And kanji with manga
Saturday, February 2, 2019

yokatta よかった

In Japanese, yokatta よかった means "was good," "I'm glad," "that's a relief," "thank goodness," and "it would have been better [if...]," depending on context.

It's the past form of ii いい. Its antonym is warukatta 悪かった.

ザァァァァ こんなことならコンビニで傘買えばよかった
Manga: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! 私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! (Chapter 5, モテないし宿る)

Kanji

The word yokatta written with kanji is yokatta 良かった, but it's often written with hiragana, as yokatta よかった instead.

Grammar

The literal meaning of yokatta is "was good." From this meaning, you end up with several usages depending on the sentence structure. To summarize:

  1. To say something was good. That you're glad that something happened. That it's a relief that something happened.
    • are ga yokatta
      あれがよかった
      That was good. (literally.)
    • yokatta
      よかった
      [Something] was good.
      I'm glad. (that something that was good happened.)
      It's a relief. (that something that was good happened.)
      Thank goodness. (that something that was good happened.)
  2. To say that doing something was good, that you're glad you did it, that you're glad something happened, or glad something was true.
    • {benkyou shite} yokatta
      勉強してよかった
      {[Me] studying} was good.
      [I'm glad] [I] studied.
    • {kimi de} yokatta
      君でよかった
      {[It] being you} was good.
      [I'm glad] [it] was you.
    • {sagi janakute} yokatta
      詐欺じゃなくてよかった
      {[It] not being a scam} was good.
      [I'm glad] [it] wasn't a scam.
  3. To say something that didn't happen was good, which is bad, because it would have been better if the good thing had happened.
    • {motto benkyou sureba} yokatta
      もっと勉強すればよかった
      [It] would have been good {if [I] had studied more}.
      It would have been better if I had studied more.
    • {kawanai} hou ga yokatta
      買わない方が良かった
      {Not buying [it]} would have been good.
      It would have been better if I hadn't bought it.

"Was Good"

The literal meaning of yokatta is "was good." This is the past form of ii いい, or rather, of yoi 良い, which means "is good."

  • tenki ga ii
    天気がいい
    The weather is good.
  • tenki ga yoi
    天気が良い
    (same meaning.)
  • tenki ga yokatta
    天気がよかった
    The weather was good.

Every expression which contains ii いい in Japanese can be turned into past tense by replacing it with yokatta よかった. For example:

  • naka ga ii
    仲がいい

    [Their] relationship is good.
    They're friends.
  • naka ga yokatta
    仲がよかった
    [Their] relationship was good.
    They were friends.
  • kakko-ii
    カッコいい

    [You're] good-looking.
    You're cool.
  • kakko-yokatta
    カッコよかった
    [You] were good-looking.
    You were cool. (that. Was. AWESOMEEEE~~~!!!)
  • kimochi-ii
    気持ちいい

    [It] is good-feeling.
    [It] is pleasant.
  • kimochi-yokatta
    気持ちよかった
    [It] was good-feeling.
    [It] was pleasant.
  • ~hou ga ii
    ~方がいい

    [This] way is good.
    It's better if...
  • ~hou ga yokatta
    ~方がよかった
    [This] way was good.
    It would have been better if...

All usage of yokatta derives from this "was good" meaning.

"I'm Glad"

The word yokatta can translate to English as "I'm glad" when used alone. Literally, it means something "was good," in the sense that what happened "was good," so you're glad that it happened.

おいしーです! そうか 良かった
Manga: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai ~Tensai-Tachi no Ren'ai Zunousen~ かぐや様は告らせたい~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ (Chapter 5, かぐや様はいただきたい)
  • Context: food has been offered.
  • oishii desu!
    おいしーです!
    It's delicious!
  • sou ka
    そう
    I see.
  • yokatta
    良かった
    I'm glad. (that you liked it.)

"That's a Relief"

Depending on context, yokatta can better translate to "that's a relief" instead of "I'm glad."

よかった・・・本物の方ですね・・・ 前にインターネットで相談した時は適当なこと言われたので
Manga: Mob Psycho 100, Mobu Saiko Hyaku モブサイコ100 (Chapter 53)
  • Context: a woman meets psychics. After confirming they actually have psychic powers:
  • yokatta...
    {honmono no} kata desu ne...

    よかった・・・本物のです・・・
    That's a relief... [you] are {real} [psychics], aren't you?
    • honmono
      本物
      Real. Genuine. As opposed to "fake," nisemono 偽物.
    • kata

      Used to people to people.You're "people" who are real [psychics].
  • {{mae ni} intaanetto de
    soudan shita} toki wa {tekitou na}
    koto iwareta no de...

    前にインターネットで
    相談した時は適当な
    こと言われたので
    [It's a relief], because: when {[I] consulted on the internet {before}} [I] was told {"appropriate"} things.
    • tekitou
      適当
      Appropriate, often used in a lazy, deceiving sense. She was told "appropriate" things, things "appropriate" for a real psychic to say, so they didn't have psychic powers, but talked as if they were psychics. They were trying to deceive her, and she's relieved to have found real ones this time.

Although "relief" implies the speaker was somehow troubled, this is manga we're talking about, so sometimes the speaker caused the trouble themselves.

よかったー は? 私は生まれて五千年初めて自分の血を見ました 太公望・・・私は彼をライバルに決定します
Manga: Houshin Engi 封神演義 (Chapter 1, 封神の書)
  • Context: Shinkouhyou 申公豹 blasts Taikoubou 太公望 with a powerful attack, who retaliates, giving Shinkouyou a little cut in the cheek. Shinkouyou asks his cat to check if Taikoubou survived, and then, after confirming he survived the attack:
  • yokatta~
    よかったー
    That's a relief.
  • ha?
    は?
    Hah? (the cat doesn't get why he's relieved the guy he was going to kill is still alive.)
  • watashi wa
    umarete go-sen-nen
    hajimete
    jibun no chi wo
    mimashita

    私は生まれて五千年初めて自分の血を見ました
    In the five thousand years [I] have been born [it] is the first time I've seen [my] own blood.
  • Taikoubou...
    太公望・・・
    (character name.)
  • watashi wa kare wo
    raibaru ni
    kettei shimasu

    私は彼をライバルに決定します
    I've decided he's [my] rival.
    (performative verb.)

"Thank Goodness"

Sometimes, yokatta is better translated as "thank God" or "thank goodness" instead, or something similar. The literal meaning of the word hasn't changed—yokatta never means "thanks"—it's just the translation that changed.

よかった・・・・・・・・・ ポロ はぁ・・・・・・ 嬉しい・・・・・・嬉しい・・・・・・
Manga: Inuyashiki いぬやしき (Chapter 15)
  • yokatta.........
    よかった・・・・・・・・・
    Thank God.........
  • poro
    ポロ
    *tear dropping*
    (mimetic word.)
  • haa......
    はぁ・・・・・・
    Ahh......
  • ureshii...... ureshii......
    嬉しい・・・・・・嬉しい・・・・・・
    I'm glad..... I'm glad......
    • ureshii
      嬉しい
      Happy. Glad.

よかったじゃない?

The phrase yokatta janai? よかったじゃない? means "wasn't that a good thing?" or "shouldn't you be glad that that happened?" Literally, it's closer to "isn't it yokatta?" Some variants include:

  • yokatta janai ka?
    よかったじゃない
    (same meaning.)
  • yokatta janai no?
    よかったじゃない
    (same meaning.)
よかったじゃねーか 嫁のもらい手があってよォ
Manga: Gintama 銀魂 (Chapter 7)
  • Context: a girl gets a stalker guy who loves her.
  • yokatta janee ka
    よかったじゃねー
    That was a good thing, wasn't it?
    Shouldn't you be glad?
  • yome no morai-te ga atte yoo
    のもらい手があって
    That there's [someone] to take you as a wife.
    • morai-te
      もらい手
      "Taker." From morau もらう, "to take," and the te 手 part means someone who does an action, in this case: taking. Not to be confused with "taking one's hand," which's not a Japanese expression.

~てよかった

The phrase ~te-yokatta ~てよかった is the te-form of a verb plus yokatta. It means "I'm glad that X happened."

More technically, it means "the predicate holding true was good." For example:

  • {benkyou shite} yokatta
    勉強してよかった
    {[Me] studying} was good.
    I'm glad that {[I] studied}.

The Japanese te-form is tenseless. The tense of the te-form is derived from the matrix clause. In this case, yokatta is in the matrix, and yokatta is past-tensed, so the te-form becomes past-tensed, too.

Literally, benkyou shite is a bit similar to "[someone] studying," which is tenseless in English. It translates to English as "[someone] studied" in past tense in order to agree with the tense of "was good."

Some more examples:

  • {kite} yokatta
    来てよかった
    {[Me] coming [here]} was good.
    I'm glad that {[I] came [here]}.
  • {mite} yokatta
    見てよかった
    {[Me] seeing [it]} was good.
    I'm glad that {[I] saw [it]}.
  • ganbatte yokatta
    頑張ってよかった
    I'm glad I did my best.
    I'm glad I put effort. (because it paid off.)
    • ganbaru
      頑張る
      To try hard. To put effort. To try one's best.
  • hanashite yokatta
    話してよかった
    I'm glad we talked.
    • hanasu
      話す
      To talk. To have a conversation.
  • kiite yokatta
    聞いてよかった
    I'm glad I heard it.
    I'm glad I asked.
    • kiku
      聞く
      To hear. To listen.
      To ask something.
  • ikite yokatta
    生きてよかった
    I'm glad I lived.
    • ikiru
      生きる
      To live.
      (one of the heaviest phrases you can make with yokatta.)
  • nyuubu shite yokatta
    入部してよかった
    I'm glad I joined this club.
    (because of all the friendships, memories, et cetera I made along the way.)
    • nyuubu suru
      入部する
      To enter a club.
会えて良かったよ!
Manga: Mob Psycho 100, Mobu Saiko Hyaku モブサイコ100 (Chapter 67)
  • {aete} yokatta yo!
    会えて良かった
    {[Me] meeting [you]} was good."
    I'm glad that {[I] met [you]}.
    • au
      会う
      To meet.

As you'd imagine, this ~te yokatta is often used in sentimental situations.

  • toki ga sugite, ima, kokoro kara ieru
    anata ni aete yokatta ne

    時が過ぎて 今 心から言える
    あなたに会えてよかった
    Time passed, now, I can say from my heart,
    I'm glad I met you.
  • Anata ni Aete Yokatta あなたに会えてよかった by Koizumi Kyoko 小泉今日子, album Afropia (1991).[lyrics from mojim.com, accessed 2019-02-01]

~でよかった

The phrase ~de-yokatta ~でよかった works just like ~te-yokatta, meaning "I'm glad that something happened." The only difference is that in this case we have a predicate whose te-form ends in ~de ~で instead of ~te ~て.

There are two such predicates.

  1. The godan verbs that suffer renjoudaku 連声濁, which are the ones that have ~gu ~ぐ, ~bu ~ぶ, ~nu ~ぬ, ~mu ~む endings.
    • yomu
      読む
      To read.
    • {yonde} yokatta
      読んでよかった
      {[Me] reading [it]} was good.
      I'm glad that [I] read [it]. (before doing something.)
  2. The da だ copula, used after adjectives, nouns, etc., whose te-form is the de で copula.
    • kimi da

      [It] is you.
    • {kimi de} yokatta
      よかった
      {[It] being you} was good.
      I'm glad that {[it] was you}.
      • Again, de で only translates to "was" because yokatta in the matrix is past-tensed. Normally to say "was" you'd instead say:
      • kimi datta
        だった
        [It] was you.
無事でよかった
Manga: One Piece (Chapter 1)
  • buji de yokatta
    無事でよかった
    I'm glad [you're] unharmed.
    • buji da
      無事だ
      To be unharmed. For nothing to have happened with.

Counterfactuals

The phrase yokatta can be used together with a conditional to mean "it would have been better if." This is typically used when you regret not having done something, or you picked the wrong choice.

This is an instance of a counterfactual, which is when you say "it would have been X if Y happened, but Y didn't happen." With the "I'm glad" meaning, Y was factual, but with the "I should have done that," Y isn't factual any longer, it hasn't happened.

~ばよかった

The phrase ~ba yokatta ~ばよかった is the ba-form plus yokatta. It's used when you haven't done something, and you regret not doing it.

ザァァァァ こんなことならコンビニで傘買えばよかった
Manga: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! 私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! (Chapter 5)
  • Context: it begins raining.
  • zaaaaa
    ザァァァァ
    *rain noises*
    (onomatopoeia.)
  • konna koto nara
    konbini de kasa φ
    kaeba yokatta

    こんなことなら
    コンビニで傘
    買えばよかった
    If [it] were to be something like this
    it would have been better if [I] had bought
    an umbrella at the convenience store.
    • kaeba - ba-form of kau 買う, "to buy."

~ならよかった

The phrase ~nara yokatta ~ならよかった works the same way as ~ba yokatta. The only difference is that nara なら, or naraba ならば, is the ba-form of the da だ copula.

ずっと中学生のままならよかったのになー
Manga: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! 私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! (Chapter 3, モテないし昔の友達に合う)
  • Context: a girl and her friend became high school girls.
  • zutto {chuugakusei no} mama nara
    yokatta noni na~

    ずっと中学生ままなら
    よかったのになー
    Even though it would have been better if
    [we] remained middle school students forever.
    • {chuugakusei no} mama da
      学生のまま
      To be continually {middle school students}.
      To remain {middle school students}.

~方がよかった

The phrase ~hou ga yokatta ~方がよかった is ~hou ga ii in past tense.

The phrase ~hou ga ii is used to say that one method is good compared to others, i.e. it's better if you do things one way, rather than another.

As a counterfactual, it ends up meaning that you should have done something that way, rather than the way you chose.

バンソウコウ・・・つけてない方がよかったな ・・・髪も切ってくればよかった
Manga: Holy Land, ホーリーランド (Chapter 55)
  • Context: character regrets his appearance.
  • bansoukou...
    tsuketenai hou ga yokatta na

    バンソウコウ・・・
    つけてない方がよかった
    It would have been better if if [I] hadn't put a band-aid.
    • Fun fact: band-aid is a brand name, the generic name is "adhesive bandage."
  • ...kami mo kitte-kureba yokatta
    ・・・髪も切ってくればよかった
    ...the hair, too, would have been better if [I] had gone cut it.
    • kitte-kureba - ba-form of:
    • kitte-kuru
      切ってくる
      To cut and come. To go cut and come back.
      (compound verb.)

するんじゃなかった

The phrase ~n janakatta ~んじゃなかった is sometimes used to say that something shouldn't have been done, similar to how yokatta works. Literally, it means "was not," in the sense of something "wasn't to be," ideally wasn't to have occurred. For example:

貧乏くさい他人といっしょの列車なんかに乗るんじゃあ なかったわ・・・ 指定席とったって声がつつぬけじゃあない こんなんだったら居眠りできないけど車でくるんだったわ
Manga: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Part 5: Golden Wind, JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 黄金の風 (Chapter 61, ベイビィ・フェイス その①)
  • Context: rich woman boards train.
  • {{binbou kusai} tanin to
    issho no} ressha nanka ni
    noru-n-jaa nakatta wa...

    貧乏くさい他人と
    いっしょの列車なんか
    乗るんじゃあ なかった・・・
    I shouldn't have boarded a train {together
    with {[all these peasants]}}.
    • {binbou kusai} tanin
      貧乏くさい他人
      People [who] {smell of poverty}. (literally.)
    • jaa
      じゃあ
      In this case, same as ja じゃ, but she pronounces it longer.
  • shitei-seki tottatte
    koe ga tsutsu-nuke jaa nai

    指定席とったって
    声がつつぬけじゃあない
    Even though [they] call [it] a reserved seat,
    [you] can hear voices through the walls, can't you?
    • She's complaining there's nothing special about the seat, since she can hear the peasants talking anyway.
    • to-ttatte とったって
      to itta tte と言ったって
      to itta toshite-mo と言ったとしても
      to itte-mo と言っても
      Even if you call it. Even if you say it is.
      (contraction.)
    • tsutsu-nuke
      筒抜け
      To be overheard.
  • konna-n-dattara
    inemuri dekinai kedo
    kuruma de kuru-n-datta wa

    こんなんだったら
    居眠りできないけど
    車でくるんだった
    If it's like this
    I wouldn't be able to sleep but
    I should have come by car.
    • Since janakatta can mean you shouldn't have done something, it makes sense that datta can mean you should have done something.

The phrase ~n-janakatta ~んじゃなかった is a contraction of ~no dewanakatta ~のではなかった.

こんな事なら5千も兵を連れて来るのではなかった
Manga: Houshin Engi 封神演義 (Chapter 2, 最初の封神)
  • Context: the battle ends without a fight.
  • konna koto nara
    こんな事なら
    If it were to be like this...
  • go-sen mo hei wo tsurete-kuru no dewanakatta
    5千も兵を連れて来るのではなかった
    I shouldn't have brought [all these] five thousand soldiers.
    • mo も particle - here, it emphasizes the number 5000. It implies that maybe bringing 100 would suffice, rather than implying he shouldn't have brought any of the 5000.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

All comments are moderated and won't show up until approved. Spam, links to illegal websites, and inappropriate content won't be published.