Monday, July 15, 2019

~te wa ~ては

WIP: this article is incomplete and might change in the unforeseeable future.
In Japanese, ~te wa ては is the te-form of a verb plus the wa は particle. This can have two different functions.

Auxiliary Focus

The te-form of verbs can connect to an auxiliary verb or auxiliary adjective.
  • kare wa tabete-iru?
    彼は食べている
    Him, eating is?
    He is eating?
    Is he eating?

Above, we tabete connects to the auxiliary verb iru, forming its te-iru form.

The phrase tabete can be marked as the topic with the wa は particle, in which case the auxiliary becomes the focus.
  • tabete wa iru kedo
    食べてはいるけど
    Eating, [he] is, but... (he isn't doing something else.)

Another example:
  • ganbatte hoshii
    頑張ってほしい
    [I] want [you] to try your best. To try hard. To put effort.
  • ganbatte wa hoshii kedo muri wa shinai de
    頑張ってはほしいけど無理はしないで
    [I] want [you] your best but please don't do [something] unreasonable.
    • muri shinai de means, for example, that the speaker doesn't want the listener to get sick from working too much, or ending up dying from trying too hard, etc.

Condition

A second function of ~te wa ~ては is creating a condition for which the following statement holds true. For example:
  • wasurete wa komaru
    忘れては困る
    Forgetting: be troubled.
    [I'll] be troubled if [you] forget [about it].
    • komaru 困る
      To be trouble [by something]. To be inconvenienced.

Normally, the marked verb is in reference to something that did happen, or might happen, or someone talked about recently.

For example, if an assassin is tasked with protecting a guy from other assassins, and the guy is having a nervous breakdown screaming he's going to get killed, the assassin may say:
  • korosarete wa komaru
    殺されては困る
    Be killed: be troubled.
    [I'll] be trouble if [you] are killed.

After all, he was hired to keep the guy alive.

Obviously, you can use this te wa with all sorts of verbs besides komaru, it just tends to be used with komaru a lot. If you wanted to, you could say:
  • korosarete wa iki-kaeru
    殺されては生き返る
    Be killed: living-return.
    If [you] are killed [you'll] return to life.
    [You'll] revive in the case [you] are killed.
    • Is this re:zero?

Although this function is notably used with conditions and hypothetical cases—if, in case of, etc.—it's actually not much different from a simple topic-comment structure talking about something regarding the verb.

For example, this can be noticed in phrases like:
  • tsuduite wa
    続いては
    [Regarding] the continuation.
    Continuing...
    • Phrase used before continuing talking about something.
  • sore ni tsuite wa
    それについては
    [Regarding] attached to that.
    About that...
    • sore ni tsuite means literally "attached to that," but less literally in respect to information "attached" to that, about that.

The ~te wa ~ては is also commonly used with dame 駄目, "no good," ikenai いけない, "can't go," and naranai ならない, "won't be." In any of these cases, it means that the verb shouldn't be done. For example:
  • hito wo koroshite wa dame
    人を殺してはダメ
    Killing people: no good.
    Killing people is bad. (don't do this.)
  • hito wo koroshite wa ikenai
    人を殺してはいけない
    (same meaning, but more serious.)
  • hito wo koroshite wa naranai
    人を殺してはならない
    (same meaning, but even more serious.)

In some cases, the part that comes after the wa は is omitted.
  • watashi mo ganbarakute wa!
    私も頑張らくては
    If I, too, don't work hard... [it's no good]!
    I, too, should work hard!
    I gotta try my best, too!
    • Phrase used when a character sees someone else working hard and gets fired up.

This "no good" usage is often seen with negative phrases. For example:
  • soitsu wo taosanakute wa naranai
    そいつを倒さなくてはならない
    Not defeating that guy: won't be.
    "Not defeat that guy" won't be.
    Must not "not defeat that guy."
    Must defeat that guy.

In this case you have a double negative. You're saying that "not doing something is bad." Thus, you must do that something, otherwise it's going to be bad.

Contractions

There are a few contractions associated with ~te wa ~ては.
  • ~cha ~ちゃ
    From ~te wa ~ては.
    • ganbaranakucha
      頑張らなくちゃ
      Gotta try [my] best! (again!)
  • -ja ~じゃ
    From -de wa ~では, because the te-form of some verbs end in de で.
    • shinde wa dame!
      死んではダメ!
      Dying: no good!
      It'd be no good if [you] died!
      It'd be bad if [you] died!
      Don't die!
    • shinja dame!
      死んじゃダメ!
      (same meaning.)
  • ~kya ~きゃ
    From ~kute wa ~くては, the -te form of i-adjectives.
    • ganbaranakya
      頑張らなきゃ
      Gotta try [my] best! (one more time!)
    • takakute wa kaenai
      くては買えない
      Expensive: can't buy.
      [I] can't buy [it] if [it's] expensive.
    • takakya kaenai
      きゃ買えない
      (same meaning)

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!

Comments containing spam, links to illegal websites, or deemed inappropriate will be removed.