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Question about かえってくる

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Question about かえってくる

Postby phreadom » Sat 09.25.2010 4:37 pm

I was working through one of the Lesson 7 exercises in Japanese For Everyone, and I ran into an answer to one of the questions that doesn't make sense to me. I don't want to move forward if I'm not grasping a facet of the exercise.

The question shows an image of ババラさん listening to music and waiting for マイケルさん to come back home. It shows him in a little thought bubble above her head saying "ただいま". The grammar point being focused on is the use of まで to denote "until such and such".

DSCF2620cropsm.png
Lesson 7 exercise 2 question 6
DSCF2620cropsm.png (10.59 KiB) Viewed 2580 times


So my idea was something like 「マイケルさんがくるまで、うたをきいています。」 ("I'm listening to music until Michael comes back.")

But the answer in the back of the book said 「マイケルさんがかえってくるまで、レコードをきいています。」

Now I don't think the latter part is important (the difference between うた and レコード to denote what she's listening to), but I don't understand the grammar point between just saying くる for him to come home and かえってくる, which seems a bit redundant. :(

Can someone please help explain this to me in a way that makes sense so that I can really understand it and move forward? :sweatdrop:

おねがいします! :bow:
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby furrykef » Sat 09.25.2010 7:08 pm

It is redundant, yes, but it is how Japanese people often talk. I think it would be perfectly fine to say かえった, きた, or かえってきた. They would certainly all be grammatical, but I'm not 100% sure on how natural they'd be.

I've also seen もどってくる, 出て行く ("she leaves"), あがってくる (referring to turtles coming up to dry land), etc... often, a verb that implies motion will have くる or いく appended to the te form of that verb, the choice between them depending, of course, on whether the subject is coming or going. (I've seen くる much more often than いく, but that probably just has to do with the peculiarities of the sentences I've studied and the circumstances they describe, not necessarily an indication that it does occur more often.) I think at least sometimes the extra verb may be for emphasis: 出る = go out; 出て行く = go out, but focusing on departure (e.g. she wanted to get away, or maybe just to emphasize that she isn't here anymore).

Of course, the best way to ensure that you get the usage right is to pay attention when others are speaking and imitate the usage you hear. :)

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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby Astral Abraxas » Sat 09.25.2010 7:59 pm

来る works depending on the context

The context here is that the guy is sitting there waiting for someone come back home.

So 帰る is more natural. The reason it's in the form 帰ってくる is because you're going
to do it until that comes to be the case. That make sense?

You might want to compare and learn the differences between 返る 戻る and 帰る too.
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby furrykef » Sat 09.25.2010 8:40 pm

Astral Abraxas wrote:The reason it's in the form 帰ってくる is because you're going to do it until that comes to be the case.

Sometimes くる is used that way but I'm not convinced that it's necessarily the case here. Are you sure it's not simply because 帰る is a verb of motion?
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby Astral Abraxas » Sat 09.25.2010 9:00 pm

So you're telling me you're going to return and come? That's illogical. Returning is a form of coming... It only makes sense in the sense which I'm talking about. Maybe I'm just not being clear.
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby furrykef » Sun 09.26.2010 12:56 am

Astral Abraxas wrote:So you're telling me you're going to return and come? That's illogical.

It is a great mistake to assume that idioms are logical. ;)

I'm not saying that you're wrong; in fact, you might know a lot more about Japanese than I do. But I still think it's possible that you're overlooking the trivial case, that in fact it does simply mean "come".

Tae Kim corroborates my opinion on this page of his guide. Toward the bottom of the page (not counting the comments) he gives these examples:

Tae Kim wrote:(1) お父さんは、早く帰ってきました。- Father came back home early.
(2) 駅の方へ走っていった。- Went running toward the direction of station.


There's no "until" at all, or anything else I can see beyond the literal senses of "come" and "go".
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby furrykef » Mon 10.04.2010 1:34 pm

This post from wordreference may shed some light on the subject. The short of it is that 戻る (and, presumably, 帰る as well), when not in the ~てくる form, tend to imply going rather than coming. For example, アメリカに戻った = he went back to the U.S. (from the perspective from somebody not in the U.S.).
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby AJBryant » Thu 10.07.2010 8:12 pm

Astral Abraxas wrote:So you're telling me you're going to return and come? That's illogical. Returning is a form of coming... It only makes sense in the sense which I'm talking about. Maybe I'm just not being clear.


It would be better if you think about the verbs layering. It's not so much "return and come" it's "come returning" -- or "return coming".

In point of fact, "kaeru" is not direction-specific (coming or going) -- it means "return home". The addition of "kuru" or "iku" provides the directionality ("going" or "coming").

If you're at the office or school, "kaete iku" means *GO* back home. If you're at home, "kaete kuru" means *COME* back home.
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby phreadom » Thu 10.07.2010 9:33 pm

I think that's the best explanation so far (for me at least). Thanks Tony! :bow:
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby furrykef » Fri 10.08.2010 1:02 am

AJBryant wrote:If you're at the office or school, "kaete iku" means *GO* back home. If you're at home, "kaete kuru" means *COME* back home.

Surely you mean "kaette iku" and "kaette kuru"?

(I have to admit I never expected to find such a mistake in one of your posts... :lol:)
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby FreeMan07 » Fri 10.08.2010 3:18 am

帰ってくる is when you are at home already waiting for someone.

帰る is when you are somewhere and you will go home.

帰るまで、おれがいる I'll be here until he /goes/ home.

帰ってくるまで、おれがいる I'll stay here until he /comes/ home.

帰ってくるまで = until he gets home

くるまだ = until he comes (here)/until he gets here

帰るまで = until he returns home

帰っていく = ... I have a funny feeling nobody would ever say this in Japan.

Basically they aren't so different. Just small differences like the English translations to the right. It almost helps to consider 帰ってくる and 帰る as different words with slightly different meanings.

When you're home and someone comes home, you say 帰ってきた! he's here!

When you are somewhere (or already at home) and someone leaves, you say 帰った! he left!

See the difference?
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby chiyon » Fri 10.08.2010 10:04 am

I think
帰っていく=someone goes back one's home when that person is somewhere else.

彼は自分の家に帰っていった。( he went back his home. )
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby AJBryant » Fri 10.08.2010 9:38 pm

furrykef wrote:
AJBryant wrote:If you're at the office or school, "kaete iku" means *GO* back home. If you're at home, "kaete kuru" means *COME* back home.

Surely you mean "kaette iku" and "kaette kuru"?

(I have to admit I never expected to find such a mistake in one of your posts... :lol:)


Me, neither, but that's what happens when I get three hours of sleep. Sigh.

Kaette. Kaette. Kaette.

Shimatta. Shimatta. Shimatta....
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Re: Question about かえってくる

Postby Gundaetiapo » Fri 10.08.2010 10:00 pm

The <te form>いく and <te form>くる forms are used with other verbs and can convey coming and going in other abstract ways, including movement through time. The best explanation I've seen of this topic is in Nakama II, chapter 3, section V if you can find a copy.
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