Tuesday, February 26, 2019

運がいい, Un ga ii - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, un ga ii 運がいい means someone is "lucky," that they have "good luck." Literally, un 運 means "luck" and the i-adjective ii いい means "good," but the phrase grammatically means "luck is good" rather than "good luck."

It's also spelled un ga ii 運が良い. A synonymous variant is un ga yoi 運がよい.


The phrase un ga ii 運がいい is normally used when someone is "lucky" for winning something, or "lucky" for avoiding a tragedy, just like you'd use it in English. In a sense, it resembles more of an expression:
  • un ga ii! 運がいい!
    [You're] lucky!
    • Because something good just happened.

Un ga Warui 運が悪い

The phrase un ga warui 運が悪い means "luck is bad," "bad luck," "unlucky," literally the antonym of un ga ii, because warui 悪い is the antonym of ii いい.

Depending on how it's used, it can also be translated as "too bad for you," "sucks to be you," that's unfortunate," and so on.

A synonymous variant is:


Since un 運 is marked as the subject of the sentence with the particle ga が, to elaborate whose luck is good or bad you'd need a topic, marked by the topic marking particle wa は. For example:
  • omae wa un ga ii お前は運がいい
    As for you, luck is good.
    About you: luck is good.
    You're lucky.
  • omae wa un ga warui お前は運が悪い
    As for you, luck is bad.
    About you: luck is bad.
    You're unlucky.

Un ga Yokatta 運が良かった

Sometimes, when speaking of past events, the phrase un ga yokatta 運が良かった, "luck was good," is used instead. This particularly happens when someone was involved in an accident or something very bad, but his luck was good so he manage to miraculously survive with minor injuries, etc.
  • kare wa un ga yokatta 彼は運が良かった
    As for him, luck was good.
    He was lucky.
    • Narrowly avoided death.
  • kare wa un ga warukatta 彼は運が悪かった
    As for him, luck was bad.
    He was unlucky.
    • He ended up in the worst possible situation.

Un no ii 運のいい

When the phrase un ga ii 運がいい is used as an adjective for a noun, it becomes a relative clause, since it's got case marking particle, the ga が. Because it's a relative clause, the ga が can be replaced by the subject marking particle no.
  • un ga ii hito 運がいい
    un no ii hito 運のいい人
    un ga ii ko 運がいい
    un no ii ko 運のいい子
    A person [whose] luck is good.
    A lucky person.
  • un ga warui hito 運が悪い人
    un no warui hito 運の悪い人
    un ga warui ko 運が悪い子
    un no warui ko 運の悪い子
    A person [whose] luck is bad.
    An unlucky person.

Un no Yosa 運の良さ

The phrase un no yosa 運の良さ refers to how lucky someone is. Literally, it's un 運 turning into a possessive no-adjective for the word yosa 良さ, which is the sa-form, "-ness" form, of ii いい.
  • un no 運の
  • yosa 良さ
  • un no yosa 運の良さ
    The good-ness of the luck.
    How good the luck is.
    How lucky [you are].
  • un no warusa 運の悪さ
    The bad-ness of the luck.
    How bad the luck is.
    How unlucky [you are].

In some Japanese RPGs, for example, you may see un no yosa 運の良さ as an alternative term for the LCK stat.

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