS A SOUVENIR?
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Re: confusing grammar!

Postby shin1ro » Sat 07.06.2013 7:12 am

Hi OlgaD,

Here are my comments to add.

1) Danylo_Lyczar san's reply is great. Just only the last part,
in fact, ないかなあ and あるかなあ are quite similar and
I would say, even when ない is used, the speaker doesn't expect
a negative answer so much.

If you add の into it, that is ないのかなあ or あるのかなあ,
the expressions turn to be more suspicious.
So, ないのかなあ will be used when being suspicious about
non-existence (I should find it, but unfortunately I cannot as for now..),
On the other hand, あるのかなあ will be used when being suspicious about
existence (I'm wondering if I could not find it, but much unlikely to find it).

If you add an adverb ほんとに(really) or いったい(what on earth)
to ない(の)かなあ or ある(の)かなあ, you can emphasize the suspicious
feeling more.

2) This sentence is an idiomatic incomplete expression.
なんて (the same as とは) would probably close to "because" or "as".
In your example, "I should be stupid" or "how stupid I am" would be
the missing sentence to follow.

3) Let me add to Danylo_Lyczar san's very nice reply, 行けなかって
has to be a typo of 行けなく(っ)て.
And as another point and this is not your question,
but in your sentence, がっかりして at the end
doesn't sound nice because it sounds like the sentence will
continue but missing the rest.
To complete the sentence, がっかりした。 is used.

I hope this helps!

-shin1ro
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Re: confusing grammar!

Postby OlgaD » Sat 07.06.2013 10:34 am

Thank You so much Shin1ro さん! That's a great explanation! Now I understand.

Just to make sure, is the meaning of sentence no 2 "I mistook the place'" ?
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Re: confusing grammar!

Postby Ongakuka » Sat 07.06.2013 7:50 pm

Just to make sure, is the meaning of sentence no 2 "I mistook the place'" ?


without context you would assume ところ here means 'point' or 'part.' こんな suggests that, of everything, this was an easy part or one that you were unlikely to blunder on.
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Re: confusing grammar!

Postby furrykef » Sun 07.07.2013 12:38 pm

I think in that case it would be something like, "To think I made a mistake on a part like this!" -- the なんて expressing something like surprise, frustration, and/or lamentation.
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Re: confusing grammar!

Postby shin1ro » Fri 07.12.2013 2:44 am

Hi,

I totally agree with Ongakuka san and Furrykef san's replies!
Thanks for your nice follows!

-shin1ro
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