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Hand Idioms Part I

clay's picture

This is the first in a series of Body Part Idioms. Listen to the idiom and then study the example sentence.

Two idoms using the hand


use one's discretion; pull one’s punches; take it easy on someone


aitsu ga sotsugyoushiken ni goukaku suru nante, sensei ga tegokoro o kuwaeta ni chigainai.
For that bonehead to have passed his graduation exam, the teachers must have looked the other way.

あいつ aitsu—that guy (slang)
卒業試験 sotsugyou shiken—graduation test
合格 goukaku—passing (a test); success
なんて nante—such as… (exclamation)
先生 sensei—teacher
手心 tegokoro—discretion; consideration
加える kuwaeru—to append; to add; to increase
~に違いない ~ni chigainai—without doubt


even if it means living in poverty


tenabe sagetemo, anata to kekkon shitai
Even if it means living in the humblest of cottages (with only a pot and a pan), I want to marry you.

手鍋 te nabe—a pan with a handle
さげても sagetemo—even if (we are) reduced to… [下げる]
あなたと anata to—with you
結婚 kekkon—marry
したい shitai—want to (marry)

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totemo omoshirokatta desu.

totemo omoshirokatta desu.
nihongo ga benkyou yasui desu.


I'm wondering. does 'tenabe

I'm wondering. does 'tenabe sagetomo' literally have to be about money, or can you use it in a way like:
"tenabe sagetomo, shimashou" (as in. Even if it takes all we've got, let's do it). Can anyone answer this?

I was thinking

the same thing. Probably, considering Japanese is a very open language. Like whenver I speak with the Japanese students at my school, I say things wrong all the time, but they understand and correct me any way. To help me of course. ^_^

~Sunao na toki waratte, hitsuyou na toki naite, nayami wo jibun no naka ni tojikometta mama anata wo ai suru hito no tasuke wo motomenai toki, jibun dake wo kizuzuite iru~

clay's picture

I asked Yumi, but she isn't

I asked Yumi, but she isn't very familiar with this expression. This came from Chiyon, so we should ask her. My guess it can be used with anything involving valuing something greatly even if it means living poverty.

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